Kentucky zoo animals can join video conference for a donation


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — For video conference calls that are starting to get humdrum, the Louisville Zoo has some guests to keep things lively.

People using Zoom to communicate with fellow workers or family during the coronavirus pandemic can make a $75 tax-deductible donation to have Fitz the elephant or Qannik the polar bear, among others, make an appearance.

Social media is one way zoos worldwide have been engaging with people who can no longer visit — their main source of income — and raise some much-needed cash.

“While many people have been working in non-traditional ways lately and have possibly been experiencing fatigue with the work-from-home lifestyle, including the Zoo’s animal ambassadors in your next conference call could help bring a much-needed smile to video participants,” John Walczak, Louisville Zoo director, said in a news release. “We look forward to including our ZOOMbassadors on these calls and fully embracing this virtual world we are all currently living in.”

Sunni the sloth, Petey the camel and some of the gorillas and giraffes are also available to participate, the release said.