Christmas at Wellington Zoo

Roaring lion

When everyone else is doing their last minute Christmas shopping, a photog friend and I headed to the zoo. It was a super windy day, which is nothing unusual for Wellington at this time of the year, but it did make for some really fun images with the lions. The boys (lions) have grown into adulthood and their manes are looking splendid. The wind was creating this magnificent windswept look that any model would be proud of.

lion with windswept mane

I tried to get lots of different angles as the lion moved his head from left to right and then managed to get him staring down the lens right at me. I love it when they do that because it creates a real connection with the viewer of the finished image. It would have been easy to stay with the lions longer, but we had an appointment with the snow leopards. Or rather the keeper talk at the snow leopards was due to start.

lion close up

We figured that there was a good chance that they would be active around that time. We were right. It is difficult to get a good image through the glass. When there are lots of people about there are also lots of reflections, so we had to shoot through the netting.

snow leopard
snow leopard
snow leopard

Right after the snow leopard talk finished, the keepers were preparing for the tiger talk. Same rule applied, if there is a talk happening you just know that the animals are going to be active. Again we were not disappointed. The tiger put on a fine show for us and while the opportunities for images where not huge, we did manage to get some.

Tiger looking at children through glass window

As we were about to leave, we turned around and Sasha the sun bear was standing staring right at us from her enclosure. She had just been given some enrichment which held her attention for a good while. Leaving was put off and the sun bear became our main focus for a while. After the sun bear I headed home. I barely got half way around the zoo but I can always go back another day.

Sun bear

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