Phoenix Children's Hospital uses virtual zoo to help children heal

Phoenix Children's Hospital launched a television channel with the help of the San Diego Zoo to bring the zoo to children at the facility, according to The Arizona Republic.

The channel, San Diego Zoo Kids, features clips of animals and animal experts answering children's questions. Officials said the channel was meant to distract children from the treatments they must undergo.

San Diego Zoo officials filmed a number of the scenes at the Phoenix Zoo to help craft the experience, according to the article.

Julie Bowman, the hospital's senior vice president, said the idea stemmed from the results of various scientific studies that highlight the positive impact animals have on people.

"We are dedicated to creating a nurturing environment where the kids can forget, even for a brief second, about their disease or injuries and just focus on being a kid," said Ms. Bowman.

Phoenix Zoo officials brought four animals into the hospital to help launch the channel, including a Flemish rabbit, a black-tailed prairie dog, an Indian-crested porcupine and a nine-banded armadillo, according to the article.

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