Watch together, grow together

Hugo Vizcaya-Zingg
July 1, 2022

How Zoolife lets anyone connect with, delight in, and protect the world’s wildlife.

Where the connection with wildlife began

In the light of a worldwide pandemic that has left millions of people disconnected and alone at home, streaming platforms have sought ways to bring others together while providing ways to reestablish core parts of our everyday lives: mental health, nature, sociability. Zoolife saw an opportunity to house the connection with wildlife and humans that had not only suffered with many zoos’ closure, but had been limited by factors that were present long before the pandemic: distance, cost and accessibility. Zoolife’s mission was to expand access to deeper connections with wildlife and to reconnect with nature and mental health – core values that were lost with at-home isolation.

Streaming services experienced a critical boost in viewership and engagement during the pandemic with the total number of subscriptions surpassing 1 billion across dozens of services by the first half of 2020. During this time, Zoolife’s team saw an opportunity to redefine the streaming experience, especially for wildlife, to make it not only more empathetic for the animals but emphasize sharing and connection with fellow wildlife lovers. This experiment started on Twitch, where the concept of crowd-controlled livestreams had already become popular with series such as “Twitch Plays Pokemon.” Zoolife and Toronto Zoo partnered to stream the baby giraffe, Amani, for everyone around the world to watch and connect with her as she grew up. It was here that the prototype of Zoolife was built, where the cameras are controlled entirely by the crowd and zookeepers interacted live with their virtual audience to answer questions. Most importantly, viewers were given a chance to subscribe to the livestream, donate to the zoo and have a front row seat to an unfiltered and unforgettable glimpse into Amani’s world like no one had ever seen.

Zoolife’s first prototype streaming Amani the giraffe on Twitch

And where the connection with wildlife has gone

With popularity booming on Twitch, Zoolife decided to expand its concept beyond the Giraffe Camera and partnered with the Toronto Zoo to bring more habitats to its audience. On April 22, 2021 — Earth Day — we launched the world’s first interactive and virtual wildlife stream with the intention of expanding access to wildlife and supporting conservation efforts on a scale it hadn’t before. Building our own platform allowed us to create  a more personalized user experience with interactivity scaled to improve the connection between audience and wildlife!

One of the key differentiators of Zoolife is its ability to stimulate a real and unfiltered connection between its users and the streamed animals. The ability to control the cameras to zoom all the way to the giraffe’s eyelashes, and to move the camera to follow the gorillas as they run around their habitat, enabled our users to observe real time and uncurated animal behaviors. In addition, adding animal cards on each habitat with the animals names and behaviors, as well as having live talks by the zookeepers and volunteers who attend to those specific animals, established a more authentic and emotional connection with the animals than any other streaming platform.

What sets Zoolife apart is the focus on building a meaningful connection and supporting conservation, each feature has been purposefully designed with the intention of promoting access to wildlife and conservation efforts. Each live talk is meant to spread awareness about why and how to support conservation. Even the cameras themselves have been located to provide a real-time glimpse into each habitat, where users entirely control the content they are watching without any curation or filter, providing the closest angle to watch animals’ behavior that they won’t find anywhere else. Ever wonder what gorillas do when no one’s looking? Zoolife’s cameras will show you!

Watching the gorillas on Zoolife’s streaming platform, with much smoother controls compared to the first prototype

And where will this connection go?

With a focus on providing its audience a meaningful connection with wildlife, Zoolife has only grown and continues with its conservation and connection mission first – our ambition has always been to be the #1 online destination to connect with and protect the world’s wildlife. Today, Zoolife features over 25 animals with thousands of hours spent every month watching them by viewers who have helped conservation efforts led by our partners grow tremendously, both these numbers continue to grow as Zoolife continues to add more habitats and value for each subscriber.

Not only that, but we have expanded what our audience to include: teachers have resources to help their class learn more about animal behaviors, senior homes have streams to engage their residents and provide a new emotional connection, and every wildlife lover has a new way to unwind and relax from everyday’s stress with their favorite animals on screen!

We value being a force for good. 50% of every dollar goes to wildlife care and conservation efforts led by our partners, be it their alligators, condors or tigers! Viewers can make a meaningful impact on their favorite habitats, zoos or animals just by streaming, a feature unique to Zoolife. Together, we are building a future where we share a deeper connection to wildlife every day.

To be part of this exciting connection, check out and learn more about the journey ahead!