The "online zoo" set up by Baidu and Beijing zoo authorities, according to media reports, registered peak visitor flow during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday. Even on International Children's Day, the "online zoo" received more than 3 million hits, which is equal to the half-yearly visitor flow at Beijing Zoo, says an article in Yangcheng Evening News. Excerpts:
Of the more than 3 million hits the "online zoo" received, 13.87 percent were from Beijing-based netizens. Moreover, 80 percent of all the visitors to the "online zoo" page were adults.
Since most of the big zoos are in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai some people, especially children, in remote rural areas can hardly visit them and enjoy seeing wild and rare animals. The Beijing zoo-Baidu joint venture is important because it can make such people enjoy the sights and sounds of a zoo while sitting at home.
It is hoped that the "online zoo" will fulfill certain social and environmental functions and help people to understand the importance of protecting wild and rare animals. It is also hoped that the novel idea of an "online zoo" will yield economic benefits and help promote more such healthy cooperation in the future.
By setting up more online zoos in China, the authorities will help spread the message of conservation faster and more effectively among the public.