Nick US forms alliance with a zoo

 MUMBAI: Miami Metrozoo, one of the top 10 zoos in the US, the Zoological Society of Florida (ZSF) and US kids broadcaster Nickelodeon have entered into a five-year strategic alliance.

Nick Jr.’s Go, Diego, Go! will be featured in the Zoo’s newest and largest exhibit, Amazon and Beyond.

The partnership involves having Diego, a preschool show at the Zoo’s Amazon and Beyond exhibit, when it opens in late 2008. While the 27-acre tropical exhibit is under continued construction, until then, beginning spring 2007, Diego will make a temporary home at the Commercebank Children’s Zoo inside Miami Metrozoo, with special Nick Jr. programming and appearances.

Nickelodeon executive VP marketing and worldwide partnerships Pam Kaufman says, “This is a truly unique and extremely fitting partnership of which we are thrilled to be a part. Diego is the perfect match for the Amazon and Beyond exhibit since his home on television is in the rainforest. This exhibit brings to life Diego’s sense of adventure and love of animals and science, and provides a tangible experience which kids can learn from, which is wonderful.”

This exhibit of tropical American flora and fauna will be the largest of any zoo in the US. It will include more than 1,000 animals including harpy eagles, giant river otters (only the third Zoo in the US to house them), anacondas, and Orinoco crocodiles in different settings representing the flooded forest, Amazon forest, and clouded forest, among others.

ZSF president and CEO Glenn Ekey says, “This high-profile partnership with Nickelodeon and one of the top preschool properties brings us closer to our goal of creating the best Zoo in the country. Children will be elated to see Diego everyday at the Zoo and we are making Amazon and Beyond one of the world’s most varied and comprehensive tropical exhibits .

“Amazon and Beyond is a demonstration of the fundraising efforts of the ZSF as we partner with Miami Dade County to stretch the public’s commitment to the Zoo.”

The Go, Diego, Go! presence within the Amazon and Beyond exhibit will include a regularly scheduled stage show, featuring Diego, a host, and various animals with handlers; Diego branded stamping stations at the animal exhibits; field journals that will be distributed to kids to customize as they learn about the animals; and integration of Diego into Zoo marketing collateral and educational materials that are distributed to schools. In addition, some of the animals within the Amazon & Beyond exhibit will be those that are featured in Go, Diego, Go!.

Amazon and Beyond’s promise to be impressive is backed by the Zoo’s design firm Jones and Jones Architecture of Seattle who has designed many of the sections of the San Diego Zoo. The exhibit is funded by a combination of public and private donors, including the Building Better Communities general obligation bond and The Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond.


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