A view of my world in Central Illinois and places we go.

Amur Tiger at the Brookfield Zoo

Living in suburban Chicago in my childhood, I fondly recall visiting Brookfield Zoo. The animals, the heat, the smell! And, simply getting worn out walking everywhere. Well, it has been years (dare I say decades?) since visiting the Zoo and I recently took the opportunity to go while visiting my sister in nearby Downers Grove. Mid-March on a sunny, but cool, day seemed like a reasonable time for this – I figured the crowds would be smaller and the animals a bit more active. To me, it always seems a bit disheartening, and certainly less interesting, to see some of these glorious animals just lying around in the dead heat of summer (even though many of the larger animals probably do so in the wild when it’s really hot, don’t you think?).

So, I took a lot of photos. Now armed with a digital SLR and a long lens, and a little more photography-savviness, I wanted to test my skills on some new subjects (i.e., not the dog!). So, from time to time in the coming days, I will post some images from my visit  to the zoo. Today, I will concentrate on one of the big cats, the Amur tiger [ Panthera tigris altaica]. Formerly called the Siberian tiger, it is so named for the region it inhabits, the Amur River in eastern Asia running through parts of Russia, China, and North Korea.

Clearly one of the zoo’s favorites, and mine, the Amur tiger is the largest of the big cats and can reach 600 pounds, stand 3 feet at the shoulder, and 9 feet in length (plus 3 feet of tail). They are elegant animals and the orange-and-black coat is hypnotic. I had a hard time pulling myself away from this magnificent animal and came back to it before leaving for home. So, here are just a few of the better images.

All photos taken with a Canon 7D and a 70-300mm lens.

The Amur tiger

EXIF: 1/640 s, f/5.60, ISO 100 @ 300mm

EXIF: 1/500 s, f/5.60, ISO 100 @ 300mm

EXIF: 1/400 s, f/5.60, ISO 640 @ 300mm

EXIF: 1/400s, f/5.60, ISO 160 @ 300mm

EXIF: 1/640s, f/5.60, ISO 100 @ 300mm

Something (a large flock of something) flew over and caught his attention:

EXIF: 1/500 s, f/5.60, ISO 500 @ 300mm

Got to love those large, yellow eyes…this image was cropped from a larger image similar to the one above. Ahh, the luxury of a dSLR with 18 million pixels.

EXIF: 1/500 s, f/5.60, ISO 500 @ 300mm

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