Some cool photo of animals images:
Picasso or Panda? Budding Animal Artists Emerge at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Image by Smithsonian's National Zoo
In this photo: giant panda Tian Tian
Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Sans berets, smocks or palettes, the animals at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are getting their paws dirty with non-toxic, water-based paint and creating one-of-a-kind works of art. Painting is one among many activities that fall under Animal Enrichment—a program that provides physically and mentally stimulating activities and environments for the Zoo’s residents. The animals have the opportunity not only to choose how to behave, but also to use their natural abilities and behaviors in new and exciting ways.
Enrichment is an integral part of the daily care of the species in the Zoo’s collection. Keepers and curators carefully study animal behavior and determine what kinds of enrichment are appropriate for each species and, occasionally, individual animals. Keepers have a number of novel options for enrichment. They may alter an exhibit; train an animal; introduce new smells, sounds, foods, and objects; or enlist an animal in a research project, such as a study about foraging skills or cognitive research. Adding a variety of engaging activities helps keepers ensure the Zoo’s animals have a high quality of life.
Though the subjects of the animals’ paintings remain mysterious, the ways visitors can support the Zoo’s enrichment program are as clear as a starry, starry night. Drop off any size canvas, art paper, paint brush or non-toxic, water-based paint at the Visitor Center for the animal care staff to distribute. Animal keepers are collecting gifts for the animals this holiday season. Browse the list of needed items on the Enrichment Giving Tree section of the Zoo’s website or the Enrichment page of the Zoo’s online store.
Art produced by many of the Zoo’s mammal and bird residents will be available for purchase at the National Capital chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) Art Show, which will take place spring 2012.
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Bergeron's Exotic Animal Sanctuary is OPEN for another year! (Single RAW capture HDR)
Image by Robert Scott Photography
Jenn and I took a drive out to Bergeron's Exotic Animal Sanctuary today on a whim after I received a message on Facebook this morning saying it was open for the year.
This is one of many Cougars at the Sanctuary, basking in the sunlight right next to the fence. Quite literally 4 feet away from us and our cameras! Bergeron's is a unique opportunity to be much closer to the animals than Zoos allow.
I completely encourage anyone in the area, or even not from the area to head out to Bergeron's and have a look around, the animals are amazing and beautiful, and the Sanctuary could always use the paid admissions to keep it running. for an adult to enter, much less than you'd pay to go to the Zoo!
All of the Bergeron's photos I post up today and over the next couple of days are dedicated to Joe Bergeron who passed away this holiday season. It was his and his wife's vision that created the sanctuary. He will be truly missed.
The Cougar (Puma concolor) is a mammal of the Felidae family, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in every major American habitat type. It is the second heaviest cat in the American continents after the jaguar, and the fourth heaviest in the world, along with the leopard, after the tiger, lion, and jaguar, although it is most closely related to smaller felines.
A capable stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources include ungulates such as deer, elk, and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, horses, and sheep, particularly in the northern part of its range, but it also hunts species as small as insects and rodents. Moreover, it prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but it can live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and persists at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. While it is a large predator, it is not always the dominant species in its range, as when it competes for prey with other predators such as the jaguar, Gray Wolf, American Black Bear, and the Grizzly Bear. It is a reclusive cat and usually avoids people. Attacks on humans remain rare, despite a recent increase in frequency.