Home / Live zoo cam: streaming as an online zoo phenomenon
26 Mar 2018 - 16:13
In addition to traditional zoos, where we can spend a pleasant afternoon with the kids, there’s another type of entertainment now emerging in the 21st century – virtual zoos. Cameras installed in pavilions and outdoor animal runs allow us to watch the daily life of animals, whether they’re loners, in families, or even whole herds. Anyone can watch from anywhere.
In today’s world, zoos cleverly use streaming as a communication tool that helps them reach their targets. There are actually several such tools. It’s not only about attracting people to visit the zoo using live cameras to increase actual visitation rates, it’s also about creating a real-life animal super-celebrity out of the zoo’s main protagonists using this medium. The animals become stars, helping zoos in turn to broaden their missions and gain the funds to carry them out. This is done either in the form of online donations, adoption of an animal, or via merchandising linked to the zoo’s chosen animal hero.
Saving endangered species or returning them into the wild can be an expensive enterprise. Webcams can easily distribute a story and its heroes to the general public. The message and goal thus becomes something tangible and specific. It’s also much easier for potential donors and benefactors to donate when they know who they’re giving funds to and see the everyday results of their aid “in action”.
We did our own survey of zoos around the world and chose the five most interesting feeds from zoos that offer live animal streaming as parts of their websites. The selection is naturally not exhaustive and is a bit subjective, but it reflects the overall evaluation of zoos on the TripAdvisor travel portal and how easily the cameras can be found on the internet and websites of the individual zoos.
According to TripAdvisor, the Prague Zoo is the 5th most beautiful zoo in the world. Prague Zoo focuses on elephants and gorillas in its live stream. Their YouTube channel offers lots of interesting videos that cover all the types of animals that are kept in the zoo. The elephant yard is highly attractive, and not only from a streaming perspective. Viewers can choose from a total of eight different indoor and outdoor cameras located around the whole pavilion. As long as there are elephants in Prague Zoo you’ll always be able to see them, whether they’re taking a discreet walk along the outdoor enclosure or enjoying their daily shower. The mobile app for Android and iPhone is a big plus, as it presents the history of the Prague Zoo’s activity and offers a selection of the most interesting facts on the life of elephants.
The Chester Zoo offers live cameras of three animal species – giraffes, flamingos, and bats. The pleasant graphic design of the zoo’s website is enticing to viewers. Next to the video windows, there are buttons that read “Adopt me” and “Book tickets” that call viewers to action and help the zoo gain funds for its activities. Visitors will also appreciate the accompanying information on the individual animals.
The Houston Zoo’s website lets you watch live streams of elephants, gorillas, and rhinos. Under the stream itself, there is a link to the whole YouTube channel with videos of the best animal moments. Visitors are thus given the opportunity to watch something even though it’s nighttime or the animals are located outside of the camera’s view.
As one of the oldest in the world, this zoo offers streams of several animal species. Interested viewers can watch elephants, giraffes, and also wolves. This beautiful zoo, located directly in the center of the city, is one of our absolute favorites, and that’s not only because they use our CamStreamer application.
The CamStreamer application allows you to stream video directly to YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms. The application is designed for Axis IP cameras. The high technical quality and computing power of these cameras ensures that the application runs without problem and guarantees an excellent streaming image even in situations that aren’t otherwise favorable for video. These situations might include poor lighting conditions, which are dealt with by camera functions such as Lightfinder or WDR. Axis cameras are built to stand up to wind and other outdoor elements.
The San Diego Zoo seems to have the highest number of live streams. You can find animal webcams from the zoo itself and from the neighboring safari. The importance of streaming as a marketing tool is supported by a link to live cameras that can be found on the website’s main menu and the promotion of their webcams across all of their affiliated sites.
The Edinburgh Zoo’s website has a fresh look and offers beautiful streams. Each live video is surrounded by widgets and buttons for social networks (Twitter, Facebook) that give visitors the possibility to share the webcam link on their own profile. Another part of the page includes buttons to adopt animals, send financial support, or gain membership as a part of the local zoo’s society of friends.