Google's roving backpackers have spent the last few months productively visiting zoos and wildlife parks around the world, with a selection of high-profile animal prisons now available for viewing inside its Street View panorama tool.

The Street View tech isn't ideally suited to the task, though. We've just spent ten minutes scrolling around Whipsnade Zoo looking for animals, and the best we could find was some things in the distance that might be giraffes. Plus Google's censorship tools blocks out text on any signs that might be readable, so it's not the most satisfying way to spend time in front of a computer.

However, Google did manage to spot a group of pandas going about their business over in China's Chengdu Research Base, so there's some good stuff to be found if you put the hours in scrolling through the locations and elbowing your way through the endless groups of school kids. [Google]