April is Earth Month, so if you’re sitting in a fluorescent-lit office far removed from the wild, let these live-streaming cameras instantly connect you back to nature:
1. Otter Cam at the Monterey Bay Aquarium: The adorable head-bobbing otters you see won’t be in these waters forever: The aquarium in Monterey, Calif., rescues, treats and releases injured ones back into the wild.
2. Sharks in the National Aquarium’s Blacktip Reef: Talk about a menagerie of aquatic animals: 779 creatures, including wobbegongs (or carpet sharks), humphead wrasse (which are giant reef-dwelling fish), and blacktip reef sharks (say that fast five times!), are housed in the $12.5 million Baltimore-based exhibit.
3. West Coast Sea Nettle Cam: This might just be the closest you’ll ever get to the tangerine-hued jellies without getting stung. The only thing they won’t zap? Juvenile cancer crabs, who hide in the side surface of their bells.
4. Koala Cam at the San Diego Zoo: Thackory and Milo, two of San Diego’s 23 koalas, spend nearly the entire day drifting in and out of a slumber. The reason for their perpetual state of exhaustion? Most energy is reserved for digesting their fibrous diet.
5. Elephant Cam at the Houston Zoo: These elephants start their day with treats and a morning bath. Fun fact? Their trunks alone contain about 100,000 different muscles.
6. Panda Cam at the Smithsonian Zoological Park: Bao Bao, a giant panda who spends most of the day nibbling on bamboo shoots, is a rare breed. As few as 1,600 giant pandas exist in the mountains of China, making this beautiful bear among the most endangered species in the world.
7. Chick Cam at South Mountain Creamery: The peeps from these chicks (check out their cuteness on video below) will last well through Easter. New hatchlings take the spotlight every four weeks at the Middletown, Md., facility!