This is a paid piece from the Great Plains Zoo.

Simplified: Bears at the Great Plains Zoo now have global visibility through a new partnership with a website called Zoolife. Here's what you need to know.

Why it matters

  • Zoolife is the world's first online zoo, and subscribers can tune in to see live feeds of animals in zoos across the globe – from butterflies in Colorado to orangutans in Toronto to dolphins in Florida.
  • As of this week, Zoolife also features a live look inside the exhibits of both the black bears and the coastal brown bears at the Great Plains Zoo. The livestreams will also feature regular zookeeper chats
  • Partnering with Zoolife will not only bring more awareness to the zoo, but it will also provide another revenue stream for the zoo – which will get a percentage of subscription payments.
"It's just another way we can help benefit and care for our animals," said Denise DePaolo, PR and marketing director. "It's also bringing our animals to a global audience."

Tell me more about Zoolife

Zoolife allows users to control and zoom the cameras in the various animal exhibits.

  • For example, you could zoom in on the bear exhibits closely enough to see the bears' footprints in the mud.

The site also shares details on the individual animals, as well as more information on the species so visitors can learn more.

Zoolife offers a way to learn more about animals and experience zoos from all over the world.

  • The site also gives people in Sioux Falls a way to check in on their favorite bears even if the weather is too bad to make a zoo trip, if they want to see the animals after regular hours or if they're stuck at home sick.
  • Zoolife could also be a tool to help kids and families with sensory needs prepare for what they can expect in the experience of going to the zoo, DePaolo added.

Tell me more about the bears

The black bears are a mother-daughter duo, Jenny and Marshmallow, and Zoolife provides a unique view of their exhibit not otherwise visible to zoo visitors.

The coastal brown bears are siblings Kodiak and Katmai. They're a playful pair, DePaolo said, and so they'll often be visible and active on the livestream, which shows a birds-eye view of their exhibit.

How to watch

Zoolife offers a free trial, after which subscription prices start at $5/month. Sign up using this link to ensure a portion of your payment goes back to the Sioux Falls zoo.

For the month of April, people who start or renew their Great Plains Zoo membership will also receive a special discount code for 20% off a Zoolife subscription.