Dallas Zoo, Children’s Medical Center Join To Entertain, Educate Patients

July 17, 2014 - Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo and Children’s Medical Center have developed a new opportunity to work together which will bring live animal presentations, educational programming and zoo outings to patients and families at the nation’s seventh-largest pediatric hospital.

The Simmons Animal Safari program begins Thursday, July 17, when the zoo begins frequent animal presentations at the hospital. The first animals to make appearances will include a serval (African wildcat), tamandua (anteater) and a penguin. The visits will be presented in the hospital’s atrium lobby and also filmed and broadcast to patient rooms via the Red Balloon Network from the hospital’s Seacrest Studios.

The zoo also is giving the hospital 300 tickets for patients and families, providing a much-needed diversion for families whose children are dealing with illness or injury. A planned expansion will have the Dallas Zoo’s staff creating educational and entertaining video programming to air on the hospital’s Red Balloon Network, as well as excursions to the zoo for families.

“Bringing smiles to children’s faces is what we do every day at the zoo,” said Gregg Hudson, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Zoo. “To be able to bring that happiness to an outstanding hospital where sick children are undergoing treatment makes our educational mission much more worthwhile.”

The program, initiated by the Harold Simmons Foundation, is a pairing of two iconic Dallas institutions. Texas’s oldest and largest zoo has been a part of the community for 126 years, and Children’s recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Children’s is one of the finest pediatric facilities in the United States, consistently ranked as a top pediatric health-care provider. The Dallas Zoo is experiencing record attendance and recently was named to USA Today’s Top 10 Zoos in the U.S.


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