These kids at a Montana hospital might not be well enough to visit a zoo, but that doesn't mean the zoo can't visit them.
A curious selection of animals visited patients at St. Vincent Children’s Healthcare in Billings on Friday — and as if the youngsters hadn't proven their bravery enough already, they touched a snake and a hissing cockroach.
Staff from ZooMontana also introduced the children to an owl and an armadillo.
The visit came as a new animal-focused TV channel was announced at the hospital. Staff say the channel, San Diego Zoo Kids, will provide educational and entertaining shows to kids and their families at the hospital.
It will also give them the chance to check in on the zoo's pandas through the Panda Cam.
"San Diego Zoo Kids has the ability to bring the zoo to young patients who don’t have the opportunity to visit," said Douglas G. Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. "The stories we tell through this channel not only entertain children and their families during what can be a stressful time, but hopefully inspire a new generation to appreciate wildlife and their natural habitats."
"The healing power of animals will certainly be felt by our patients," added St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation President & CEO, Dennis Sulser.
San Diego Zoo Kids first appeared at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego in 2013, and since then, it has been installed in 74 children's hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in 23 states across the U.S.