Lions, Tigers and Bears!

Wildlife photography is something that I would like to continue once I have finished this course. This challenging area of photography obviously needs to be practiced, and what better way to practice is by exploring good Zoo’s in the UK. Last Friday saw us travel north and venture around Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster.

yourkshire sign

This mammalian based zoo hosts a range of species, some that are endangered and some that are interesting to look at whist being very cute and cuddly.

tiger face
One of the great cats – Tiger

 

Good Zoos such as this participate in international breeding programmes that help preserve these species, increasing conservation efforts. There are a few exhibits present at this zoo set amidst the Yorkshire countryside, that can create an interesting backdrop for the animal in question. However, at the same time it gives an opportunity for people that have an interest in the natural world a chance to view some alternative animals, from Lions Tigers and Bears.

female lion
One of the female lions preying on the passing public

The Project Polar exhibition is one of these example where they have gone the extra mile to support the conservation of these species

polar bear house
A muddy polar bear set against the Yorkshire countryside

 

The well designed enclosures, give the chance for the bears to engage with other polar bears, and involve themselves with stimulating activities.

polar bears playing
Two polar bears play fighting with one another

Whilst the public can view them from a height so the fence is not an immediate barrier, connecting you on a more personal level with the animals here.

polar bear water
A polar bear emerging from the water, coming towards the public.

There are a few enclosures that are designed in a way that the fence does not become an obstruction and gives a clearer more open feel to looking at the animal in question. However, fences are still required to prevent them escaping and so the challenging photographic skills were required to blur as much of the fence as possible, making it almost seem invisible. To do this the largest focal length and small aperture was chosen to focus in the animal and blur the fence such as these below

leopard bars 2
Blurred out fence, while the leopard comes nearer and nearer

There are in other places more creative and involving ideas found here at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. These involve one of the many walk through exhibits that let you walk around in the same space with the less harmful animals. These spaces include the Wallaby walkabout.

wallaby walkabout
The entrance to the wallaby walkabout, with this lady closing one of the gates before she enters the next.

Along with the South American viva, where you can find Capybara’s, Mara’s and Squirrel Monkeys.

mara
A Mara gazing at the passers by
squirell monkey
A squirrel monkey deciding wheather to stay on his ledge or find food

These exhibits help stimulate both animals and humans more, as the animals have greater space to roam and carry out near normal activities. Whilst the general public can gain a greater appreciation for these exotic animals, and their beauty.

Lemur Face
A lemur gazing at the trees

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