My favorite animal is the tiger. Being cats, seeing them active at the zoo requires getting there early or when the keepers are there for talks or feeding.
I really don’t have a bucket list per se, but the opportunity to be up close and personal with a tiger would be on it if I did. The enclosure for the tigers at the Jacksonville Zoo puts a very strong and thick piece of glass between you and the tiger, but it’s about as close as I’ve ever been to a tiger. It was a thrill to be that close. Sure, I want to pet one some day, but I am grateful for the opportunity to be up close and personal in any capacity I can.
Tigers in the wild are extremely endangered due to hunting, poaching, and habitat loss. Anything and everything that can be done to raise awareness of impending extinction is a very good thing.
I took an animal behavior course in college and studied the Tigers at the Philadelphia Zoo for a few weeks. It was one of most fun things I did in college. No special access to the Tigers, just watched them for an hour a couple times a week. It was a fun project though.
I learned that tigers can be distinguished from one another by the markings over their eyes. I also heard a lot of people calling them lions. In fact, the non-scientific name to my report was “Look at the Lions”. Some days I wish I could spend my entire day at a zoo or aquarium to not only study the animals, but how the people describe or react to them.
Here is a collection of my photos from the Jacksonville Zoo on April 2, 2015.
A Brown Thrasher family was foraging for the little one. Momma (a feather on her right wing sticks out) did most of the work, but another adult can be seen in a few photos ruffling feathers while sitting on the fence.
I didn’t realize when I started photographing Momma Thrasher that she had a little one. Thrashers are new to our yard, only have seen them the last couple of years, so I am fascinated with how they forage. Momma actually got pretty close to me, but wasn’t threatened by my presence.
I did have to move baby to saftey from our dogs, but Momma wasn’t far away and I made sure she could find her baby. She was okay with it, although Baby Thrasher screamed and threw a fit. It didn’t understand that our dogs would eat it. Momma checked on her baby and then resumed foraging and bringing goodies back.
Hopefully, Thrasher family will do well and hang around for years to come. They are pretty cool birds.