Virry. Feed the Lion, bathe the Rhino

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Virry. Feed the Lion, bathe the Rhino App Poster Image
Live webcams and quizzes help kids learn about wildlife.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids will enjoy learning more about wild animals, what they eat, how they play, and how they care for their young. For those who don't have access to a zoo, it's a chance to see the animals up close and live via the video feeds, but there are also brief activities that engage kids in learning more.

Ease of Play

While many of the activities have plenty of verbal prompts, there are a few areas with no explanation and icons that are undefined. Some areas require a basic reading ability.

Violence & Scariness

The live feed may show animals eating other animals (already dead) or fighting.

Sexy Stuff

The live feed may show animals mating.

Language
Consumerism

It's not entirely clear from the layout and icons which items are included in the free app. Some that seem like they could be free (there's no "lock" icon) prompt for a subscription. There's a lot of pressure to subscribe, but no other ads. Subscriptions are blocked by a math problem involving addition, so it won't hold off most kids who are able to do this independently. Also, it's a auto-renewing subscription, so parents may not realize they have subscribed until it renews.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Virry. Feed the Lion, bathe the Rhino is an educational experience intended to teach kids about wild animals. It's most appropriate for young, school-aged kids who are reading at a basic level and who are already interested in animals. Most of the webcams are based in the Middle East, and time differences may affect which families can realistically enjoy the live feeds, but there are also recorded feeds. The "games" typically require kids to shake the device or yell at it, so be prepared. Kids can also share their images or diary entries with connected social media accounts. This, along with the subscription service, requires answering an addition problem as a parent gate. As always with anything "live," you can expect that it's possible to see animals engaging in their natural behaviors, including fighting and mating. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

VIRRY. FEED THE LION, BATHE THE RHINO combines live wildlife feeds with interactive learning videos to teach kids about how different animals play, eat, and engage with each other. Kids can learn about a wide range of animals, but the activities center on flamingos, orangutans, lions, meerkats, giraffes, and rhinoceroses. Kids can "help" feed the animals, give them toys, and otherwise engage. The videos also ask multiple-choice questions to teach kids more about what animals eat and why, how much they eat, how big they grow, and so on. Correct answers are rewarded with points, which help kids gain levels in the "Animal Friends Club." There are no tangible rewards, but kids might like to work their way from beginner to scientist. Kids can also take pictures of animals from the feeds to keep in a virtual diary. They can add their own notes about each scene, making it a useful activity for kids who might have a related school project. Later, they can share on enabled social media networks.

Is it any good?

Kids who are curious about wildlife will love watching the live feeds of animals going about their daily lives. Virry. Feed the Lion, bathe the Rhino has some wonderfully close-up cameras on wildlife, giving kids a clear and intimate view you can't always get at a zoo. It's a really unique approach to educating kids about animals, and it gives kids access they might not otherwise have. On the downside, app navigation isn't as friendly as it could be, and there are some icons and areas that kids may not know what to do with. There's also very little that can be done without a subscription, so the idea that it's a free app is misleading, but the overall cost isn't terribly high. Despite these drawbacks, it's worth trying for a month or so, especially if you have kids who are crazy about animals. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how much kids learned. Do you think Virry. Feed the Lion, bathe the Rhino is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What did you learn? 

  • How do you like this app as compared to other apps you could play? If you had or have limited screen time, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animals and science

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