35+ Calming Live Animal Cams That Bring the World’s Wildlife to You

35+ Calming Live Animal Cams That Bring the World's Wildlife to You

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Whether it’s the fluid movements of a jellyfish or the antics of an ape, observing wildlife can reduce stress. As life in America enters into unprecedentedly worrying times, tune into these live animal cams for a bit of zen.

Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces, but the sound of waves lapping at the beach is the most soothing sound in the world. And I could watch fish swim all day long without a care in the world. 

But because I live in the most landlocked state in the union (the Sunflower State of Kansas), it’s hard to get my fix at home. That’s why I often have ocean sounds playing in the background while I write or have live camera feeds of aquariums on my second computer screen. 

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed (or just need a little wild in your life), then check out these live animal camera feeds from around the world.

    

Alligators

American Alligator
An American alligator watches me carefully from the water

While many kids prefer cuddly animals, like giant panda bears and puppies, my daughter Charlotte has always loved alligators. If you can relate, then you’ll love this live camera feed from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida.

Watch Alligators

Apes

A baby chimpanzee catches a ride
A baby chimpanzee catches a ride

Focused on the orangutans and siamangs that make their home at the San Diego Zoo, this live animal cam brings you apish antics in real-time. And in case you’re wondering about siamangs, they are black gibbons found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. (Yes, I had to Google it.)

Watch Apes

Fun Fact: The fastest way to tell the difference between an ape and a monkey is to look for a tail. Like humans, apes don’t have tails. But, most monkey species do. You can read more about the differences here.

Baboons

Baboon
Watch baboons on this live webcam from the San Diego Zoo. Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

If you prefer primates with tails, then observe two types of baboons living at the San Diego Zoo — hamadryas and gelada (although the gelada “baboon” isn’t technically a baboon). Here’s how to tell the two species apart when you watch this live camera feed: Hamadryas have distinctive skin-like red faces and rear ends while geladas sport their scarlet-colored skin patch on their chests.

Watch Baboons

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Bald Eagles

Watch bald eagles on this zoo cam
A bald eagle at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in Montana

When it comes to watching the world-renowned American emblem online, I can recommend two live animal cams. Just north of me in the neighboring state of Iowa, the Raptor Resource Project in Decorah has a live camera feed on a bald eagle nest. Or you can travel to Florida and look in on the eagle’s nest at the Marco Island Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary.

Watch Bald Eagles in Decorah

Watch Bald Eagles in Florida

Beluga Whales

Beluga Whales at the Mystic Aquarium
Beluga whales at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. Image by nikkikeldsen from Pixabay

If you’d prefer to leave the skies and dive underwater instead, watch putty-colored beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

Watch Beluga Whales

Bison

Bison Calf
Aren't bison calves seriously the cutest?!?

Hundreds of years ago, before Europeans migrated to the “new” world, herds of bison roamed North America. The continent’s biggest land mammal was nearly extinct when the Smithsonian Institution’s chief taxidermist, William Temple Hornaday, founded the National Zoo, in large part to save them from extinction. If you enjoy watching the wooly beasts graze on tall grass, then this live animal cam from the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois is for you!

Watch Bison

Bobcats

Bobcat
This bobcat lives at the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri

When I was finishing college at Kansas State University, I lived near Sunset Zoo. And every time I took a long walk or went for a run, I seemed to find myself stopping by the bobcat’s cage. Today, I feel lucky to live in a neighborhood where bobcats occasionally stroll through my yard. And when I want to be sure to see the slightly-larger-than-domesticated-cat creatures, I tune into the Big Cat Rescue’s bobcat feed

A word of warning about this live animal feed: Because this sanctuary helps bobcats that can be rehabilitated enter the wild, you may occasionally see them feasting on small animals like mice and rabbits. 

Watch Bobcats

Brown Bears

Speaking of animals chowing down, listen to white water rapids flowing over a waterfall while watching brown bears fish for their salmon supper in this live animal camera feed from the Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

Fun Fact:  If a brown bear lives along the coast, it’s typically called a brown bear. But brown bears that live inland, like in Montana and Wyoming, are known as grizzlies. Grizzly bears are essentially a subspecies of brown bears.

Watch Brown Bears

Dolphins

Dolphin
Is it just me, or do dolphins always look like they're smiling? Image by Claudia Beer from Pixabay

If you enjoyed Dolphin Tale, then you’ll want to check out the live animal camera feeds from Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida. Check in on Winter, Hope, and PJ via several zoned web cameras.

