From attending book clubs and cooking classes via Zoom to visiting botanical gardens and museums online, many of us have had to think outside the box to enjoy recreational activities this past year. Did you know there are countless incredible animal webcams you can enjoy from the comfort of your couch? Taking virtual “trips” can help relieve stress, boost your mood, and enable your brain to see and learn new things.

From amazing mammals to beautiful aquatic creatures, here are some wonderful animal webcams that are worth seeing.

Kitten Rescue Los Angeles cat cam

Kitten Rescue Los Angeles — you had us at “Meow!” The California-based kitten adoption organization live streams its Kitten Rescue cat cam from the kitten nursery. It’s arguably hard not to smile at tiny, adorable kittens doing cute things — like snuggling together for a snooze or romping around the room. If you’re able, you can even donate food to the Kitten Rescue or fill out an adoption application to give a kitten a home.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute lion cam

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo streams a fascinating live lion cam around the clock. Whether lying down or strolling about, lions are majestic creatures to behold. Tigers also prowl around the den as both kinds of cats are part of the zoo’s Great Cats exhibit, connected by tunnels.

Shedd Aquarium Chicago Underwater Beauty live cam

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, is nestled along the Lake Michigan shore. Established in the 1930s, the renowned aquatic center boasts 5,000,000,000 gallons of water that houses 32,000 animals. If you’re looking for an eye-catching, easy way to wind down, check out the shimmering underwater world that is pulsing with exotic, colorful aquatic creatures like angelfish, butterflyfish and more via Shedd’s Underwater Beauty live cam.

San Diego Zoo koala cam

Koalas are so cute — and you don’t even have to travel to the Land Down Under to see them! You can catch a sweet virtual view of them via San Diego Zoo’s live koala cam. You’re probably not alone if you wish you could cuddle one of the adorable marsupials that are frequently misclassified as “bears.” The webcam captures the koalas live from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. PT and replays the morning stream from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. PT the next day.

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Explore.org African wildlife live cams

Bucket lists for some might include going on an African Safari to observe giraffes, zebras, elephants, rhinos and lions in their natural habitat. While that sort of live-action experience isn’t possible for many of us, Explore.org does its best to bring a virtual adventure to you with its African wildlife webcams. At the Tau waterhole on the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa, you can watch zebras, elephants, cheetahs, and more roam on the Tau Game Reserve — Africam Tau. Explore.org hosts multiple nature cams to bring animals in nature to viewers all over the world.

Georgia Aquarium jelly webcam

Not all jellyfish deliver a toxic sting. But you don’t have to worry about unexpected danger if you watch the ethereal sea creatures in a jelly webcam livestream produced by the Georgia Aquarium. There’s something soothing about watching these exotic, glowing swimmers glide through the watery depths in a virtual underwater ballet.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo giant panda cam

Any trip to the zoo — including a virtual visit — is always more fun if pandas are present. Washington D.C.’s world-renowned Smithsonian’s National Zoo boasts a captivating trio of giant pandas named Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji. You can watch them frolic and play with each other on two different webcams, cam 1 and cam 2.

Warrior Canine Connection puppy cam

Man’s best friend is especially adorable at the puppy stage. If you’re craving some cuteness overload, check out Warrior Canine Connection’s puppy whelping room cam. The Maryland nonprofit’s mission is to train skilled service dogs to help fellow veterans, and the puppy cam shows the babies’ important first weeks with their mother.

Any of these animal cams offer a terrific opportunity to relax, enrich your mind, and boost your spirits as you connect with nature from the comfort of home.

Active Aging is presented by Koelsch Communities.

Koelsch Communities has been family owned and operated for three generations. Our continued success is compelled by our founding principles as we strive to serve our residents with respect, dignity and compassion, providing the finest living experiences anywhere.