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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wild about the Zoo


With the American summer holidays fast approaching those in the northern hemisphere and the Australian winter driving us indoors, I thought I’d share one of my favorite activities: visiting the zoo.

For me, trips to the zoo are best done in Spring or Autumn. Not too hot, not to cold. But while I love trips to the zoo, sometimes it’s not always possible. Time and money and bad weather can often get in the way of a great day out. But there is a pretty cool solution to visiting the zoo with your kids without even leaving the comfort of our houses: visit the zoo online.

Zoos have fantastic resources to keep the kids amused, and some even have live web cam in animal enclosures. I’ve spent today surfing the web and I have to say I’m impressed. How often can you take a peek at the Chester Zoo in England when you’re half a world away? Zoo cam makes it easy. Here are some of the most interesting sites I’ve found today:

ourpandasAustralia: PANDA CAM at Adelaide Zoo

Recently, Adelaide Zoo in South Australia acquired two Giant Pandas: Wang Wang and Funi. They are part of the global Giant Panda breeding program.

http://www.giantpanda.org.au/index.php/pandacam.html


Baby Penguin Chester ZooUk: PENGUIN CAM at Chester Zoo


Chester Zoo also has webcams in their Flamingo and Giraffe enclosures.








Ireland: WOLF CAM at Dublin Zoo



Sea Otter Cam




Canada: SEA OTTER & SEA NETTLES CAM at Vancouver Aquarium

http://www.vanaqua.org/learn/see-and-learn/live-cams/sea-otter-cam





So, if you’re frequently at a loss for finding quiet ways to entertain your kids through the holidays, or are an animal fan yourself, be sure to bookmark this post. The Japanese Sea Nettles are lovely to watch. 

Remember, the web cams are all operating in real time so you’ll need a rough idea of when its daylight at that zoo before you settle in to watch. Another activity for the kids to research perhaps?

Do you have other entertainment sites that your kids love to visit? If so, please share them in the comments section and spread the resources to other parents.

21 comments:

  1. Wow, this is great! Thanks for sharing. My daughter loves to go to the zoo, but it's already getting too hot to go here in Texas (and it's not even June yet). This will help a lot!

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    1. No problem. I hope they provide you with a little bit of peace one day.

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  2. Heather,
    This is great! I never thought to check for webcams at zoos. My daughter is writing a report on koalas for school. I wonder if we can find a webcam that shows them in action. We'll have to do a search. This sounds like a nice activity to keep my daughter entertained for a little while this summer when I'm finishing up documentation from my job.

    My son enjoys watching "Life After People" on Netflix. It shows what would happen to buildings, roads, and even zoo animals if people weren't around to maintain things. He likes science related shows.

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    1. I don't recall seeing one for a Koala. Sorry I can't help with that. I did see one for a platypus, but since they are timid creatures I wasn't sure if it would be very exciting.

      I remember watching a show similar to Life after people. All of our structures were gone so very quickly, overtaken by vegetation. Kinda depressing.

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  3. What a great idea, Heather! We love, love, love the zoo! We go to our local one alllllllll the time! But never thought to turn on the webcams so she can watch the animals at home. Brilliant!! :)

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    1. I do wish we lived closer to Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Sadly they don't have any zoo cams that I could see. But it is a great day out and we might go this July.

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  4. Heather,

    I wish they would have had these, or I had known about them, a few years back. My kids would have enjoyed them. Excellent idea!

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    1. My thoughts too. My eldest child, out of school, watched the wolves with me yesterday and seemed impressed. Thanks for dropping in.

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  5. I had no idea that the zoos had websites that were so interactive! Thanks for sharing that, Heather. I love the idea of zoo cams. We might have to find one that my Nephew Monster will love. He loves watching cat videos on the 'puter. Maybe now he'll love watching other animals live on the 'puter.

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    1. Zoos are pretty cool these days. I'm a huge fan of a NZ made Zoo program that airs here. They do wonderful work.

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  6. I love visiting the zoo. It's really great when you can get a glimpse of cute babies. Last year, our state zoo had baby ocelots.
    This year I'm thinking of adding the Aquarium to our list of visiting places. I always loved seeing all the colorful fish.

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    1. Sydney has an aquarium that is floating in/on the harbor. You walk down all these ramps until you're under the surface of Sydney Harbor and the fish/ turtles/ sharks swim over the top of you. I'm not so fond of the sharks but the rest is wonderful.

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  7. Oh do I have to admit it. I walk our local zoo at least 3/4 days a week.I'm addicted to it. I love love giraffes and can spend hours watching them. San Diego, Toledo, the National Zoo and Houston all have fantastic cams.

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    1. You visit a zoo 3 to 4 times a week? How cool would that be! I want your life!!!!!

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  8. I love the zoo. We use to go at least three times a year to the San Diego zoo when we lived in Cali. However, the closest zoo is now in Idaho. It this is so exciting to check something like that out.

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    1. I only manage the zoo about once a year but it's always a full day out. Exhausting but fun. Enjoy the links

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  9. Heather,
    We took our, ahem, bears to the zoo on spring break. We can't go too often because of distance and money, but the kids love it! They'll be so excited to visit the links you've provided. :) Thanks!

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    1. Yay, another happy parent, and hopefully happier kids this summer. :)

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  10. I remember going on school trips to the Bronx and Central Park zoos. When I visited my cousin in Michigan last year visited the Detroit and Toledo zoo. When they come visit they also go with the kids to the Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs.

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    1. Hmm, I'm wondering if the Museum of Natural History, or others like it, have similar online resources. Must check them out too. Thanks for the idea.

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  11. Oh Heather, I love these! We're headed to the zoo soon. Maybe by the end of summer. I can't wait because my 4 yr old hasn't been yet so I know he'd love it. This great stuff and I can't wait to show him now!

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