Watch Dolphins

Fish

Jellyfish

Watch a variety of colorful saltwater fish swim past coral and dart in and out of rocks in this live feed from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. Or, if a kelp forest is more your thing, watch fish, sharks, eels, and other ocean dwellers in this zoo cam.

If you find relaxation in the pumping, breaststroke motion of a jellyfish, then check out the zoo cams pointed at jellies at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta or the Pacific sea nettles at the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia.

Watch Saltwater Fish

Watch a Kelp Forest

Watch Jellies

Watch Pacific Sea Nettles

Elephants

Jazmin is an Asian elephant at the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo
I took this photo of Jazmin, a baby Asian elephant, taking a dust bath. She lives at the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo in New Mexico.

When you watch wildlife at home, go big by gazing upon the earth’s largest land mammals through these live animal cams. In the nation’s capital, see Asian elephants in Washington, DC. Or, look in on a herd of African elephants at the San Diego Zoo.

Watch Asian Elephants

Watch African Elephants

Giraffes

Juliette Feeds a Giraffe at the Phoenix Zoo
Juliette feeds a giraffe at the Phoenix Zoo

Standing 14 to 19 feet tall, these long-necked, tree-eating herbivores are my daughter Juliette’s favorite animal (which seems appropriate since she’s my tallest kiddo). Check in on the giraffes at the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina — in the giraffe barn or out in the paddock — through this live animal camera feed. (And since giraffes don’t sleep much, there’s a good chance they’re up when you are too stressed to sleep!)

Watch Giraffes in the Barn

Watch Giraffes in the Paddock

Grizzly Bears

Grizzly Bear in Montana
This grizzly bear lives at a sanctuary in Montana.

While grizzly bears are native to Alaska, Canada, and the Yellowstone-Teton National Park area, this live animal camera feed is focused on grizzlies at the Reid Park Zoo in Tuscon, Arizona. Like the giraffe live camera feed, you can observe the grizzly bears on two zoo web cameras by toggling between the two options at the top of the zoo cam page.

Watch Grizzly Bears

Hummingbirds

Watch hummingbirds on live animal cams
Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the animal kingdom

In contrast to the majestic American bald eagle, hummingbirds are small and delicate. Log into this live animal feed to look at a hummingbird nest and feeder in La Verne, California, when you need a feathered friend.

Watch Hummingbirds

Koalas

Watch koalas on live animal cams

If you’ve ever watched your newborn child sleep for an extended period of time, your heart spilling over with love, then you understand the fascination of watching koalas on zoo web cameras. These cuddly-looking creatures from Down Under typically sleep between 18 and 22 hours a day, a feat that almost puts my big, fat orange tomcat to shame (key word: almost).

Watch Koalas

Lemurs

Watch lemurs on live animal cams
Want to watch lemurs? Here's where you see the on a zoo cam. Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

Looking like a cross between a monkey and a raccoon, lemurs are primates native to the island of Madagascar. Observe their antics via live camera feed at the Reid Park Zoo in Arizona. 

Watch Lemurs

Lions

Here's where to watch lions on live animal cams
This handsome king of the jungle makes his home at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio.

Channel your inner Simba and be crowned king of the jungle by watching the live animal cams pointed at these fierce cats. See them at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, at the University of North Alabama in Florence, or at the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.

Watch Lions in DC

Watch Lions in Alabama

Watch Lions in Tampa

Meerkats

Watch meerkats on live animal cams
A meerkat is a small mongoose native to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana

And I can’t mention meerkats without a nod to The Lion King’s Timon. Tune into the Zoo Miami live streaming webcam to see if their meerkats are as sassy as the famed animated version.

Watch Meerkats

Pandas

Giant Panda at Zoo Atlanta
Giant Panda at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia

If you loved the television series Madam Secretary, then you know that Chief of Staff Russell Jackson tuned into the National Zoo’s panda cam to try to reduce his stress, lower his blood pressure, and keep another heart attack at bay. You can also spot the adorable black-and-white Chinese natives on the Zoo Atlanta panda cam.

Watch Giant Pandas at the National Zoo

Watch Giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta

Penguins

A penguin enjoying the penguin march at the KC Zoo
Both penguins and zoo visitors enjoy the penguin march at the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri.

From the first time I saw the animated version dance with Mary Poppins on the big screen, I’ve loved watching penguins. Fortunately, there are several zoo web cameras that will let me watch them at any time. Catch African penguins at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco where three live webcams are focused on their colony. Or check out the gentoo penguins at the Kansas City Zoo in my hometown.

