A friend of mine has a license plate holder on her Jeep that says "I would rather be at home with my cats". I can understand why - cats are really fun to hang out with. I spent most of this weekend with the big cats at the San Diego Zoo. The plan started out to be just a few hours on Saturday morning, with one of my cousins along for the morning walk as well. It turned into all day Saturday, and back again on Sunday morning.
As with anything to do with cats, there was a lot of waiting around for something to happen. When it did, it was worth the wait. We started out passing by the Fishing Cat, and did manage to get a shot of Dow as she wandered around her enclosure. She may not be all that big, but she is fun to watch.
The Malayan Tigers were napping early on Saturday morning, so we headed over to the Amur Leopards, who were certainly not napping. We got there right as a keeper was putting out some treats and toys for them. The three cubs had their first birthday last Monday.
There was a fair amount of chasing around going on - alternated with a fair amount of napping or resting. The best time to see these three is first thing in the morning, when they are the most active.
The Mountain Lions (Puma, Cougar) were up and about. The female was busy stalking kids in strollers right up at the fence, so I couldn't get a good shot of her, but the male was acting more like a typical cat.
Christopher and Conner, the Malayan Tiger cubs, chased each other around for bit. There are no more keeper talks, where they throw food to the tigers, but we managed to catch them at the right time anyway.
Guapo the Jaguar is a new father. His cubs were born a few weeks ago. They're not out on display yet, but from the pictures I've seen they're really cute.
My cousin left after lunch, and I had to then make the tough choice of either going home at about 2:00PM to do housework etc, or going back down to see what the tigers and leopards had planned for their afternoon. Looking back on it, it wasn't all that tough of a decision after all.
Christopher and Conner were playing around in the upper pond. It was so crowded at the glass window that I only got off one shot.
Once they got bored playing in the pool they alternated napping and chasing each other around the big enclosure. It looks like Conner is about to get mugged by his brother.
Christopher's fur is still wet from the pond.
It was such a nice afternoon that I decided to just hang out there and wait for the change of tiger shift, when they bring in the cubs and their mother and put out one of the other adults. On Saturday it was Danai, the older female.
At about 4:00PM I went back to the Amur Leopards, and just hung out there for about an hour. The three cubs were pretty much out for the afternoon, and the late afternoon sun puts a lot of glare on the cage, but it really is a pleasant place to just hang out. I met some nice people, and got a few shots as well.
Click here to see more images from Saturday, May 19, 2012 at the San Diego Zoo.
Photography . . . Travel . . .
- Frank B. Baiamonte
- San Diego, California, United States
- About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.
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- I Think These Cats Can Tell Time (Or: One Not Very...
- Hanging Out With The Big Cats - Part 2
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All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage.
Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.