Omaha, Nebraska - Animals and children were brought together today at Omaha’s Children’s Hospital & Medical Center to announce the arrival of the San Diego Zoo Kids television channel. Funded by a generous gift by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and San Diego Zoo Global announced the arrival of San Diego Zoo Kids in Omaha.

San Diego Zoo Kids is a closed-circuit television broadcast channel that features programming about unique and endangered animal species and is available on TV monitors in every patient room and waiting area. This collaboration is designed to entertain and educate Children’s Hospital & Medical Center patients and their families about wildlife during their hospital stay.

“We are pleased to be the first health care center in Nebraska to offer this family-friendly resource; it reflects our commitment to providing a remarkable experience for our patients and families,” says Gary Perkins, President & CEO, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. “When our young patients can’t go to the zoo, we’re happy to bring the zoo to them!”

The channel features video from the San Diego Zoo's famous Panda Cam as well as other live, online cameras, fun and educational pieces about a variety of animals and up-close video encounters of popular animals, hosted by the San Diego Zoo's national spokesperson, Rick Schwartz.

"We have always believed in the importance of putting people in touch with animals as a way to conserve species," said Doug Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. "What we have heard from medical care professionals is that animal interaction and animal stories can also help promote well-being. San Diego Zoo Global has a wealth of animal stories and, through the generosity of Denny Sanford, we are able to bring these stories to the families at hospitals around the country."

The channel features animal stories from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.  A porcupine, a cockatoo and a domestic rabbit from the Henry Doorly Zoo made an appearance at the launch as well.

“We are pleased to partner with San Diego Zoo Global to deliver Omaha animal stories to the children who are not able to come to the zoo.”  Said Dennis Pate, Director and CEO for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “Animals make hospitals happier places.”

San Diego Zoo Kids debuted for the first at the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego on December 18, 2013.

About Children's Hospital & Medical Center: Proudly serving children since 1948, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center ( is recognized as a 2015-16 Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report in cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and GI surgery and orthopedics. It is the only full-service, pediatric health care center in Nebraska providing expertise in more than 30 pediatric specialty services to children across a five-state region and beyond. Located in Omaha, the 139-bed, non-profit hospital operates the only Level II Pediatric Trauma Center in the region and offers 24-hour, in-house services by pediatric critical care specialists.

About Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is ranked the number one Zoo in the World by TripAdvisor and the top family friendly attraction by FamilyFun Magazine. Currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer general admission prices are $16.95 for adults (12-64), $15.95 for seniors (65 and older) and $11.95 for children (3-11) through September 14. Fall pricing can be found on the Zoo’s website, .

About San Diego Zoo Global: The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The Conservancy makes possible the wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) of the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and international field programs in more than 35 countries. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.