Sunday, June 8, 2008

Camera Critters~ MEOW



Camera Critters


For the past few Sundays I have been featuring some critter photos from a recent trip to a game park. First we had Peacocks, then we had The Petting Zoo. Now we have the big cats! OOOOOOOOO I do love me some big kitties, and I'm proud to say that the LOVE is not lost on Sugar Bear. We were tripping over each other to get a good look at all the lovely overgrown house cats.

I have seen many Lions in a zoo before, but I have NEVER heard one. I was so pleasantly surprised when this big boy started roaring. It was impressive. It may or may not have sounded like he had a touch of the croup....but it didn't detract from the glorious moment too much. WOW..what an amazing animal.



This particular trip solidified my NEED for a zoom lens. I'm not sure but I think I might have a precious little package on my front porch sometime this coming week. Cha-ching.......

Sugar Bear is a BIG fan of Tigers. What's not to love, right? This particular tiger was a bit hard to see, as it was laying down pretty far back in it's cage area. We did not get to enjoy it roaming around, but I do think Sugar was impressed none the less.



This Jaguar was amazing. What an incredible coat. SIGH.....gorgeous....simply stunning. I just have no words for how much I admire this animal.



One of the many treats of the day was when we were lucky enough to participate in a demonstration featuring a 12 week old Mountain Lion.



This little guy quite possibly is the most beautiful animal I have ever had the pleasure of watching. His strength, and agility was awe inspiring, and certainly validated my long time admiration.



It was a joy to watch him interact with his handler, but at all times I was fully aware of the fact that this is an animal that is meant to be wild, and it's power even at this young age greatly surpasses my own.



Once the handler sufficiently tired him out, we were given the opportunity to pet him.



As incredibly stunning as this animal was.....and how I yearned to feel that thick fur.....I respectfully declined. I felt that an animal of this magnitude of strength, and the ability to do myself or Sugar Bear serious bodily harm in an instant, it was best to just adore him from a distance.



Isn't he the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? (besides Sugar Bear, of course)



Seeing these beautiful creatures behind bars hurt my heart quite a bit, but luckily this insight was lost on Sugar Bear. Her innocence protects her from noticing the completely un-natural environments provided to these animals. I do not believe gravel, cement and logs are really the intended "home" for such majestic beasts. I walked away from the day with a internal struggle. On one hand....my heart leap for the chance to share this experience with a very eager Sugar Bear, yet on the other hand, my heart was heavy with despair for enjoying the day despite the obvious cruelty such places are to the spirit of our world's animals. It is an internal struggle that I hope won't reside in Sugar Bear for years to come.

Thank you for coming by my Blog this week. Be sure to come back by next Sunday when I'll be continuing the tour through the game park.

32 Live It or Love It:

Kat said...

These are so huge cats :) As usual I am amazed by your photography skills. I have come to look forward to check your blog for new photos daily.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Jules said...

Hey Corey, I so agree. It's hard to see them behind bars, but then it's wonderful to see them as well.

i beati said...

wonderment in her eyes . so special sandy

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Wow... zoos are amazing. You get to see some pretty cool catz! =)
We don't have zoos here... I think the closest one is about 14 hour drive and perhaps when gas prices go down... (yeh riiiiight) I will go out and see it.
Beauitiful photos as always...
Rocky Mountain Retreat

AnnD said...

I agree that even though it is hard to see them behind bars, I am still honored to be able to view them that close. I know there is no other way I would be able to see them! I always feel like they must be so homesick and bored. Big cats are my favorite! I love those shots!

JC said...

I hear you... mixed feelings. But, for sure, there is just something wrong about a mountain lion on a leash.

Still, how else would most folks see those majestic animals if it weren't for the zoo.

Love the shots and Sugar's expression says a lot!

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

You got some great captures! I certainly wouldn't mess with that first guy!

Indrani said...

These big cats look majestic. Thanks for taking us on a virtual visit through the game park.

Jenty said...

Beautiful photos Corey.
I have to agree with you about the confined spaces in zoos. It breaks my heart.
When you see the lions in their natural environment, then the tiny confines are even more heartbreaking the next time you go to a zoo.

Michelle Potter said...

From the shows my kids watch on Animal Planet, it seems like many of the animals that end up in zoos or parks these days were for some reason or another unable to survive in their natural habitat. I think it is also sometimes a temporary home for animals that need to recover from some injury or illness.

That could be a mistaken impression, but if it's true then it definitely softens the blow of seeing them in the zoo -- better there and taken care of than dead in the wild.

