Virtual Zoos

In honor of April’s status as Zoo and Aquarium Month, I went searching for the best zoos on the Net. My objective, as always, was to find sites offering a quality educational experience, not just brochure sites listing hours and admission prices. Here’s what I found. I hope you enjoy the lions and tigers and bears, oh my! For the best in cyber aquariums, tune in next week. [Editor’s Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Virtual Zoos]

Lincoln Park Zoo5 stars

If you have homework to do, a column to write, or any other important business to get to, do not even think about looking at the live Tiger Cam. Once you see the tigers, start playing with the zoom, and realize you can move the camera around by clicking anywhere on the image, you'll be hooked. After you pry yourself away from the tigers, you can visit the rest of the animals by taking the virtual tour, or by clicking on the Mammals, Birds or Reptiles/Amphibians headings.

Los Angeles Zoo: Zoo Animals4 stars

This month's featured resident is Savannah, a baby maned wolf being raised in the zoo nursery with Elsa, a yellow Labrador retriever. When Savannah's mother rejected her, the zookeepers were concerned that the hand-raised wolf might imprint on humans, and never learn to socialize as a dog. So Elsa, on loan from Guide Dogs of America, is "Savannah's canine companion, helping her to learn how to act like a dog."

National Zoo5 stars

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. hosts the best online audio tour I have seen. It is the same audio wand tour you could rent if you were visiting the zoo, but on the Web it's free! Other highlights include the Animal Photo Library (guaranteed to make you smile), and the National Zoo Cinema. Attention all teachers: you and your students are invited to a free weekly video conference, hosted in the Elephant House.

San Diego Zoo & Wild Animal Park5 stars

Join D.L. Armstrong on a research trek into the Wild Animal Park's newest exhibit, Heart of Africa. Each day of the two-week journey includes "a glimpse of what I discovered that day - perhaps a page from my journal, an animal photograph, or a video clip." Other interesting reports (such as the first condor birth of 1998) can be found in the What's New section. While you're cyber-vacationing at the zoo, don't forget your friends and family back home. Send them a digital conservation postcard!

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Cincinnati Zoo

Denver Zoo

Kansas City Zoo

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Virtual Zoos." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 2 Jun. 1998. Web. 31 Aug. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published June 2, 1998. Last modified June 2, 1998.

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