Oakland Zoo -2021
It's been since 2018 that I made a shoot here. I was very excited to get back. We visited with the grandkids in 2019, but then the Pandemic hit, and that was it until now. I had signed up for a "Breakfast with the Elephants" event in 2020. Of course, that was canceled, but they recently invited me to attend a "Brunch with the Wild Bunch" event. I couldn't say no. You'll see within this collection several shots of people inside the elephant enclosure. The idea was to grab a few items from the produce baskets and spread them out around the enclosure. The elephants would then be released into the enclosure and have at it. The image of the little girl with her big brother and dad was incredibly heartwarming. She didn't want to give up her banana for any reason. It took a few minutes for dad to convince her that he would get her a banana of her own once they left the zoo. Too cute! Further into the shoot are some rather scary images of the Lion brothers. When I first caught these guys on film back in 2018, it looked like they were play-fighting. It seems to have morphed into a more serious issue today. Two of the brothers were left tattered after this day's brawl, and it looks as though they've been at each other for some time, with a lot more force than one would expect from siblings. One of the three has almost no scars; I'm guessing he's the alpha, and the other two leave him alone while they vie for a lower level of dominance. It made me sad. The keepers were watching closely and trying to coax them into better behavior to no avail. I think there will be a separation shortly. The rest of the day was a bit sad, but the Grizzlies were fun. The closeups of these bears were taken through glass, so you'll see some funny reflections. This Grizzly had a coconut he was determined to crack open. After several minutes of frustrating attempts to break it by jumping up and down on it, he picked it up and started smashing it against the glass, to the delight (and terror) of twenty or so viewers (myself included). Apart from the lions, this was a good shoot. Because of the violent nature of some of these images, I've added an "adult content" filter. Please view before letting the kiddies watch. Thank you.