CINCINNATI, Ohio—As schools and businesses are closed, many people are coming together to find creative ways to stay connected and educate children. The Cincinnati Zoo started its at home safari program Monday and  found major success.

  • The zoo is offering Facebook Live videos each day at 3 PM EST while schools are out
  • Each video focuses on a new type of animal and includes and educational portion too
  • The first video highlighted world famous hippo Fiona and has over 4 million views

It’s the start of a new normal for people all across the country. And the Cincinnati Zoo is working to make this time a little easier by offering daily Facebook live educational programs on different animals each day.

“We just thought it would be a fun way to give them something to do," Michelle Curley the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens communications director said. "And then when we also closed it was a good way for us to bring the zoo to everyone who can’t come and visit.”

The first at home safari featured world famous hippo Fiona. The video has collected over four million views so far, with people watching from Alaska to Australia.

“I mean our engagement, our Facebook engagement, I think people are at their computers so much now that they want to not only watch but participate," Curley said.

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Facebook page has already seen over 500,000 more followers over the last few days. The program also offers an educational portion with a quiz or activity to do after the video.

“We’ve received so much positive feedback from parents who just say, they appreciate that we’re giving the kids educational content," Curley said.

Zoo officials also say the videos give members a way to make sure the animals are doing okay during such a stressful time for many of us.

“Our members are extremely connected to individual animals," Curley said. "So it gives them the opportunity to check in and see how those animals are doing.”

The zoo plans to highlight a different type of animal each day. The videos are on their Facebook page every day at 3 PM EST.