Most large cities and many medium-sized cities in the United States have a zoo. There are over twenty-five in the state of California, and over 2,500 zoos spread across the country. Do an Internet search to find the best zoos in your area. I have visited several zoos recently to expand my wildlife photo collection and to take note of some tips that may help you with your photography at the zoo. Some zoos are focusing on and doing outstanding work at restoring endangered species with breeding programs and returning virtually extinct wildlife to environments that are being cleaned up and preserved. Zoos used to have long rows of cages keeping their animals “behind bars.” New zoos have been totally redesigned to resemble their animal’s natural habitats.
A few safari parks scattered across the United States are offering guided tours through expansive environments with a variety of large animals, like elephants, giraffes and these cape buffalo. Some offer overnight lodging in African-style safari tents for a unique experience. You can fall asleep to the night calls of the wildlife. In Northern California is a 400 acre wilderness where over 900 creatures are free to roam. The photography is wonderful without cages. Safari West Wildlife Preserve - 3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa CA.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.