TEST YOURSELF: Wildlife goes online

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Hidden cameras in zoos across the world are bringing nature closer to home

Test Yourself is where you can improve your reading skills. Whether it’s for tests like University Entrance Exams or IELTS and TOEFL, or even just for fun, these stories help you to read, understand and improve your English.

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 Read the following story by Karnjana Karnjanatawe from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.

Our world has moved online during the Covid-19 outbreak. Although the government has allowed some places to reopen, national parks, zoos and aquariums are still closed.

However, with the help of technology and a fast internet connection, we can observe animals through livecams worldwide. Although nothing can beat the real experience of seeing wildlife in their habitat, looking into their lives via hidden cameras can somehow bring us more understanding about animals.

My favourite is (, which is regarded as the home of the world's largest network of live nature cams. Joining hands with multiple partners, Explore has numerous livestreams of animals across the world via high-definition hidden cameras.

The mission of the website is to allow us to experience nature. It provides us with an opportunity to be up close with animals. The founder is hoping that the service will encourage people to be lifelong learners and make them fall in love with the world we live in.

The site's livestreams allow us to witness the wonders of wildlife such as elephants in South Africa. While watching the elephants, you may see other wild animals like giraffes and might also hear birds or monkeys calling. Meanwhile, other streams give you the opportunity to see sea cows in Florida, polar bears in Canada, gorillas in Congo or giant pandas in China.

Although a zoom function is not available, those who control the cameras in each location sometimes provide close-up moments or do camera pans to follow the movements of the animals so that we can see them closer. In each livestream, information about each animal is also available.

If you are a dog or cat lover, the website also has live streams of them in rescue centres.

In Thailand, the Zoological Park Organization (ZPO) has launched the Zoo At Home programme via Facebook at

It features a live programme every Friday at 12.30pm. Last Friday, the one-hour show was about the life of lemurs in Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri. The programme has two hosts, one of which is a vet. They share information about lemurs' behaviour, their living habitat, and what they eat. The audience can ask questions or share their opinions by leaving comments while watching the livestream. Before the end of each programme, viewers can vote on which animal they want to watch in the next episode.

Khao Kheow Open Zoo also has a live programme called Zoo To Home at It broadcasts every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 3.15pm to 3.45pm. It aims to educate viewers about the living conditions of animals in the zoo. After the programme, the show is posted on the zoo's YouTube channel. Unfortunately, the video clips are not steady and it seems as if they were shot via a phone camera by an amateur videographer or perhaps by a staff member of the zoo. The programme is in Thai only.

It is hard to resist clicking on a livestream of giant pandas. The cute face of the bear and its daily life always draws the attention of netizens. Visit to see various panda livestreams. The aim is to let fans of giant pandas worldwide see the lovely bears in their protected environment. The television network installed 28 cameras in the centre allowing people to see daily activities of the bears such as eating and playing. On the website, you can choose to watch only the mother and kids, only panda cubs, or adults. The livestream may remind you of the time when Chiang Mai Zoo broadcast Lin Hui raising her cub Lin Ping 24 hours a day. However with, you can see many more of them.

Make sure that your internet connection is fast enough, and enjoy the show.

Section 1: Answer the following questions in the space provided.

1. Which livecam does the writer like most? .…………….

2. You can see polar bears from which country? …………….

3. Which programme airs every Friday? ……………..

4. How long is ZPO’s show? …………….

5. Which site has African elephants? …………….

6. Which programme is in Thai? …………..

7. ZPO’s show is hosted by two vets. True or false? ……………. 

8. You can see Lin Ping on True or false? …………….

Section 2: Write the noun form of the following words in the space provided.

9. closed ……… 10. observe ……… 11. hear ………. 12. available ………. 13. installed ……….

Section 3: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo & …14… Biology Institute in Washington provides livestreaming of five animals …15… cheetah cubs, lions, giant pandas and elephants. Each camera provides information …16… the animals. While watching the Cheetah Cub Cam, we are …17… that the four cubs were born in April to the five-year-old mother named Echo. It was her first pregnancy. The camera in her den is …18… Echo’s health around the clock which …19… you can watch Echo and her cute cubs day and night.

14. A. Conservative B. Conserve C. Conservation

15. A. for B. including C. includes

16. A. to B. for C. on

17  A. told B. seen C. have

18. A. monitors B. monitor C. monitoring

19. A. means B. mean C. meanwhile

Section 4: Find words that match the following definitions.

20. the natural home of an animal ……………

21. the goal of a person or company ……………

22. (of an animal) living in its natural environment ……………

23. the person who creates a business or organisation  ……………

24. a person who does something for a hobby rather than a job …………

Answers: 1. 2. Canada. 3. Zoo To Home. 4. one hour. 6.Zoo To Home. 7. false. 8. false. 

9. closure. 10. observer/observation. 11. hearing. 12. availability. 13. installation.

14. c. 15. b. 16. c. 17. a. 18. c. 19. a. 

20. habitat. 21. mission. 22. wild. 23. founder. 24. amateur.

SCORE 21-24: Excellent! 17-20: Good.   13-16: Fair.   12 or fewer: You'll do better next time!


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