A message of hope has surfaced for all those feeling doom and gloom as much of the world grinds to a halt and people everywhere shut themselves away to contain the rapidly spreading coronavirus: two penguins were allowed to run rampant at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and we can all watch and rejoice in their wobbly adventures.
A video of Edward and Annie waddling where visitors would otherwise be found went viral on Monday, a reminder of sorts that we too will eventually be released from our social isolation—or perhaps just that we really should have appreciated penguins more when we had the chance to go visit them.
Zoos and aquariums across the country are offering us other such reminders as they work to keep us connected to their habitats via live webcams. You can check in on the world famous hippo Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo, watch luminous jellyfish pulse and glide underwater at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or watch koalas hanging from trees at the San Diego Zoo.
Whether you’re fighting cabin fever or stuck in your apartment and craving contact with the natural world, here are a few of the best animal live streams to keep you company while you practice social distancing.
Fiona the hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, which has closed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, is offering a “Home Safari” Facebook live video series that features a 3-year-old hippo named Fiona. The livestream will kick off at 3 p.m. EST every weekday and will include a fun activity for kids staying home from school.
Explore.org Live Nature Cams
Explore.org provides an entire collection of livestreams featuring elephants, bald eagles, lions, monkeys, and other animals across the globe. You can watch safari animals in Africa, polar bears in Alaska, or sharks in Long Beach, California.
Big Bear Bald Eagle Cam
Friends of Big Bear Valley, a nonprofit organization that helps preserve and protect the valley in San Bernardino National Forest, Southern California, has live camera footage of a bald eagle nest. You can watch the eagles circle in and out of their natural habitat overlooking the valley.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The national zoo, located in Washington D.C., provides 24/7 webcam streams for naked mole rats, lions, giant pandas, elephants, and more.
The Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo has several interactive live streams available that allow you to control the focus of the camera and move it around the screen with a button in the lower righthand corner.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers several live cameras of its wildlife haven, showing beloved animals such as elephants, apes, condors, and baboons in their natural worlds. The zoo also recently added cameras for giraffes and owls.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo, which is home to more than 3,500 animals and 700,000 exotic plants, offers a collection of live videos that will let you tune in and watch their inhabitants in real time.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium
This nonprofit aquarium in California has 10 live cameras to watch and be soothed by the fascinating and vast underwater world, including coral reefs, leopard sharks, and joyful sea otters.