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Hospitalized children in San Antonio can see zoo animals up close in virtual Dream Night event

Kids will meet Elmer the porcupine, Ravioli, the baby horned lizard and other animals on their virtual trip

Dream Night at the San Antonio Zoo.
Dream Night at the San Antonio Zoo. (San Antonio Zoo)

SAN ANTONIO – Children with special medical needs will soon be able to see the animals at the San Antonio Zoo up close, all from the comfort of their own hospital room.

The zoo has teamed up with the University Health System and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to hold a virtual version of Dream Night for hospitalized children that may not be able to visit the zoo. The video of the zoo animals will be played on a closed-circuit television program in each of their hospital rooms, allowing patients and their families to experience the zoo from the comfort and safety of their own rooms, officials said.

The children will meet Elmer the porcupine, Ravioli, the baby horned lizard and other animals on their virtual trip.

“For the past two years, we have been privileged to provide an experience like none other in an intimate setting where these families can be at the zoo stress-free,” said Tim Morrow, president & CEO of the San Antonio Zoological Society, in a statement. “We missed seeing the wonder and excitement of these young patients, but we are excited to share a new virtual experience where they can learn more about the animals from the team who cares for them.”

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“We are so encouraged by the San Antonio Zoo thinking of creative ways to reach our patients through a virtual version of Dream Night,” said Cris Daskevich, CEO of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, in a statement. “These opportunities mean so much to our patients and their families, and this particular experience could very well be what fuels our future conservationists, zoo curators, or veterinarians. We wholeheartedly thank the San Antonio Zoo and all of our community partners for all that they do in support of our pediatric patients.”

Over 248 zoos worldwide take part in similar Dream Night events, according to zoo officials.

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