My regular reader will know that animals are one of my favourite photography subjects. Since I very rarely make it out into the wild, zoos and safari parks are my most regular source of subjects. Therefore, during my recent holiday in The Netherlands, I couldn’t turn down the chance to pay a visit to Diergaarde Blijdorp – Rotterdam Zoo (especially with a day to kill on the way to the ferry ).
I’m not going to do an extensive zoo review but suffice to say that Rotterdam Zoo is truly excellent. Well laid out, some excellent habitats and, above all, from a photographer’s perspective, many great opportunities to get a close, clear view of the animals. This was first time ever that I was able to get my 70-200mm lens so close to animals it was unable to focus.
Only two regrets. It was a very dull, wet day which meant that there was absolutely no light at all. This made getting any decent images quite tricky. It also meant that the gorillas were sensibly hiding inside, bit disappointed I missed them. I would absolutely love to go back on a brighter day.
All of these images are available for hi-res free download from Morguefile here.
It was almost like this Sumatran Tiger had been trained to pose for visitors. It sat a few feet from the glass and happily posed for many camera clicks.
And was even good enough to look straight at the camera.
Delighted to get this shot of the Red Panda. I was hunting for the gorillas when I got a shout from one of my team of trusty spotters. I only just got there in time, a few seconds later he went back up into the tree and didn’t come back down. A great example of how you can shoot animals at the zoo with no fences or bars in the way, there was nothing between me and the panda.
That said, I was glad there was glass between mean this crocodile. Like the tiger, it was almost like he knew where to sit, right next to the glass where you could get really close.
The prairie dogs came closer than anything. They jumped up on the wall next to you meaning I had to step back a bit to get the lens to focus.
The baby elephant was a lot of fun. He was clearly intent on mischief, kicking an adolescent elephant until a fight broke out and one of the adults had to step in to break it up.
You can see these guys might have given Irvine Welsh nightmares. Not the most attractive of beasts but they do have the major photo benefit of being happy to stand still a lot.
Same goes for the flamingoes. And they are quite a bit prettier.
I love the menace suggested by the feather hanging out it’s mouth. Not the biggest Kimodo Dragon but was still quite scary to stare down.
The Oceanarium is excellent but, as ever, the low light makes it very tough to get any decent shots. Proof, as if it were needed, that I need a new camera that does more at higher ISO.
I watched this toucan pick grapes out the hole for quite a while. He was clearly being made to work for his food.
I like the photo as it looks like the Spoonbill is standing on the bottom of the photo.
Didn’t see the wolves for a while and then I got a shout from my trusty spotter when this one ran up and started to try and get something out the water.
The giraffe enclosure is very impressive. You can get very close to the giraffes when they are indoors.
For more information on other things to do in Rotterdam, have a look here.