Thermal Camera at the Zoo

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Thermal videos at the ZooVideos of wild animals are cool to watch. I figured that viewing animals through a thermal camera would be just as interesting. We visited the Assiniboine Park Zoo and captured a selection of animals on our thermal camera.

We visited the zoo on April 3, 2021. It was 16 degrees Celsius (or about 60 degrees Fahrenheit) which is a pretty warm day for April in Winnipeg.

At the zoo, the animals have 3 different types of enclosures:

  1. Enclosed steel cages
  2. Walled cages
  3. Glass cages

In the enclosed steel cages, the animals were completely surrounded by a wire mesh. Viewing animals through a mesh of steel grids slightly obstructed the thermal camera but it was the same experience as viewing the animals with the bare eye.

In the walled cages we had a direct view of the animals - nothing obstructing the view because the walled cages were normally lower.

The third type - glass or plexiglass cages - does pose a problem for thermal cameras. Although an awesome experience for the bare eye or with a normal camera, it does not work at all with thermal cameras. Thermal cameras cannot see through glass or through plexiglass. It is similar to looking at a mirror. The only thing you will see is your reflection.

Because of this limitation, certain animals could not be filmed when viewed behind glass.

Here is a collection of some of the animals at our zoo.


My most surprising observation with the thermal camera was the video of the tiger. You can actually see the stripes on the tiger thermally. I did not expect that at all.

One fun thing I found using the camera was looking for birds in the aviary. As a kid when I visited the zoo, we would rush through the aviary because we couldn't find any of the birds hidden among the tropical plants. With the thermal camera, it made it alot easier to find where they were hiding.