Since COVID-19 social isolating began, I’ve certainly missed spending time with my friends and family members in person — but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss petting dogs on the street, too. If you’re lucky enough to have an animal companion for cuddling while in quarantine, you may be all set on animal entertainment. But if you’re in the same boat as me, you may take comfort in watching an animal livestream.
Below, you’ll find the inside scoop on some adorable and relaxing animal livestreams, featuring animals in the wild, at sanctuaries, and at rescue groups. (We left zoos and aquariums off this list, because watching animals held captive for entertainment just doesn't feel right, especially when so many of us are feeling "stuck" at home right now.)
These are the best animal livestreams.
Shoutout to explore.org for powering most of the cutest livestreams on the internet. Scroll down for nine animal livestreams, featuring animals from dogs to manatees to hummingbirds to badgers.
Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary’s Gathering Room
Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, located in Tennessee, rescues senior dogs and helps find them loving forever homes. Every day between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. EDT, you can watch the Senior Dog Gathering Room livestream on explore.org. It’s mostly a bunch of sweet senior dogs lazing around, snacking, and getting A-pluses in being adorable.
Bald Eagle Webcams at Channel Islands National Park
The National Park Service has been broadcasting a bald eagle habitat at Channel Islands National Park in Southern California for more than a decade. And now, with the park — and many other National Parks — closed due to the coronavirus, it’s the perfect time to try to catch a peek at the wild bald eagles. You can also go on a virtual tour of a National Park via Google Earth.
Farm Sanctuary’s Rescued Sheep, Pigs, Cows, and More
Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York provides sanctuary to 800 farmed animals, all rescued from factory farms and other situations where they would have been killed. The sanctuary has up to seven live cams throughout the day (including a few past livestreams that have been saved and uploaded) on explore.org. Tune in to watch the Sheep Barn, Cattle Pond Pasture, Turkey Barn, the Sheep Pasture, Charlotte’s Pasture (pigs), the Cattle Pasture Panorama, and the Wisconsin pasture (cows, goats, sheep, alpacas, and more).
The website for Bella Hummingbird looks like it’s stuck in 2005 — the year that an anonymous La Verne, Calif. resident discovered an Allen’s Hummingbird nesting in their backyard — but the Bella Hummingbird livestream is definitely worth watching. Bella has been laying eggs and raising baby hummingbirds in her nest for 15 years, and the anonymous homeowner livestreams Bella Hummingbird in her golf ball-sized nest all day long.
The Kitten Rescue Sanctuary
The Kitten Rescue Sanctuary is an LA-based, no-kill cat sanctuary that houses around 150 cats at any given time, all of whom are available for adoption. Get an inside look at the rescue cats and kittens being way too cute for their own good on Kitten Rescue’s explore.org livestream, all day every day.
Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Badger Cam
The organization Cumbria Wildlife Trust works to protect wildlife around Cumbria, England. The local Badger Bar & Restaurant has a camera focused on a wild badger habitat just outside, and the staff feeds food scraps to the wild badger colony. You can tune into the #BadgerCamLive livestream anytime to check out the wild badgers in action, but Cumbria Wildlife Trust recommends watching around dusk, local time.
The trust has several other wildlife cams, including an osprey cam, seal cam, and bird feeder cam.
Gorilla Forest Corridor at GRACE
The Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE), located near the Tayna Nature Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rehabilitates rescued and orphaned Grauer's gorillas, and aims to eventually return them to the wild. GRACE’s Gorilla Forest Corridor livestream lets viewers watch gorillas chomp down on plants, doze, and wander all night long — but the best viewing hours are between 2 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. PDT, and 5:30 am and 7 a.m. PDT, according to explore.org.
San Francisco SPCA’s Puppy and Kitty Cams
The San Francisco SPCA has constant livestreams featuring adoptable puppies, kittens, and cats. With so many people adopting and fostering animals during the quarantines, the Ozolio-powered livestreams may be less poppin’ than usual — but when an animal does walk on, I can’t take any responsibility for you suddenly finding yourself filling out an adoption application.
Rescued Manatees at the Homosassa Springs
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Florida’s warm springs also act as a rehabilitation center and sanctuary for rescued (often injured or sick) manatees who cannot be released into the wild, according to explore.org. Wild manatees often stop by the warm springs in the winter, since the springs remain 72 degrees year-round. The manatee rescue is run by Save the Manatee, and you can watch manatees in the livestream all day long.
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