FaceTime a Hippo, Livestream a South African Safari, and Frolick with Sea Otters Over the Long Weekend

Even though we might be coming to the end of the mandated Circuit Breaker here in Singapore, a lot of us may still have to stay home most of the time — this means finding more ways to keep our off time occupied after work or school. And what could be better than spending a few hours at the zoo from home?

Since the start of the global pandemic, a lot of zoos and aquariums around the world have been temporarily shut to help curb the spread of the virus and though they may not be operating as usual, zookeepers around the world have been keeping us updated with their animals’ activities using live cams and live streams that we can enjoy at home. Some locations such as the Sumida Aquarium even allowed virtual interaction with their shy eels via FaceTime during the first week of May.  

Whether it is to relieve stress or boredom, here’s where you and your family can watch the live footages of zoo animals around the world.


Fiona the Hippo from the Cincinnati Zoo. (Image courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo)

Since closing their doors in late March, the Cincinnati Zoo located in Ohio had introduced their own version of a Home Safari Show via Facebook Live which features a different animal in each episode alongside an educational kids activity that you can do with your child at home. The first episode of the series featured the famous hippo Fiona during feeding time!

Aside from their live streams, the Cincinnati Zoo is also offering the opportunity for you to get some real one-on-one face time with their animals in a 15-minute Zoom call. The available animals include Cheetahs, Red Pandas, Giraffes, Goats, and Fiona the Hippo! The once in a lifetime opportunity does come with a rather hefty price tag (USD$700) though all proceeds will go straight to the zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund. Interested participants can click here for the full list of animals involved.

Timing of the Livestream: Every weekday, 3pm (EST) / 3am (SGT)

You can catch the live stream here or view past episodes of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Home Safari here from their official Facebook page.


Sea Otters from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. (Image courtesy of Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Who would have thought that watching jellyfishes bobbing around, or sea otters frolicking about can actually have a soothing effect? The Californian Monterey Bay Aquarium provides not only regular live cams of their jellyfish and sharks set to music but they’ve also got some of their staff members to narrate Facebook Live videos of their fishes, sea otters and other creatures while answering viewers’ questions to give those watching a bit of context as to what’s happening in the tanks.

Timing of the Livestream Narrated Feedings:
🍽️ Every weekday, 11am (PDT) / 2am (SGT) – Open Sea
🍽️ Every weekday, 1.30pm (PDT) / 4.30am (SGT) – Sea Otters
🍽️ Tuesday & Thursday, 10am (PDT) / 1am (SGT) – Kelp Forest
🍽️ Tuesday & Thursday, 3pm (PDT) / 6am (SGT) – Penguins

Timing of the Live Cams:
📹 7am to 5pm (PT) / 10pm to 8am (SGT) – Penguin Cam
📹 7am to 6pm (PT) / 10pm to 9am (SGT) – Jelly Cam
📹 7am to 7pm (PT) / 10pm to 10am (SGT) – Aviary Cam, Kelp Forest Cam, Moon Jelly Cam, Open Sea Cam, Sea Otter Cam, Shark Cam
📹  9.30am to 5pm (PT) / 12.30am to 8am (SGT) – Coral Reef Cam
📹 24 hours – Monterey Bay Cam

You can view the complete list of live cams here on their official site, or watch past video recordings of narrated feedings here from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s official Facebook page.


A wild leopard on an African Safari. (Image courtesy of Wild Earth)

If you’ve always been curious as to what goes on in a real-life African Safari, Wild Earth would be a great outlet for you to get an insight into real-time wildlife behaviour. The platform hosts live streams twice-daily during sunrise and sunset, with their partnered safaris in South Africa. Each stream features an expert guide who takes you through the experience to search for animals on foot, in safari vehicles, with drones, balloons, rovers and remote webcams, as well as answer questions from the comments section.

Safaris featured as part of Wild Earth (located in the North-East corner of South Africa):
🦁 Djuma Private Game Reserve
🦁 Chitwa Chitwa
🦁 &beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve

Timing of the Livestreams:
📹 7.30am to 10.30am (EAT) / 12.30pm to 3.30pm (SGT) – Sunrise Safari
📹 4pm to 9pm (EAT) / 9pm to 2am (SGT) – Sunset Safari

You can view the daily live stream here or view past video recordings here from Wild Earth’s official Facebook page.


Koala Bears from the San Diego Zoo. (Image courtesy of the San Diego Zoo)

Home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals, the San Diego Zoo in California offers a number of live cams featuring koalas, giraffes and polar bears. The good thing about their live videos is that even if you missed the window of the live feed, you’ll still get to watch the day’s footage when the live stream for the day has stopped. In addition to the variety of live cams, the zoo also hosts special live streams on their Facebook page which features different animals during their feeding time and playtime.

Timing of the Live Cams: 7.30am to 7.30pm (PT) / 10.30pm to 10.30am (SGT)

You can view the complete list of live cams here on their official site, or view past recordings of live stream videos here from the San Diego Zoo’s official Facebook page.


A Panda Bear from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. (Image courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute)

Though you may not be able to catch Kai Kai and Jia Jia at the River Safari anytime soon, you can still get a look at pandas in real-time from the Washington D.C. Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The zoo has prepared two panda cams which you can toggle back and forth any time of the day to get a glimpse of their giant pandas — Tian Tian and Mei Xiang.

Timing of the Live Cams: 24 hours

You can view the Panda Cams here on the official Smithsonian’s National Zoo site.


Whale Sharks from the Ocean Voyager Exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium. (Image courtesy of Georgia Aquarium)

Remember that oh-so-cute video of the puppies that roamed an aquarium that went viral? Well, that very location is the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta which offers a variety of live cams of their land and marine life from California Sea Lions to Southern Sea Otters and Whale Sharks and Piranhas.

Timing of the Live Cams: 8am to 9pm (EST) / 8pm to 9am (SGT)

You can view the complete list of live cams here on their official site, or view past video recordings of the live cams here from the Georgia Aquarium’s official Facebook page.


Orangutans at the Singapore Zoo. (Image courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

Though the Singapore Zoo may not have any live cams or live stream available, they do have frequent updates of pre-recorded videos that are both educational and insightful such as their A Day in a Life of videos and their Keeping Up with the Keepers series. 

Just recently, the Singapore Zoo had also come up with Hello From the Wild Side, an initiative that will run from 18 to 31 May where you can get your own personalised wildlife session with the animals and their care team via a video call. The virtual session was so well-received that as of today, all slots have already been completely filled. Even though there may be no availability at the moment, do keep an eye on their Facebook page for the possibility of additional sessions! 

You can view the complete list of videos available here on the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Facebook page.



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