It goes without saying that we are living through unprecedented times right now. With the threat of coronavirus spreading far and wide, it can be tempting to panic, and that's before you consider the fact we're now all being encouraged to self-isolate and work from home. Staying home is without a doubt the smart, responsible thing to do, but keeping busy and entertained (as well as not letting the anxiety get to you) can at times seem downright impossible. There's hope on the horizon, though. Look no further than as these cute animal live streams for when you need a mental break from social distancing.
Not only will they help get your mind off things, they will also provide an unexpected source of entertainment, too. What is more adorable than penguins ambling about, more relaxing than jellyfish floating calmly by or pandas playing tricks?
Under current government recommendations, many zoos, aquariums and farms are currently closed but, as with most things, you can still enjoy the animals through the joy of the internet.
I'd recommend starting with Shedd Aquarium's roaming penguins, who have been allowed to take over the space in light of the closures. Then, move on to ongoing live streams, such as these seven I have picked out. Whether you're a huge polar bear fan or you fancy watching a family of mesmerising jelly fish for hours on end, there's something in here we can all enjoy.
Edinburgh Zoo's Penguins
Taking inspiration from Shedd Aquarium's heartwarming short videos of their penguins running wild during closures, I went on the hunt for an ongoing feed for penguin stans. Edinburgh Zoo's Live Penguin Cam gives an up close and personal view of the super cute fellas up in Scotland and could easily have you mesmerised all day long. (Just don't forget, you're supposed to be working from home).
Monterey Bay Aquarium's Jelly Cam
Question: is there anything more satisfying than watching jelly fish floating around in water? I highly, highly doubt it, and with this in mind, enter the Jelly Cam by Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. This one is ideal for night owls, as it begins at 4pm Pacific Time, which is 11pm in the UK. Forget Netflix, this is your perfect pre-bedtime soothing entertainment.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens' Online Safari
Cincinnati Zoo recently announced it would be running a Home Safari Facebook Live stream every weekday at 3pm (7pm over here). This primary reason for this action is to endure children are kept entertained through these uncertain times. So if you know any kids who can't seem to sit still, this may do the trick. (We're all children at heart, right?) Watch out for celebs; Fiona the Hippo has made quite the name for herself at the zoo.
Atlanta Zoo's Panda Cam
Folly Farm's Barnyard Animals
During these trying times, sometimes a nostalgic activity can take you back to the simpler times. Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire has a variety of live cams, but my favourite has to be the one which follows the adorable barnyard animals within the enclosure. These include sheep and goats, which will make you feel calmer within seconds.
Ouwehand Park Polar Bear Cubs
Seeing a happy, healthy polar bear is indeed a rare sight these days, thanks to climate change. But Ouwehand Zoo in The Netherlands treats viewers to round-the-clock footage of their Polar Bear cubs playing, eating, and chilling in their enclosure. While watching, I even saw two of them having a scrap. Or were they just hugging? Who knows; either way, it was wild.
Houston Zoo's Leafcutter Ant Cam
This may not seem like an obvious choice, but bear with me. Fans of films such as A Bug's Life and Antz will no doubt find Houston Zoo's Leafcutter Ant live cam pretty enticing, but it's not just for insect enthusiasts. Watching ants run around and build stuff together is actually amazing, and also reminds us that we, too, can get through anything if we just work as one. Cheesy? Yes. True? Absolutely.