Check out our Facebook page to see this week’s social media challenge.
We’re asking about your favorite wild places and some of the wildlife you’ve encountered there. Or you can share a picture of the wildlife around your neighborhood.
Looking to get out and explore some of the wild places in city? Here are a few options to explore. Follow the links to help plan your trip:
Circle B Bar Reserve offers hiking trials and great photo opportunities.
Gator Creek Reserve at the edge of the Green Swamp includes several trails and ecosystems.
Lakeland Highlands Scrub has mostly unpaved trails in miles of undeveloped land.
Saddle Creek Park lacks an official page on the Polk County website, but Florida Hikes offers an nice overview of the trails.
Does the idea of a hike leave you cold (or overheated)? No worries. You can bring the wild into your own home via live animal cams. Whether they are from some of our national zoos, or stationed in the wild, it's a great way to learn about the incredible wildlife that share our planet. We've listed some of the best animal cams out there:
The Smithsonian's National Zoo Animal Cams
See giant pandas, elephants, lions and naked mole-rats on animal cams streaming live, 24/7 from the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
Monterrey Bay Aquarium
With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are. Be delighted by the antics of our sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of our jellies. Tune in to one of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's web cams.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Tiger Cam
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is home to several of these Critically Endangered animals. With just 400 to 500 remaining, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to see them in the wild but you can watch them on the park’s tiger cam.
African River Wildlife Cam
The African River Wildlife cam in Kenya is located upriver from the watering hole at the MpalaResearch Centre in Laikipia County. It offers views of the wildlife corridors on both sides of the river, with opportunities to spot everything from giraffes and elephants to kudus. As the site notes, there are many creatures that make their way to the waterhole and the fields behind it called Tranquility Glade or Basking Beach. And, if you watch between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Kenya time you can catch a spectacular sunrise too.
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge Cam
The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge is located just 28 miles from the San Francisco coast, made of up four groups of islands with the waters surrounding the islands protected as part of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. From its live streaming cam you may be able to spot humpback, blue, and gray whales, along with great white sharks, five species of sea lions and seals, and 13 species of seabirds, including tufted puffins.
The Audubon's Puffin Cam
The Audubon offers the Puffin Loading Ledge Cam which overlooks a puffing loafing area at Seal Island in Maine, home to a summer field station for Project Puffin. The island’s population of puffins were decimated by overhunting in 1887, but the project has helped them to make a comeback. Today there are over 500 pairs that nest on the island. You can watch them from May through August, along with murres and razorbills.
Katmai National Park's Brown Bears
Explore.org offers some great nature live cams, including this one in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. By late June, brown bears are out on the water competing for their meal which includes as many as 30 sockeye salmon. Watch them feast on the fish that leap up Brooks Falls and keep an eye out for mama bears as they come out their cubs. Bald eagles and the occasional wolf can be seen as well.
And remember to stop into the library, or visit us digitally, and check something out to get your Library Activity badge this week.