Thursday, July 23, 2020

Get Out! Or Stay In! See the Zoo Either Way

Photo by Smithsonian National Zoo

by Peggy Robin

If you’ve been missing the animals and you are up for a masked and socially distanced visit with them, you can find all the instructions you need to arrange your outing at

Get your timed entry passes (walk-in or drive-and-park) here:

You might be pleased and surprised to learn that the animals have been missing you, too. Well, maybe just a few of the more social ones. Read this City Paper article to find out which ones:  but it’s no big spoiler to reveal that the cats at the zoo (of all sizes) do NOT really care if you show up or not. Still, you may be surprised to learn there are some animals that crave an audience.

However, if you think you are one of those who would be better off waiting a while longer before spending time at a place that attracts visitors from far and wide  even though everyone there will be masked and kept at a safe distance you can still see the animals at the National Zoo….on the internet. 

Here’s an option that’s been here all along: Zoo-Cams! Click on the links below and to check in on our  camera-ready stars: (with supplementary material to liven things up, in case there's not much happening on the live-cam).

1. Giant Panda Cam. Pandas are number one in popularity at the zoo. And here’s some lively background music for you while you watch:

2. Naked Mole-rat Cam. Mole-rats are a specialized taste, to my way of thinking. If you pop in on the the naked mole rat world and find there’s not much going on at the moment, you can watch this video that provides a much more action-packed view of their lives:  

3. Lion Cam. As City Paper noted, the big cats have NOT missed you! Here’s a soundtrack to go with the Lion cam:

4. Elephant Cam. These marching Disney cartoon elephants might just trump the real thing:

5. Black-footed Ferret Cam. Are you a ferret fan? Do you know who isn’t? Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, that's who! If you’ve never heard his unhinged anti-ferret rant, now hear this!

Of course, the trouble with cyberspace is that once you get used to seeing things in VR that can easily top what you can see IRL, you start expecting too much. You want to watch a panda do more than sleep or chew bamboo? Wish you could actually pick up one of those cheetah cubs? And wouldn't it be great if those kittens could talk! When you start thinking along those lines, that's when you get the urge to hop over to Youtube and look for talking animals. And not just parrots! How about a cat who says NO!

Here you go:

And now a whole clip-reel full of non-humans saying and doing some unexpected things:

And now a song to play us out from dear old Rex Harrison as Dr. Doolittle, singing, "If I Could Talk to the Animals":

The "Get Out!" or "Stay In!" column is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

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