Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Amazing Day at the Toronto Zoo

I hadn't been to the Toronto Zoo in ages.  The last time I made it there was in 2008 when my husband and I helped supervise my youngest son's grade 2 excursion there.  We spent more time herding the children than looking at the animals ourselves.  So when some new friends from the Barrie Photo Club, Tim and Yvonne, invited me to join them, I jumped at the chance. 

We went on Friday, December 2nd.  It was a cool day, but the sun made an appearance or two throughout our visit.  The best part was that zoo wasn't busy at all.  There wasn't a school bus in the parking lot!  A perfect day to take our time and get some shots of some amazing, beautiful animals.

Here are some of my favourite pictures taken throughout the course of the day.  The next time I go, I will write down some of the names of the animals I am photographing, as there are a few animals I am unfamiliar with. 

Our first stop was to see the Rhino...

 I used my telephoto lens so I could fill the frame with the rhino. 

This fish was a very cooperative subject....

Click on the picture to see even larger.  I love the detail of its tiny teeth.

Not sure what kind of fish these are, but was so pleased with how well they turned out!

Another detail I will be more aware of is what exhibit the animals are part of and the building they are in.  I am not that familiar with the zoo, so I can't tell you where some of these pictures were taken.  I do like to include a lot of detail!! Sorry!!

Don't forget to bring a lens cloth, for when you go into the tropical exhibits, your lens can fog up quite quickly, especially when you are coming in from the cold.   I usually keep two with me at all times.  One is attached to my camera strap, and the other is tucked in my camera bag. 

Here are some of my favourite tropical shots.....

White Tree Nymph Butterfly.  I could chase butterflies all day! 

A guinea fowl.  Looks like a cross between a decorative throw pillow, a turkey and a dinosaur with a crested head!

This bird was staring me down! 

Snackus Interruptus

Although I do greatly enjoy the zoo, I often find that the primate exhibits bring me down.  They often seem very sad, as they are not where they should be... out in the wild.  

The eyes on this little orangutan seemed quite sad. 

Mother and Infant having a nap ~ much like how I used to nap with my own children...

A couple shots of the tigers taken with my telephoto lens.  There is a fogginess to parts of the pictures, as I had to shoot through the wire fencing. 

This is Brytne, a 13 year old Sumatran tiger

This is Harimau Kayu, which translates to "Tiger Woods".  He is a 3 year old Sumatran tiger brought from the San Diego Zoo to be part of a breeding program. 

The highlight of our day was easily the polar bear exhibit.  Fortunately for us, the polar bears were up and about and feeling a little playful.  I had hoped to catch a few under water shots, but all the playfulness was happening on land today.

What a great day of animal watching and photography.  I could have stayed hours longer, but it was time to get home for my kids.

A huge thanks to Tim and Yvonne for inviting me on their Toronto Zoo trip.  I look forward to the next time! 

UPDATE:  On December 15th, Brytne, the 13 year old Sumatran tiger died after an altercation with her intended mate Harimau Kayu.  An unfortunate end to what everyone was hoping to be a joyous outcome... a new little of tigers for a critically endangered species. 

I feel very fortunate to have been able to photograph Brytne before her passing. 

Some links of interest:

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