1. Daysleeper40

    Daysleeper40

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    Fi
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    Last weekend we had a lovely trip - taking in Axe Valley, Shaldon Wildlife, Paignton Zoo and Dartmoor Zoo. A selection of cats from the trip are below - C&C always welcome. All taken with my Nikon D7000 and 70-300 lens.

    1. Dragan - Dartmoor Zoo
    [​IMG]DZ_20180422_112036 by Daysleeper40, on Flickr

    2. Chincha - Dartmoor Zoo
    [​IMG]DZ_20180422_105135 by Daysleeper40, on Flickr

    3. One of the Cheetah brothers - Dartmoor Zoo
    [​IMG]DZ_20180422_120414 by Daysleeper40, on Flickr

    4. Lucu - Paignton Zoo
    [​IMG]PZ_20180421_122718 by Daysleeper40, on Flickr

    5. Lion Cub - Paignton Zoo
    [​IMG]PZ_20180421_171634 by Daysleeper40, on Flickr

    6. Siblings - Paignton Zoo
    [​IMG]PZ_20180421_171636 by Daysleeper40, on Flickr

    7. Lynx - Axe Valley
    [​IMG]AV_20180420_104418 by Daysleeper40, on Flickr

    8. Dragan - Dartmoor Zoo
    [​IMG]DZ_20180422_112212 by Daysleeper40, on Flickr

    Thanks for looking :)
     
    Gil Bev and spudhead like this.
  2. Nod

    Nod Kronus

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    Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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    Looks like Chincha's pretending to be a bear... :D
    I love DZP for the moats rather than wire for the Tigers, Cheetahs and Jaguar even if the Lions, Lynxes and Wolves are behind wire.
    Never managed a decent shot of the cats at Paignton - the glass is always filthy on the cats' side (and I'm too chicken to clean it... :D) If I have any criticism, it's that the Lions are slightly cooler in terms of WB than the others. I suspect that shooting through the glass on an overcast day is probably the culprit.
    What's Shaldon like? Despite it being the closest to us, I've not been as an adult. IIRC they have a couple of smaller cats - any shots of them?
     
  3. Daysleeper40

    Daysleeper40

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    Yup - gotta love the moats. Also gotta love the people who had paid for the keeper for a day experience and meant all the cats were being given enrichment!
    You are exactly right on the lions / glass front - it is mildly better than the glass at Cotswold Wildlife Park but that is not saying much!

    I really like Shaldon from a zoo geek pov but it is completely hopeless for photography. It is very small and due to the nature of the enclosures you'd be hard pushed to achieve a 'nice' background. If you like Loris it is the place to be - we spent AGES in their nocturnal bit watching them. Their female Owston's Civet is also pregnant - but if the little ones are anything like their parents when they arrive you would be very lucky to see them. Same for the Woylie - I tried in vain to see him too! I believe their only cat now is the Margay who was a no-show on this day (we have seen it before) so no Shaldon cat pics I'm afraid.
     
  4. Nod

    Nod Kronus

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    Mrs Nod paid for me (and her - BOGOF!) to do a Tiger day a couple of years ago when they had the older Tigers (Vlad and Stripe IIRC, both now sadly deceased) so one (Stripe) was shut in for us to see VERY close up while the other stayed outside. Been a few times (we're members) when there have been keeper days on and yes, they're great!

    I think the enclosures at Paignton (we're members there too) are better for the animals but not so good for photography unless the Tigers are obligingly near the raised platform but even then, you're shooting down on them. Paignton have more (some) breeding as well - DZP had a poor reputation for indiscriminate breeding (Stripe and Vlad were among the "unauthorised" results) but seem to be getting better so maybe in the future...

    Will have to slip down to Shaldon before the season starts in earnest. Apparently the café there is quite good! Smaller places need the support as much (if not more) as the larger ones. (Although the old "zoo" at Exmouth was a disgrace before it was closed.)

    Glad you had a great weekend down this way.
     
  5. Daysleeper40

    Daysleeper40

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    Lucky you! I have done a similar experience at Colchester and it was great :)

    Dartmoor quite openly state that Dragan & Alisha (current pair of tigers) are not part of any breeding programme so there shouldn't be any cubs - I think they definitely have got better in that respect. Tbh it is a while since we had been though and I was a bit disappointed by the lack of progress. Vlad / Stripes old enclosure has been improved and the new pair moved in but beyond that there seemed to be a lot of other areas empty. Aviaries looking pretty sad, a new enclosure that I'm sure was built to house meerkats was empty and there were no BOP at all. We would visit again though - I do love their cats. I think the cheetah and Jag enclosures are pretty good, lions adequate and the Tigers has definitely improved - they now have various platforms / water / rocks etc.

    We absolutely love visitng the area tbh - we've always had a great time :)
     
  6. Cobra

    Cobra W Staff Member

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    Lovely set Fi !
    Its tough to chose a favourite, but I'll go with #2 looking straight down the barrel (y)
    (but of course who doesn't love a gob shot? )
     
    Daysleeper40 likes this.
  7. Nod

    Nod Kronus

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    Chincha is VERY obliging for "straight down the barrel" shots. He spends a lot of time prowling up and down the wire to the left of his enclosure (looking from the moat end) and will stare at anyone who's standing the far side of the moat. When there's a school trip there, you can see him choosing from the menu and you KNOW he would if he could! Every so often he wanders away from the wire and that's when Fi got her shot - he still looks up at the visitors hungrily... Occasionally he'll lie up on one of the raised platforms in his enclosure and rest his chin on a post, just like some domesticated cats (or is it domesticated cats aping their wild cousins?) and can sometimes give a gob shot opp. The Tigers can usually be relied on to give a gob opp at some point during a visit.

    The school trips usually love feeding time, especially when it's an enrichment feed - Chincha sometimes gets a pony head chained up and can end up swinging on it before he rips it down. The Tigers get heads too but theirs are hidden at ground level rather than dangled.
     
    Daysleeper40 likes this.
  8. Daysleeper40

    Daysleeper40

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    Thank you :)

    He definitely is!
     

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