Revisiting the Zoo

September 13, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The zoo is a very sad place where animals serve a life sentence behind bars. Or so I thought, until I recently made several visits to the Denver Zoo. I already knew the appalling facts relating to the world's wildlife: deforestation, poaching, human population growth and climate change are having devastating effects on animals and their habitats. But I didn't make a fundamental connection between that information and the animals themselves until I saw them at the zoo. Instead of thinking of them as unlucky captives, I viewed them as representatives of wildlife populations that need help. 

Young Male LionYoung Male LionLions have decreased in number from 100,000 in 1966 to under 30,000 today. They live in Sub-Saharan Africa and NW. India. Their species is classified as vulnerable.
Captive, Denver Zoo, Colorado
100% of all profits from the Zoos and Sanctuaries Gallery are donated to charities that benefit world wildlife.

 

TogetherTogetherTwo giraffes enjoy a moment together.
Captive, Denver Zoo
100% of all profits from the Zoos and Sanctuaries Gallery are donated to charities that benefit world wildlife.

 

By spending significant time with each of the animals I photographed, I became inspired by them, connecting with them in a way that I never have before. Among my experiences, I witnessed a tiger's astonishing speed when I saw him jump from a tree where he had been sharpening his claws, to attack his wooden toy, yards away. I watched a young lion affectionately nuzzle his brother before ascending the highest rock in his enclosure to gaze at me with a regal stare. I enjoyed the graceful, dance-like movements of the flamingos as they swayed their long necks and I learned that a cheetah is constantly on high alert, even when he's resting. 

Amur (Siberian) TigerAmur (Siberian) TigerAmur tigers are the largest of the big cats, ranging from 5-9 ft. long and weighing 275-530 lbs. With their great strength and speed, they can capture very large prey. Their species is classified as endangered.
Captive, Denver Zoo, Colorado
100% of all profits from the Zoos and Sanctuaries Gallery are donated to charities that benefit world wildlife.

 

Resting CheetahResting CheetahThe cheetah is the fastest mammal on land, reaching 70 mph in 3 seconds. Found in Africa and Southwest Asia, this species is listed as vulnerable.
Captive, Denver Zoo, Colorado

100% of all profits from the Zoos and Sanctuaries Gallery are donated to charities that benefit world wildlife.

 

 

Many things have changed over the years since I last visited a zoo. Animal habitats have been dramatically improved and expanded. Signs posted next to each enclosure give visitors information about the status of animal populations in the wild. As an important source for wildlife information, the zoo offers a variety of  educational programs that promote conservation.  In the field, the Denver zoo has actively supported animal research and conservation projects in every continent of the world except Antarctica. It currently participates in projects in Botswana, Mongolia, Vietnam, Peru, Bolivia and the United States. In other words, zoos have become key players in advocating for wildlife guardianship and protection.

Pas De DeuxPas De DeuxTwo American flamingos preen in unison.
Captive, Denver Zoo, Colorado
100% of all profits from the Zoos and Sanctuaries Gallery are donated to charities that benefit world wildlife.

 

Perhaps one day I'll have the opportunity to take photographs of these animals in their natural environments. Until that time, I plan to continue adding to my zoos and sanctuaries portfolio in the hope that the images I take will help support and protect the animals I so admire.

 

One hundred percent of all profits in the Zoos and Sanctuaries Gallery will be donated to charities that benefit world wildlife.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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