I had a great time at the Zootography class at the Gulf Breeze Zoo this past Saturday! Rob Kepko of Calagaz Photo (formerly Rob's Camera) teaches the class and provides suggestions to us during our tour. After ~ 30 - 45 minutes of instruction, we were collected by Kate, the Zoo Director and taken "behind the scenes" to get up close with the 2 hippos!
They were very cool and smart! Who would have thought hippos were that smart? We got to feed and touch them!
I also learned something new. When hippos aren't in the water, they secrete a substance called "blood sweat" which keeps their skin lubricated. There is no blood in "blood sweat," though you can see in the picture below why it would have gotten this name.
After checking out the hippos, we were able to photograph the gorillas. If you haven't been to the zoo lately, you need to go so you can see Kigali, the young gorilla who has been reunited with his mom, Rwanda, after spending the first 8 months of his life in the zoo "nursery."
As you can gather from the photos, he's still quite shy and unsure of the world around him. Rwanda, on the other hand, is a total diva and kept striking poses for us!
Our next stop was to visit Babuka, the silver back gorilla. He was pretty good about posing for us, though he didn't take his eyes off of us the entire time. I wasn't the only one who commented that we were glad there was a channel of water between us and him.
After class was over, I wandered around the zoo a bit taking a couple of additional pictures. Some of you may remember the 3 month old lion cub I was fortunate enough to get to play with and photograph back in the fall. Well, he's now a "lanky teenager who eats as much as the adult tigers" (wording by the zoo's director) and no longer allowed to play with anyone. I still think he's adorable!
For those who didn't see, here are a few photos I took of him as a 3 month old.
Amanda is the prop buying, location scouting, ponytail sporting, flip flop wearing, owner/ operator/ and woman behind the camera for Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography.