March 30, 2011
A few weeks ago, we were celebrating the arrival of March. And it seemed, for a time, that Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions were right —spring came early. Then it left, leaving a blast of cold winter weather in its wake. It’s cold out there. So, instead of giving you a list of the things you must come out and see at the Institution this week, the ATM team has scoured the National Zoo’s Animal Cams and come up with five you don’t want to miss. It’s the perfect way to spend the day—enjoying some of the best attractions the Smithsonian has to offer, without leaving the warmth and comfort of the indoors.
Lions and Tigers- If you haven’t been following the updates of the seven lion cubs who were born at the zoo last year, you might be surprised to see just how big they’ve gotten. Take some time to check back in with the First Family of the Zoo—lions in winter. Both lioness dens have a camera, so toggle between Shera’s and Naba’s, to make sure you don’t miss anything as the lions move about. Want to see more frisky felines? The Zoo’s got you covered with the Tigercam. The two tigers spend most of their day resting and sleeping, so catch them if you can.
Bears- According to the Zoo, there are less than 2,000 giant pandas living in the wild in China. While you may not be able to get there to see any, you can peek in on the two living at the zoo, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, anytime. We already know they love winter weather. See what else they do in their spare time. And don’t forget to check in on the Sloth Bears, it’s a sight you can’t bear to miss. (Ed note — groan)
Primates- A couple of weeks ago, the Zoo experienced a tragedy when Haloko, its oldest gorilla (and the only one born in the wild), died. Check out the remaining family of “our closest relatives,” on the Gorilla Cam. See any resemblance? You can also catch the Orangutans monkeying around in the Think Tank, “a place to think about thinking.”
Octopus- Watching the underwater Octopus Cam can feel a little bit like a game of hide and seek, but seeing the giant Pacific octopus, the world’s largest, reveal itself is totally worth the wait. See a live feeding everyday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (EDT).
Naked Mole-rat- Yes, there is actually a Naked Mole-rat Cam at the Zoo. So, even if you are petrified of rodents (like I am), you probably can’t resist the temptation of seeing what they look like (and what they do) up close . You may not want to see it, but you can’t exactly look away. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
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