Watch African Penguins

Watch Gentoo Penguins

Polar Bears

Watch polar bears on live animal cams
The Albuquerque BioPark Zoo is home to two playful polar bears, brothers Koluk and Kiska

Cute and cuddly as a Coca-Cola mascot, but fierce as heck in real life, polar bears are pretty cool to watch on zoo cams. Travel to the San Diego Zoo to watch polar bears or stay with me here in the Midwest where Berlin the polar bear is my youngest daughter’s favorite animal.

Watch Polar Bears in San Diego

Watch Polar Bears in Kansas City

Puffins

Watch puffins on live animal cams
About 60% of the world's puffins live near Iceland.

To me, puffins look like penguins that got smooshed to pint size. If you want to mix up your at-home bird watching, then travel to the Georgia Aquarium where you can observe these seabirds diving into and paddling around the water.

Watch Puffins

Rhinos

Mother and baby rhino at the Cincinnati Zoo
When I took this photo of a mother rhino and her baby at the Cincinnati Zoo, I though the mom had a "You wake her, you take her" air about her that mimicked most human mothers.

With their pointed keratin horns, rhinos remind me of a less threatening triceratops. To watch these critically endangered African creatures go about their day, check out the Houston Zoo’s live webcam.

Watch Rhinos

Sea Otters

Sea Otters near Whaler's Cove at Point Lobos in California
A mother and baby sea otter snuggle at naptime near Whaler's Cove at Point Lobos in California.

With her soft, silky fur and playful demeanor, my long-haired Siamese cat sometimes reminds me of a sea otter (well, if she liked water and didn’t sleep 22 hours a day). Part of the mink family, these adorable sea mammals were nearly hunted to extinction in the 1800s, but today you can watch sea otters that are unable to live in the wild on the Monterey Aquarium’s live cams.  

Watch Sea Otters

Pro Tip:  These six places along the West Coast are the best places to spot sea otters in the wild.

Tigers

A tiger stalks the photographer at Zoo Atlanta
A gorgeous tiger at Zoo Atlanta

With their black-and-orange striped coats and intense gazes, tigers are gorgeous members of the big cat clan. Watch them at the San Diego Zoo’s live webcam.

Watch Tigers

Wolves

Watch Gray Wolves on Live Animal Cams
Gray wolves are also known as timber wolves

To watch wolves via a live webcam, travel to the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota, on the southern edge of Shagawa Lake, about four hours north of Minneapolis. 

Watch Wolves

Do You Have a Favorite Live Camera Feed of Wild Animals?

What critters do you enjoy watching most? Are there any top-notch live animal cams missing from this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Check out these live animal cameras to witness wildlife without leaving home. These live camera feeds from zoos bring zoo animals like alligator, ape, baboon, bald eagle, beluga whale, bison, buffalo, bobcat, bear, dolphin, fish, elephant, giraffe, grizzly, hummingbird, koala, lemur, lion, meerkat, panda, penguin, polar bear, puffin, rhino, sea otter, tiger, and wolf to you.
Check out these live animal cameras to witness wildlife without leaving home. These live camera feeds from zoos bring zoo animals like alligator, ape, baboon, bald eagle, beluga whale, bison, buffalo, bobcat, bear, dolphin, fish, elephant, giraffe, grizzly, hummingbird, koala, lemur, lion, meerkat, panda, penguin, polar bear, puffin, rhino, sea otter, tiger, and wolf to you.
Check out these live animal cameras to witness wildlife without leaving home. These live camera feeds from zoos bring zoo animals like alligator, ape, baboon, bald eagle, beluga whale, bison, buffalo, bobcat, bear, dolphin, fish, elephant, giraffe, grizzly, hummingbird, koala, lemur, lion, meerkat, panda, penguin, polar bear, puffin, rhino, sea otter, tiger, and wolf to you.

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Please note:  Photos not watermarked by me or clearly attributed to a specific photographer or organization are courtesy of the talented photographers at either Pixabay or Shutterstock.

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13 thoughts on “35+ Calming Live Animal Cams That Bring the World’s Wildlife to You”

  1. What a fun post!! Watching animals is always a good idea. I love the sea otters, they always seem like they’re having a good time. Or napping, which I can relate to lol

  2. A very interesting concept. Here in Australia governments have closed some schools as part of the COVID-19 response. With kids at home, this is a great way to keep them engaged for a while!

  3. My favorites are the beluga whales. We got to meet some at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. We were in Alaska when they were migrating through, but we missed them by a few days.

  4. I’m with you. The best place to be is by the ocean. I do the same….when trying to sleep I play music with ocean sounds. My favourite animal to watch use to be the elephant, but when I went whale watching recently and saw the whales in the ocean, they are now my fav. They were so fun to watch. And you’re completely right, when you are watching animals everything else leaves your mind.

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