The Zoo comes to the patients of Children's Hospital

Animals visit Children's Hospital
Updated: Nov. 6, 2017 at 9:21 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Monday was an exciting change of scenery for young patients at the Children's Hospital of New Orleans.

Young patients got to meet furry critters at the Children's Hospital of New Orleans.

The Audubon Zoo worked with the San Diego Zoo to bring animals to the hospital and brighten up the children's' days.

11-year-old Kay Colton is a Leukemia survivor who said this is exactly what she needed.

"My favorite part was seeing the animals and actually seeing them in person. That was cool," Colton said.

Getting up close to the cuddly critters was a chance for patients to forget their worries for a little while.

"It was exciting because I like learning about animals and it gets my mind off of being sick," Colton said.

The opportunity to meet zoo animals is a rare opportunity for some patients.

"Many of these children are bound to the hospital and to their care and the program and so they aren't able to come to visit our zoo or our aquarium," Audubon Zoo Vice President of Marketing Chimene Saloy said.

This is all part of launching the program "San Diego Zoo Kids" at the hospital, a television channel that brings animals to patients' rooms.

"We have actually launched in 118 facilities across 30 states and D.C., across five countries, so we're very excited to be launching in Louisiana for the first time today," San Diego Kids Host and Scriptwriter Olivia Degn said.

San Diego Zoo works with local zoos to bring these animals to hospitals.

"Everything comes together and we actually see the healing power of animals right in front of us," Degn said.

"It's always heartwarming to see their eyes light up, their curiosity bubble up to the top with great questions," Saloy said.

Colton now has something to look forward to when getting treatments.

"When I come to the hospital, I'll definitely make sure I look at the channel," Colton said.

The San Diego Zoo is looking to expand the program around the world.

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