Interact Digitally with Live Animals
Either before or after visiting a zoo, download this free kids' app for spectacular close-up filming of a lion. Winner of the 2015 People's Choice Webby Award for Best App for Kids and Family, Virry lets kids seemingly interact with real animals through the clever use of digital videos.
Free Part of this Zoo App
Kids meet Limun the Lion, and have an option of playing with her or watching her from a live feed camera in her habitat. To play with Limun, kids see her on video and then the film pauses while the app involves players in feeding Limun, playing ball with her, encouraging her to climb, and then putting her to sleep. For example, by tilting the iPad (or iPhone), kids can throw some raw meat on the ground. When they call the lion (using the device's microphone), she responds by pouncing on the meat.
Unlock Other Animals via Subscription
Playing with Limun is free, but the app also offers additional interactions with baby rhino Bubar, meerkats, and giraffes, and other animals which can be unlocked via in-app purchase of a subscription ranging from $2.99 for one month, $9.99 for six months, or $19.99 for one year. The animals are filmed from the Al Ain Zoo in the United Arab Emirates and other zoos around the world. The paid portion of the app also contains 16 other stunning animal videos filmed by wildlife documentarians who have worked for the BBC and Disney. It also offers daily updates from the live animal cameras at the Al Ain Zoo, which are featured as "Live Camera Highlights." Kids can save their favorite videos to a "My Favorite Videos" section of the app.
By letting kids observe wild animals up close, they learn about the animals' natural behaviors. By enabling players to virtually interact with and care for the animals, children learn nurturing skills as well as interesting facts about the animals.
The activities with the various animals use a variety of kids' senses. They will tilt and shake the iPad or iPhone, call out to the animals, and observe the animals to answer questions by sliding a decision bar in one direction or the other. Virry engages the child in learning by asking questions that require kids to compare themselves to the animals. It also shares conservation facts, such as that there are fewer rhinos now because poachers have been killing them for their horns.
The free portion of the app in which you interact with Limun is fascinating. We set the age-appropriateness at 5 years because kids can watch Limun climb a tree to get to a dangling raw chicken, which she then devours with gusto. The app developers are sensitive to kids' ability to handle this footage; so they warn the player that "yucky" stuff is coming and provide an option to skip that footage.
Virry is an app that offers additional content via a subscription. The free activities with the lion give you a sense of the high quality of this content. Playing and learning with the three other animals are equally as fun, making this subscription worth it. Bubar, the baby rhino is adorable, and kids will enjoy watching her antics and playing games with her (including building her a two-step mud puddle). The meerkat and giraffe sections are also great. Plus, the subscription also unlocks the ability to watch 16 other animal videos and highlights from the live cams operating at this zoo (this is useful, since it is frequently nighttime at the zoo when it is daylight in the United States).
is a great kids' app to explore before going to a zoo or animal park. It will be adored by kids who love animals.Bonus Tip
: Since this app is only available on iOS (including Apple TV), check out our list of Top Nature Apps for Kids
to find other fun animal apps, including some for Android. This kids' app review of Virry was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.