Blank Children's Hospital and Iowa Health - Des Moines are pleased to partner with Blank Park Zoo to announce "Zoo View" for our patients and families.
Blank Park Zoo has installed webcams in the Japanese Macaque, also known as snow monkeys, exhibit for patients and families at Iowa Methodist, Iowa Lutheran, Methodist West and Blank Children's to watch.
The monkeys are in addition to the animal assisted therapy program at Iowa Health - Des Moines that has been in place for about 18 years. The animal assisted therapy program has been proven to help take a patient's mind off their hospital stay and remind them of home.
"It isn't uncommon to see therapy dogs in our halls helping our patients and helping in the healing process," said David Stark, President of Blank Children's Hospital. "Now we are able to extend our therapy outside the hospital and share animals that many people have never seen before in their own environment."
About the Monkeys
The average body mass for an adult male Japanese macaque is around 25 pounds and they measure from 19 to 24 inches. The fur color varies from brown to white. They eat monkey biscuits, oranges and pumpkin seeds after "Night Eyes" at the zoo. They are tree dwelling and active during the day. They are social animals and live in troops comprising of both males and females.
In the winter, the keepers make a snowman in the monkey's exhibit and stick carrots and grapes in it for the monkeys to find. Once they find everything, they entertain themselves by knocking the snowman over.
Japanese macaques are threatened due to deforestation and the loss of their habitat. About 5,000 macaques are captured or shot each year (despite protection from the Japanese government) for they are considered as agricultural pests.
Patients can watch Higgins, Kysho, Kitzi and other snow monkeys live every day from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
To see the Monkeys, visit http://www.blankparkzoo.com/index.cfm?nodeID=21078