Newborn Rhino a Star at Copenhagen Zoo

Internet makes animal a star
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Newborn male rhino calf at the Copenhagen Zoo

COPENHAGEN — People everywhere love baby animals, and technology today makes it easier than ever for a zoo to share the wonders of nature with the public. In this case, the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark used its surveillance system to record and distribute the birth of a rhino calf.

Helping make the new calf a star was Milestone Systems, a manufacturer of surveillance control systems. One of Milestone’s clients is the Copenhagen Zoo, which leverages this partnership to use video as a tool to extend and enhance visitors’ experience and create new business possibilities for the zoo.

The first successful event using the networked video technology was the online broadcast of the birth of a male rhino calf at the zoo, on January 24. The broadcast attracted more than 35,000 views on YouTube and generated further media interest. Rhino births in zoos are rare and the last delivery in Copenhagen Zoo was in 1982. The zoo has created a section on their website dedicated to the event. Holders of annual passes can now watch live video from the rhino pen and get more information on this endangered species. The video feeds from the zoo are currently only accessible to those who have an annual pass to the zoo.

Copenhagen Zoo is very positive about the video technology possibilities in this strategic partnership with Milestone Systems.

“Milestone has opened our eyes to new uses of video and shown us marketing opportunities that we had not discovered ourselves. The video software is not only helping us with safety and protection of the animals and staff – there are so many additional possibilities as well. It is a fascinating new category of management tool that is expanding into our line of business,” said Steffen Straede, CEO at Copenhagen Zoo. “We see a very positive reaction from our patrons when we announce the birth of an animal. The use of video technology gives the zoo patrons the possibility to experience the animals close up and undisturbed.”

The open platform technology in Milestone XProtect enabled Copenhagen Zoo to pick camera brands and models that are suited to the highly challenging environment in the park. When the rhino calf was born, the national Danish broadcaster DR requested a live video feed from the rhino pen. The open architecture of the Milestone software helped facilitate this request on short notice, and the rhino calf became an instant media darling on Danish prime-time television.

“We are dedicated to furthering the benefits of open platform software to video-enable business,” said Kenneth Hune Petersen, chief sales and marketing officer at Milestone Systems. “We have an excellent relationship with Copenhagen Zoo, and we look forward to developing new concepts that can further enhance the experience of parks in the future.”