MyGoodFinds said...

Awesome big cat photos Corey! I find the 3rd entertaining for some reason.

Love your photos. Zoom lens are just fantastic.

Thanks for visiting.

lingovise said...

really terrific captures! I'm sorting through a bunch of zoo photos myself, it's a lot of fun! Love reliving the moments caught on film, er, memory card.

Keep us updated on your new lens. I've got several on my wish list & would love to know what's working for you :) Cheers!

Rhea said...

Great big kitty photos! How awesome you got to hear the lion roar!! Fabulous!

Anna said...

I love big kitties, too. I think I would be just as happy watching them in their natural environment on National Geographic or something as seeing them caged in a zoo.

Christina said...

Oooh, the big cats! They are my favorites, too! That young mountain lion is especially amazing, so cute and majestic all at once. I always feel pained to see the animals caged, too, but at the same time I do anjoy having the opportunity to see them.

imac said...

OOO you wild thing, lol,
Great photos.


pop and see my CC at Beamish Musium.

starnitesky said...

Wow you have some super photos of the big cats, I love the expression on Sugar Bear's face.

Teena in Toronto said...

Those are BIG kitties!

Thanks for stopping by mine :)

Nap Warden said...

I love the big cats. I went when the lion was roaring once. It scared my kiddos to pieces. They clung to me. Poor things...

Misty Dawn said...

Your photos ALWAYS take my breath away. I can NOT wait to see some with a zoom lens :-)

Lilli & Nevada said...

Love the photos, but i have to say that hubby and i refuse to go to zoos any more because we see the animals all caged up and our hearts break to see them caged, seems like they have no purpose any more in life.
The last one is definitely a gorgeous photo

napaboaniya said...

Looks like a little white tiger to me :)

Dragonstar said...

I'm with you on the captivity - but how else can people experience the power of these animals? It's a hard decision.
Your photos are beautiful!

Jo Beaufoix said...

These are fabulous shots Cor. Miss E loves tigers and sponsored one as her Christmas prezzie from her grandma. I understand your struggle as I feel it too, but I suppose conservation is also a part of keeping a small amount of these animals captive, so I try to keep that in mind.

Don Mills Diva said...

That kind of thing hurts my heart too but I try to think of those animals as martyrs for their fellow animals - if people never get a chance to see them up close they will never fall in love with them and vow to protect them, ya know?

Beautiful shots.

CrazyCath said...

Those are fantastic creatures and pictures. Like you I struggle with the joy of being able to actually see these creatures (without zoos or safari parks I could never hope to see them. Not on this island anyway.) At the same time, the chain around the neck of the young mountain lion brings home how restricted they are, how unnatural their habitat is. I much prefer safari parks where the animals can roam free.

What an experience for Sugar Bear though. Great critters post to boot.

holly said...

aren't these places a bit of protection for them? i keep myself deluded that way so as to not get caught up in the sadness.

my sadness helps no one.

except the tear fairy.

but she's a beotch.

bundle-o-contradictions said...

Meow. :)

Carolyn said...

Beautiful photos to accompany your thoughtful words. I think I've written to you about this before, so perhaps I'm repeating myself, but I too feel that internal struggle about zoos. However, I honestly believe that people often don't care about things that they have never had a personal experience with. Or, should I say, some insensitive or thoughtless individuals might be inclined to change their attitude if they were able to have an up-close and personal experience like you did with the mountain lion. I feel zoos are a necessary evil which facilitiates the education of people who might not otherwise give a damn. Just my two cents...

Great post Corey.

Carolyn said...

ps - Michelle raises a good point. Our local Aquarium is home to a dolphin that activist groups like to raise hell about all the time. But I used to volunteer at the Aquarium and the truth about the dolphin is that he came there after being seriously injured in a fishing net. Spinnaker was nursed back to health, but his injuries were so severe that he could not be returned to the wild. He does not look injured, but would die if not given daily medical attention. I know many of the animals at our Aquarium are in the same situation, or are at least there for rehabilitation. I think more than 2,000 animals have been treated and released back into the wild.

So... my point is that I think people wrongly see zoos as just an animal circus for our amusement, whereas many zoos are education, research and rehabilitation facilities that use the revenue from admissions to not only do important work within the facility, but to further protect and help animals in the wild.

Carolyn said...

Sorry Corey... perhaps I should have posted that "rant" on my own blog instead of hijacking yours. Much love and respect to you!

Childlife said...

Some gorgeous shots Corey - And I know what you mean about feeling compelled to admire from a distance! :)

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