Family vacations can be stressful: you have to spend hours eating endless meals high in alcohol and carbohydrates, while engaging in meaningful conversations with loved ones you’ve barely seen all year round. Add to that the controversial election and politics will likely dominate many Thanksgiving tables – the perfect storm for a holiday-themed family drama.
This is where live animal cameras come in. They are all you need to melt away your vacation stress – because it’s never a bad idea to watch cuddly pandas playing in China or badass jellyfish floating around an aquarium in California. When Uncle Harry yells at Aunt May about how family estates are divided or the Paris Agreement, you may need to take a break to relax. Here are some adorable live animal cameras to help you out. Enjoy!
This live webcam shows giant pandas at a panda center located in Gengda Xingfu Valley, China. Pandas are no longer considered an endangered species, but they are still listed as “vulnerable” to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. There are just over 1,800 pandas in the wild, according to WWF. And their existence is threatened by climate change and habitat loss. Pandas primarily eat bamboo and play a key ecological role in the bamboo forests where they live, spreading seeds and keeping the forests healthy.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California began live streaming its purple striped jellyfish on November 8. The jellies, which can grow up to a meter in diameter, live off the coast of California and feed on zooplankton, other jellies, and fish eggs. Young cancerous crabs can be found clinging to purple striped jellyfish – sometimes even their guts – to eat parasitic amphipods that damage jellies, according to the aquarium site. Their bite is not fatal, but it hurts. Live streaming is only available from 10:00 a.m. ET to 9:00 p.m. ET.
Welcome to the Bat Cage on the campus of the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Vampire bats are the only mammals that feed exclusively on blood, often cows and horses. A colony of these bats – usually made up of 100 bats – can drink the blood of 25 cows in a year, according to National Geographic. Vampire bats also have heat sensors to direct them to the warm blood of their victims. Unlike wild bats, these Cranbrook Institute of Science lab bats are more active during the day, according to the Bat Conservation Organization. If this streaming is not enough, there is always Cutest and well-behaved baby bat yawning video and covering his mouth.
Round Island in Alaska is one of the top four land stranding sites for the Pacific Walrus – and you can watch it live on your laptop. Up to 14,000 walruses have been counted on Round Island in a single day, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The animals live in the freezing waters of the Arctic, but they climb onto these rocks between foraging forays in the spring. Adult males are 12 feet long and can weigh up to 2 tons. Their diet consists of clams, snails, shrimp and sometimes seals. Because the Pacific walrus depends on sea ice for their survival, the US Fish and Wildlife Service take into account listing the animal as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
This infrared camera broadcasts live from a beehive located in the town of Waal in Bavaria, Germany. The bees can be seen building combs and making honey to keep the colony alive. Honey bees are divided into three groups: the queen – usually one per hive – lays eggs and regulates the activity of the hive; the workers are females who forage for food, build and clean the hive; and drones are males that mate with the queen. Bees are in decline and that’s bad news for the environment and the economy. Bees pollinate $ 15 billion in crops each year in the United States, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables, according to the US Department of Agriculture. We are approaching winter, an interesting time for the hives: the drones are expelled and the remaining bees survive on the pollen and honey stored. So keep an eye out!