Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Particularly Good Day At The San Diego Zoo - Amur Leopards and Malayan Tigers

I think I had a particularly good day at the Zoo today, with both the Malayan Tigers and the Amur Leopards being up and about.

When I first got to the Tigers the one-year-olds were sleeping on a rock in the center of the exhibit, and their mother Mek was sleeping in the cave by the upper pond. After about half an hour they got up, and then a little later the keeper showed up with a tray of snacks, and that got their attention.

Mother Mek (on the right) and son Christopher.

Time for a family huddle.

I'm not quite sure what these two were discussing here, but I'm guessing that Mek wanted to be left alone. This is not the first time I've seen that reaction from her.

Connor likes to hang out by the lower pond during the Keeper Talk sessions.

The Zoo has recently gotten three young Amur Leopards. They are extremely endangered, from what I looked up there are only about 7 - 12 of them left in China and maybe 20 - 25 left in Russia. The three of them (siblings) are in one of the older cat enclosures at the bottom of what used to be called Cat Canyon, so it's pretty tough to get a decent photo through old-style cage. Besides dealing with making the cage disappear (not always successfully), I only had my 300mm lens with me, and this one was staying pretty close to the front of the cage, almost too close for my lens. Still, I think I managed to get a few that I like.

She hardly stopped moving the whole time I was there, climbing all over the logs and rocks in the enclosure. That including climbing up into a fig tree that really wasn't strong enough to hold her, and then climbing straight up the front of the cage itself. (With the 9.5' minimum focus distance on my lens she was way to close for me to get a shot of that.)

This truly is a spectacular looking cat.

She has a pretty good set of claws too.

Since we've got a cat theme going here, we can finish up with the biggest of them all. I walked up to the upper mesa to see if the Jaguar was out, but she was more like out cold in a corner, as was the Northern Chinese Leopard. I did manage a couple shots of the Lions though.

I think I got there right after the keeper gave them some snacks. A few seconds after I  took the shot above he rolled over and went to sleep, with his girlfriend hanging out beside him.

Click here to see more images from the San Diego Zoo on Sunday, April 22, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Wow! Wow! You sure had a good time at the zoo this day. The leopard photos are absolutely amazing. All are excellent. Great work Frank!


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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. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

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.