Cincinnati Zoo Is Live Streaming Daily Animal Lessons Throughout Coronavirus School Closures

For those of our readers who have children stranded at home, and who might be struggling to come up with some kind of educational content that can help keep their brains active while the school year is suspended due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, the Cincinnati Zoo has something to help you out -- yes, even if you aren't in Ohio. The zoo is live streaming daily animal lessons for the duration of the local school closures, presumably conducted by the employees that have to show up to work and make sure the animals are fed and cared for, even if the zoo can't actually welcome any guests.

Over the weekend, the zoo, which has more than 2 million followers on Facebook, announced plans to livestream a new feature every weekday at 3 p.m. ET, focusing on one of the zoo's animals, and providing an activity that kids can do at home to keep learning and be entertained. The first installment, which ran today, focused on Fiona, the zoo's hippopotamus.

You can check it out below.

Americans are living in a national state of emergency and in many states, all non-essential businesses have been ordered closed in order to assist in quarantining citizens to keep them from contacting the coronavirus. Movie theaters have been shut down and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines that instruct Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.

Fiona is already something of a celebrity; she was born premature, but pulled through and became the first hippo born in Cincinnati in 75 years, according to WBNS, a local CBS affiliate. The zoo's Facebook page has 27 episodes of a webseries starring Fiona already, which anybody who falls in love with the zoo, the hippo, or the keeper doing the hosting can check out when they click over to see tomorrow's "Home Safari" installment, which will focus on Rico the porcupine.

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If you can't catch it live, the streams will be available on Facebook as well as on YouTube and on the zoo's Home Safari website.

This kind of thing could turn out to be a godsend as the entertainment industry struggles to grapple with the ramifications of the pandemic. Movies and TV shows have been delayed, and production put on hold, in order to give cast, crew, and audiences a chance to avoid cloistering in big groups and potentially transmitting the disease to a wider group.

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