Lions and Tigers and … Racehorses?

While at the Los Angeles Zoo last week my big zoom lens finally gave up the ghost.  The auto-focus had been acting up for quite a while but it refused to work at all at the Zoo, so I had to buy a replacement.  It is exactly the same lens; I wish I could afford to upgrade to a faster one but fast, long lenses are way out of my price range.  This one has served me well since 1993, so I expect the new one will have a long life as well.

Here is the main reason we went to the L.A. Zoo:

Zenyatta on the carousel

Ann and Jerry Moss (owners of my favorite racehorse, Zenyatta) donated the money to build a new conservation carousel at the Zoo and they included carousel horse portraits of three of their best racehorses.  Of course, I had to go ride Zenyatta!

Now I can truly say I have ridden Zenyatta :)

Yes, there were animals at the Zoo as well.  Despite my struggles with low light and having to manual focus with a handheld long lens, I managed to get some decent photos.  Here is a koala enjoying a meal of eucalyptus leaves.

Koala noms

This fellow was either depressed, very tired or recovering from a hangover.  Whatever the reason for his interesting posture, he certainly brought a smile to my face!

Depressed koala?

The zebras were all dozing in the sun.  One was flat on his side, one was standing up and this one was being adorable all curled up like cat.

Portrait of a zebra

Flamingos are beautiful, big birds but boy, do they STINK! Some brilliant person put a restroom on the hill just next to the flamingo pond (we thought the plumbing was bad, but it was the flamingos).  Admire from a distance! (The birds, not the restroom; no one admires a restroom …)

Feeding flamingos

The new tiger cubs were out!  Mama was sacked out (probably worn out by the kids) but the boys were having a great time playing with a log in a clump of bamboo.  Unfortunately, they were hard to photograph because they are so well camoflaged. I did get one good shot of one brother telling the other to BACK OFF!

Playing tiger cubs

It was getting dark by the time we reached the lion exhibit so my photos aren’t that great, but I did manage to get one of the lioness taking a bath and caught her tongue in mid slurp.

My, what a big tongue you have, Ms.Lion!