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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Orson the Jaguar

We got some sad news recently, that Orson the Black Jaguar who has been at the San Diego Zoo for as long as I can remember, had passed away. Orson was almost 22 years old, which is pretty old for a big cat. He'll be missed.

I had the good fortune to be able to spend some quality time with Orson late one Sunday afternoon shortly before he died. He was playing with the big plastic toy that was sort of an oblong shape weighted on the bottom, so it rolled around and bounced back towards him when he batted at it.  I hung out there for about 45 minutes before the Zoo closed, and outside of a couple of other people who only stayed a few minutes, it was just us. It was pretty dark in the canyon, and all I had was my 300mm lens, so I could only get close-up shots.

When I first got there he was resting, but still very much alert.

After a bit he got up and started playing with the big plastic toy.

If you look closely you can see his Jaguar markings under that black fur.



  1. Beautiful animal. How fortunate that you were able to capture him before he passed. I am sure that he will be missed.


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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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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 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.