So much to zoo online

Updated: Mar 26, 2020, 09:46 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

Zoological parks across the world are offering you a peak into their residents' lives from the comfort of your home through live streaming. These are our top four picks

The flipside to social distancing is missing out on enjoying the true spirit of summer. A big part of this involves spending time outside, in the bounty of nature. Zoos qualify as one such avenue and in accordance with government policy, they have shut down. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still pay a visit to the animals they house. We scoured places across the world with live streams of their enclosures and here are our best four picks.

India

White Tiger at AAZP
White Tiger at AAZP

Chennai’s Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP), famously known as the Vandalur Zoo, lets you watch 14 species in their enclosures including the white tiger, lion-tailed macaque and Indian gaur. You can only see the animal if it is in the display area. So, while we spotted the gaurs, the largest extant bovine species, eating their feed handed to them by officials, we missed out on a rare sight of the white tiger with black cubs. But we hope to see more Indian zoos
follow suit.

Log on to aazp.in

United Kingdom

Tanami at Edinburgh Zoo
Tanami at Edinburgh Zoo

Being one of the first zoos in the world to breed penguins, Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo houses gentoo, king and rockhopper penguins which can be seen on their live stream. While you can watch the tiger and a cuddly panda, we caught up with Tanami, the koala who was sleeping, because well, koalas are known to sleep between 18 to 22 hours a day — perhaps, they’d ace the social distancing game then. Tanami also got his own seat on a flight to Edinburgh Airport, when he arrived from Germany. What a champ!

Log on to edinburghzoo.org.uk

Australia

 Fiordland penguins
Fiordland penguins

Zoos Victoria, a conservation organisation comprising three Australian zoos, offers a streaming service that is hosted on YouTube. So, if you can’t spot an animal at the moment, you can move back in time to see if they made an appearance. You also get to adjust the video quality. We enjoyed saying hi to Ed, the Fiordland penguin who apparently loves being the centre of attention.

Log on to zoo.org.au/animal-house/

United States

Meerkats at Miami Zoo
Meerkats at Miami Zoo

Many American zoos including the Detroit Zoo and the Smithsonian National Zoological Park are offering streaming services but due to the time difference between India and the US, it is difficult to spot an animal during the day here. Therefore, we liked Miami Zoo’s MeerKam, which has a backward button to watch gregarious meerkats, omnivores from the mongoose family, running around and sliding in and out of burrows — it’s where you’ll notice their excellent excavation ability. ­

Log on to zoomiami.org

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