SCE&G ZooView offers Virtual Visits to Riverbanks Zoo exhibits
Contact:
Public Affairs
(800) 562-9308

Rachel Beanland
(803) 779-8717
rbeanland@riverbanks.org  

May 2, 2006, Columbia, SC, - South Carolina Electric & Gas Company's state-of-the-art webcam, which has been focused on Riverbanks Zoo and Garden's Koala Knockabout for the last year, will go walkabout beginning May 4, with a year's worth of stops planned throughout the Zoo.

"The next 12 months should be eye-opening to say the least," said Satch Krantz, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden's executive director. "We're excited about this camera giving guests a unique view of the Zoo."

The ZooView camera, which has already won international awards, has spent the last year zooming in on Riverbanks' koalas. In light of the popularity of what many guests are now calling the "Koala Cam," Riverbanks and SCE&G are ready to let the camera showcase a broader slice of the Zoo's collection.

Starting Thursday, May 4, the camera will be installed inside the Bird House's Penguin Coast exhibit where the air is a chilly 50 degrees and 26 penguins will be busy showing off. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., penguin enthusiasts can visist a number of different Web sites to check in on the Antarctic birds: www.scegzooview.com, www.riverbanks.org and www.wltx.com. During the evening hours when the exhibit darkens to accommodate the penguins' sleeping schedule, video will replace the live feed.

Penguins enthusiasts should pay particular attention to key times of the day when the exhibit will be extremely busy. Feedings at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. promise lots of driving, splashing and even a little pushing and shoving for fish. Keepers go on exhibit to clean up after the birds between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and again at 2 p.m.

"Our penguins are great animals to feature on the webcam, especially because they're so active," said Krantz. "Checking out the webcam is the next best thing to being at the Zoo."

Tune int to WLTX at 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 4, for the penguins' opening day. The ZooView webcam will focus on Riverbanks' penguins through May 31. On June 1, the camera makes the move to Riverbanks' white alligator, a very rare leucistic reptile that has not yet gone on display to the public.

The schedule for the next 12 months includes the following stops:

June 1 White alligator
July 6 Tigers
August 3 Lions
September 7 Grizzly Bears
October 5 Sea Lions
November 2 Gorillas
December 7 Meerkats
January 4 Elephants
February 8 Giraffes
March 8 Koalas
April 5 Siamangs
May 3 Lorikeets


To learn more about Riverbanks' penguins or to watch their antics online starting May 4, visit http://www.scegzooview.com/, http://www.riverbanks.org/ or http://www.wltx.com/. For more information, call (803) 779-8717.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is located at I-126 and Greystone Boulevard near downtown Columbia. The Botanical Garden entrance is located in West Columbia off Hwy. 378 at Botanical Parkway. Hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and the zoo is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is $8.75 for adults, $6.25 for children ages 3-12 and free for children under three. Group rates and other discounts may apply. For more information, call Riverbanks at (803) 779-8717 or visit http://www.riverbanks.org/.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 613,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 294,000 customers in 34 counties in the state. Information about SCE&G is available on the company's web site at http://www.sceg.com/.