Explore More: 10 zoos, aquariums to visit from your couch
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — From elephants to giraffes, sharks to seahorses, the world’s zoos and aquariums have so much to show us. And the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped those places from providing field trips and fun for everyone quarantining at home.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
- Overview: The Cincinnati Zoo is home to the world famous, social media celebrity Fiona, the hippo. Born premature, Fiona’s journey to adulthood is still chronicled on the zoo’s social media pages often through new updates showcasing her spunky personality. But Fiona isn’t the only thing the Cincinnati Zoo has to offer. As the second oldest zoo in the U.S., Cincinnati is considered one of the top conservation zoos in the country through its breeding programs for endangered animals and plants. And with COVID-19 happening, they are providing at-home, virtual tours and crafts for kids.
- What to see: At 1 p.m., visit the Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook page for a live Home Safari highlighting one of their amazing animals and an activity that can be done at home. If you happen to miss the Facebook Live, they upload everything to their YouTube channel afterwards.
San Diego Zoo
- Overview: The San Diego Zoo has been voted the No. 1 zoo in the world more than once, and they’re well known for their rhino breeding program and 22 years of research into pandas. They’ve also managed to stand out from other zoos with their long list of at-home experiences during their pandemic closure, including fun Zoom backgrounds for those stuck in long meetings.
- What to see: If you need a break from a long day of work or schooling, click on San Diego Zoo’s webcams, which range from baboons to tigers and a little bit of everything in between.
- Overview: There is something special about those zoos you consider your “home” zoos, and the Denver Zoo is one of those for those of us in Colorado.
- What to see: The Denver Zoo received a surprise during the COVID-19 pandemic, a greater one-horned rhino calf named Joona. She’s already captured hearts on social media, and now, you can watch her live through the Denver Zoo’s baby rhino cam. They are also providing multiple activities for kids, including a make-your-own scavenger hunt.
- Overview: The Dallas Zoo has distinguished itself from other zoos with its highly successful okapi — the only cousin of giraffes — breeding program. If you see an okapi in any U.S. zoo, they most likely came from the Dallas program. But the Dallas Zoo is focused primarily on conservation, keeping a majority of their animals off exhibit because the zoo is focused mainly on breeding and learning more about various species. The zoo offers multiple at-home videos, including Birding with Ben, Zoo It At Home and more.
- What to see: The Dallas Zoo’s Bring the Zoo to You campaign invites visitors to learn more about a specific animal with a zookeeper. So far, you can learn about lions, penguins and okapis.
- Overview: In the midst of the concrete jungle itself, the Bronx Zoo lets New Yorkers escape into a different kind of jungle filled with wild animals and even free-roaming peacocks. The Bronx Zoo is the star of Animal Planet’s hit show, “The Zoo.” While closed, the zoo is offering virtual tours for everyone to find their own escape within their own quarantine jungle.
- What to see: The Bronx Zoo’s Instagram is jam packed with videos of their animals, but if you find yourself on their website, scroll down their virtual zoo page to find their Bronx Zoodles Drawing Tutorials. Learn how to draw your favorite animals and share the drawings using the #BronxZoodles hashtag. Webcams are also available but be sure to catch them before 2 p.m. when the zoo turns them off so the animals can relax at closing time.
- Overview: Take a step away from the plains of Africa and take a dip in the ocean by visiting the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. The Georgia Aquarium has a whale shark in its massive tanks along with thousands of other fish. Their doors being closed has not stopped them from opening up for the world through their online webcams and kids activities.
- What to see: Yes, you can see fish, Beluga whales, piranhas and really cute puffins, but if you want to just watch something relaxing, click on the jelly webcam. Watching the jellyfish float gracefully in the water will put you in a true meditative state.
- Overview: If you missed the multiple videos of two penguins taking people on a tour of the Shedd Aquarium, you’ve missed one of the cutest virtual tours you can take from home. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has made social media the new place to visit their aquarium, but live 360 webcams for two exhibits, Underwater Beauty and Keep Sharks Swimming, are also available. The aquarium is also hosting daily talks for those wanting to learn a little bit more about ocean creatures.
- What to see: The penguins are still quite active around the aquarium and other places in Chicago. Visit the aquarium’s Facebook and Instagram pages to see more.
- Overview: The Chester Zoo is the most visited zoo in the United Kingdom and committed to ending extinction even with its doors closed. This zoo has gone all out on its learning resources offering activities, Facebook Live videos and all-day virtual tours.
- What to see: If you’re struggling to get your kids interested in school work or just want to help them take a break with something fun, try out the animal fact files from the Chester Zoo. These are best for children ages 7 and older.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
- Overview: If you find yourself roaming through more channels than normal, you may have stumbled upon the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on National Geographic’s “Secrets of the Zoo.” The zoo is world-renowned for many of exhibits, but its star is The Wilds area that is treated like an actual safari for visitors. Webcams and virtual tours are available if the show doesn’t fill that itch to visit.
- What to see: Webcams are live for Discovery Reef Aquarium and the bonobos, but don’t miss out on other vides found on the zoo’s YouTube Channel.
- Overview: If you Google zoos doing virtual anything, Zoo Atlanta will pop up. Why might you ask? Well, because of their world-famous panda cam, which is still going strong during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The zoo is also the primary U.S. partner for a new mobile game, Wildeverse, that brings the jungle into your home.
- What to see: If you’re going to visit Zoo Atlanta virtually, you have to visit the PandaCam. There is nothing quite like watching two cute pandas enjoy time in their habitat.
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