The San Diego Zoo is bringing all the cute and fuzzy you can handle directly to your phone.
Yeah, that’s right — whether you’re battling the mall-shopping hordes or enduring hour after hour of family “fun,” you can now access the beauty of a zoo-sponsored animal cam right from your phone, you lucky dog.
You can download the app now for iOS or Android devices.
Animal cams have been a popular feature of the web since at least the famous Shiba Inu puppy cam of 2008. In this glorious tradition, the Zoo is now offering real-time streams from its polar bear and panda exhibits via its brand-new mobile app.
Of course, the app has other features, too: exhibit information, maps, ticketing and show info and more. After all, it’s built by Mobile Roadie, the app-generation tool of choice for musicians, so it’s a bit more full-featured than an average zoo app might need to be.
But if you’re not in or near the San Diego area, you’re probably just in it for the cute and fuzzies. And the zoo says that’s ok, too.
“The zoo is actually really excited about people downloading the app to view the live cams,” said a spokesperson in an email with VentureBeat. “That way users can see the magic of the zoo from anywhere! It’s like the San Diego Zoo in your pocket.”
The most popular aspects of the app are likely to be the real-time streaming video feed from the zoo’s Polar Cam and the feed from its recently upgraded high-definition Panda Cam. You can also leave comments on each feed via the app, although it is currently unknown whether or not the pandas or polar bears are willing or able to respond.
“We expect that the mobile access to our live animal cams, combined with detailed descriptions and beautiful images, will add up to family-friendly entertainment and an educational resource that can be used again and again,” said the zoo’s corporate director of marketing, Ted Molter, in a statement.
The San Diego Zoo’s Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge houses Kalluk, Tatqiq and Chinook. These three bears have their own pool, complete with beachy and rocky shore areas. Their favorite toys are balls (we know, we were thinking it was going to be Connect 4, too), and their favorite vegetable is the humble carrot.
The zoo’s three-part panda habitat has been upgraded to include four high-definition cameras. It also includes “mama bear” Bai Yun, “papa bear” Gao Gao and “baby bear” Yun Zi. Cameras will track whichever pandas are the most active at any given time.