SEATTLE ‒ Woodland Park Zoo just surpassed the 20 million mark in videos seen on the popular internet site, YouTube.
The distinction means Woodland Park Zoo is by far the leader among the world’s zoos in unique views on YouTube. For a look back at “20 Million Moments of Cuteness at Woodland Park Zoo,” visit: http://bit.ly/20milVideo.
“Visual storytelling is important for us in engaging our local community,” said Ryan Hawk, the zoo’s Senior Content Producer for photo and video, who produces the zoo’s YouTube channel. “By sharing insider zoo stories, we also extend our reach to animal lovers all over the world. The video-sharing website has become an integral communications vehicle that helps us spark a connection between people and wildlife.”
Part of the reason for the zoo’s success is a result of its early adoption of the YouTube site. The zoo’s first foray was in September 2006, with its video upload of “Grizzly Bears Destroy Camp.”
The zoo’s most watched video, “Cute Baby Tiger,” is a very short, but sweet, 48 seconds of a 3-week-old Sumatran tiger succumbing to a nap in the zoo’s nursery: http://youtu.be/idRc_KkInds. The clip, which was uploaded January 2007, has itself drawn more than 6 million views.
The internet clearly enjoys cat videos. Another tiger clip, “Cutest Baby Tiger,” ranks second and “Cute Baby Ocelots” third with 2.09 million views and 1.1 million, respectively.
According to Hawk, 65% of the views have come from outside the U.S., with Germany, Japan and Australia among the zoo’s top international audiences. The channel also has 8,300 subscribers.
“Our hats are off to Woodland Park Zoo for being at the vanguard of social media and being the first zoo in the world to reach this incredible milestone,” said Kevin Urie, founder and past President of Social Media Club Seattle and Director of Client Services at the social agency Spring Creek Group, which recently advised, pro bono, the zoo’s Give Ten for Tigers campaign. “It’s great to see an organization that is willing to be so aggressive with their social media strategy, notably on YouTube – an organization that is once again putting Seattle on the map with creativity and innovation.”
Among other zoos, the Zoological Society of London follows Woodland Park Zoo with 12 million views and in the U.S., Cincinnati Zoo boasts 6 million views and Wildlife Conservation Society has 4.4 million.
“Zoos are filled with rich stories and fantastic, exotic visuals, and Woodland Park Zoo is no exception,” added Hawk. “Not everyone has the chance to see a just-hatched Egyptian tortoise or napping tiger cub firsthand. Our videos can take people a little bit closer to that experience from the comfort of their home computer or smartphone. It’s so encouraging to read comments from viewers inspired to work in the field of conservation. I’m so thankful for our many viewers.”
Go to www.youtube.com/woodlandparkzoo to watch the zoo’s extensive collection of animal and conservation-themed video storytelling.