Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Cincinnati Zoo builds virtual audience during COVID-19, grows donors by nearly 500% in 10 days.

When Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden closed its doors during COVID-19, the Ohio attraction quickly created a daily virtual experience that immediately drew millions of virtual visitors—and new donors—from around the world. 

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden works to inspire every visitor through wildlife every day. When the Ohio attraction shut its physical doors to ensure social distancing during COVID-19, it upheld that mission by flinging open virtual doors instead.

Visitors not only showed up; they also reinvigorated Fiona the hippopotamus’ international acclaim, when she became the first animal featured in the zoo’s Home Safari series.

Every day at 3 p.m. local time, Cincinnati Zoo takes to Facebook Live for a streaming video with a featured animal and zookeepers, plus an activity for viewers to try at home—such as wallaby hopscotch or hatching ostrich art.The zoo welcomes 1.8 million visitors per year, on average. But within the first 10 days of Home Safari, the zoo garnered 44 million views and continues to reach 20 million active viewers from around the world on any given day.

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