But the Leopard...
...in you, silently preyed on me.
On October 13th, my family and I traveled to Omaha to visit the zoo. Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is an amazing place to visit, and practice wildlife photography. Many of their exhibits have natural looking backgrounds or wide open spaces so you can capture images of the animals with nice backgrounds that are not distracting.
The first area we visited was the Desert Dome. The Desert Dome consists of several areas designed to be representative of deserts from around the world. There are many large areas for animals to live naturally in, as well as smaller pens for some of the animals. Several species have free range and can travel around. It is fun seeing the animals in what appear to be natural habitats.
After leaving the Desert Dome, we headed over to the Cat Complex. The Cat Complex is one of my favorite parts of the Omaha Zoo. They have a large building, where you can see the cats either inside or outside. The cats can choose where they want to be, and you still get to see them. At other zoos, if the cat chooses to stay inside, you're just out of luck. There are numerous different cats to view also. Leopards, Snow Leopards, Mountain Lions, Tigers and Jaguars.
As you leave the Cat Complex, you are able to look down into Durham's Bear Canyon. It is pretty amazing to look down on the environment and see the bears from above. After making your way down a winding path, you can then see the bears from straight on. My wife's favorite is the polar bear, so we spent quite a bit of time watching it. I'll have to admit, they are fun animals to watch.
Around the corner from Durham's Bear Canyon is Simmons Aviary. I love birds and this was an area we probably spent way too much time in. Seeing over 500 birds in one large aviary was amazing. The walkway gave you perfect viewing angles to see some from above, some straight on, and some from below. It was a great place to practice taking pictures of wild birds. Some of my favorites were the Hamerkop, the Scarlett Ibis and the Roseate Spoonbill.
On the other side of the zoo is the African Grasslands. As stated before, I would love to go on an African Safari. However... my wife refuses to go with me, and we don't have that kind of money. I love that I can go to zoos and capture some of the same images that you could in Africa. So many of the zoos around have worked very hard on providing natural looking habitats for their animals and Omaha's African Grasslands exhibit is one of those. The lions weren't on display and the elephants were in their indoor habitat on the day that we were there, but there were many of other good photo opportunities. The cheetahs were posed perfectly. The zebra, rhinos, and giraffes were all available and I was able to capture some decent images of them all.
There are so many other areas to explore at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo that we will have to take another family trip to visit again.
Song: The Man Who Stole a Leopard by Duran Duran