Animal Therapy: It’s Free and it Works!
If you and the kids love animals, there’s a scientific explanation. A new study has found that watching footage of cute animals can reduce your anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate.
The study, led by the University of Leeds in Britain, Singapore Airlines and Western Australia’s tourism agency, featured videos of a quokka — a cuddly-looking wallaby native to Australia that the internet dubbed “the happiest animal on earth.”
Footage of wildlife can also elicit positive emotions like adoration, awe and love, said Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies how nature impacts the human psyche. “We are a visual species,” he said. “We derive a lot of health and happiness from our relationship to the natural world.”
Now that we are spending more time indoors and rarely get out into the natural world, let it come to you. The internet has tonnes of smile-inducing animal feeds from around the world.
Here are some of our favorites:
If you love cats, CLK will indulge you with cute cat videos and anecdotes from cat owners
Dog lovers have a space of their own on The Real Dog Lovers of Kenya. The best dog videos in Kenya!
Check out one of the museum’s six live feeds to see black-footed ferrets, cheetah cubs, naked mole-rats, lions or elephants.
Fans of nature documentaries like the BBC’s “Blue Planet” series will want to tune into this California aquarium’s underwater feeds. Watch jellyfish delicately swim in and out of the frame, or enjoy the aquarium’s largest exhibition, an awe-inspiring, one million-gallon tank that houses an array of sea creatures, including stingray, sharks and turtles.
The San Diego Zoo runs live cameras from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern and rebroadcasts the day’s stream at night. There’s something here for everyone: Hippos, baboons, rhinos, tigers, giraffes and more. The zoo even lists the names and bios of each of its nine elephants, so you can get to know them while watching.