San Diego Wild Animal Park

A selection of wildlife images from several shoots at the Park, this page has a very detailed
section on lions, with numerous images and composites of several males along with images
of cubs, lionesses and group shots. I have received several requests for lion images for use
in school projects, so I decided to provide a wide selection of lions. I™ve also concentrated
on the Bat-Eared Fox, Mantled Guereza (a Colobus Monkey), and Ring-Tailed Lemurs.
In all, there are 101 large images and composites displayed here (including several
images of Rhinoceros, Gerenuk, Gorilla, Meerkat, Okapi, and a few other animals).

This page contains large images (typically 1350-1500 pixels for landscape images,
and 1100-1200 pixels for portrait images), along with some special, larger images.
Larger images (and composites) are designated M or LG and sizes are indicated.
These images have been provided in Portfolio sizes (and larger) because I intend
them to be directly printable for people who want to use them for school projects.

These images are not available for commercial uses (Personal Use Only).

You are welcome to print any of the images on this page for personal use
or use in a school project, or use an image in an electronic report (PDF).
Signatures or copyright marks must be maintained, and you should put
an image credit (reference this website) in the bibliography appendix.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.


Bat-Eared Foxes HS6945 LG
(1754 x 1169)

Bat-Eared Foxes are native to the African Savanna. Averaging about 21” (55cm) in length
(head and body), it’s ears are typically about 5-5.5” (13cm) long. They have very small teeth,
adapted for their insectivorous diet (they also eat mice, birds and eggs, and sometimes fruit).


Bat-Eared Fox Pup HS6753


Bat-Eared Fox Pup HS6756


Bat-Eared Fox Pup HS6779

When these shots were taken, the pups had just recently been weaned.


Bat-Eared Fox Pup HS6856

A pup reacts to the approach of the
keeper, bringing a bucket of beetles.


Bat-Eared Fox HS6939c

This fox took up a defensive posture to
warn the passing warthog to stay away.


Bat-Eared Foxes HS6917 LG
(1744 x 1395)

Tracking down the last of the bugs the keeper passed out.
You can see the size difference between the adult on the left and the pup on the right.


Bat-Eared Fox Pup HS6877


Bat-Eared Fox Pups HS7056

The warthog passes by yet again...


Bat-Eared Fox Pups M
(1505 x 1155)


Bat-Eared Fox and Pups M
(1509 x 1153)


Cheetahs 5363
(1620 x 858)

The fastest land animal, for short bursts the Cheetah can achieve speeds of 70-75 mph
(112-120 kph) and can accelerate to almost 70 mph in 3 seconds. It cannot maintain this
speed for very long though. Pronghorn Antelope developed their speed to outrun the extinct
American Cheetah, and they can maintain their slightly lower speed for much longer. Cheetahs
use stealth to approach their prey and  then catch them with a quick burst of speed, but if they are
not able to catch them quickly they usually miss the kill. The Cheetah is unlike other cats in that
they are not climbers. They have small heads with eyes mounted very high on the face. This
allows them to peek over high grass during a stalk without exposing much of their body.
Their claws do not retract completely, allowing them additional traction during a hunt.
They use their long tail like a rudder to help make high-speed turns in a pursuit.

Their large nostrils and deep chests allow them to increase their oxygen intake
during a pursuit, and the enlarged heart and lungs work together to allow them to
make use of the additional oxygen available. Their respiration rate increases from
60 to 150 breaths per minute during a pursuit to allow them the oxygen they need to run.

They cannot roar, but they can purr on both intake and exhalation breaths (unlike other big cats).
They also have a wide range of vocalizations that they use to communicate with other Cheetahs.
Because they cannot climb and have evolved for the use of extreme speed to hunt, they are not
able to defend themselves against the other big cats (and many of the other predators). They
will avoid a fight whenever possible, as any injury that prevents them from running at speed
can be life threatening. For this reason, they will often abandon a kill to even a lone hyena.
They avoid competition by hunting at different times of day than many other predators,
and will eat immediately after a kill to avoid losing it to another predator. Still, they
lose nearly half of their kills to other predators (e.g.: lions, leopards & hyenas).


Cheetah Lunchtime 5348 M
(1600 x 1181)

I love the look on the face of this Black-Crowned Night Heron.
Do you think it’s worried that the Cheetah will make a meal out of it?


Chilean Pudu X1388

This is the Southern Pudu from Chile. They are
the world’s smallest deer, native to South America.
About 14” tall at the shoulder (notice the short legs).
The Southern Pudu is an endangered species.


Chilean Pudu X8153

The Pudu can actually climb trees (to reach food
or to escape predators) and barks if threatened.


Colobus Monkey X8345

This is a Mantled Guereza, one of the five species
of Colobus Monkeys. An Old World Monkey, they
are native to West Central and East Africa, and
about 24” long with a 30-36” long tail. Adults
are black and white, the young are all white.

Colobus Monkeys are named from a Greek
word meaning “cut short” or mutilated. Unlike
other monkeys, the Colobus thumb is a stump.

Colobus live almost exclusively in trees and use
branches like a trampoline or diving board, using
the bounce to leap up to 50 feet to the next branch.


Colobus Monkey HS0570 LG
(932 x 1863)


Colobus Monkey X8352

The long hair and tail act as a parachute for the long leaps the Colobus makes in the trees.
Colobus Monkeys all have long, flattened noses... the tip of the nose nearly touches their mouth.


Colobus Monkey HS0831

Catching a drink at the stream...


Colobus Monkey X8450

This fellow looks truly bored. See below.


Colobus Monkey X8450c

A 1500 x 1000 crop from the master image, showing detail of the monkey’s expression.


Colobus Monkey HS0812


Colobus Monkey HS0825


Colobus Monkey 5125

Time for a drink from the stream...


Colobus Monkey LG
(1811 x 2150)


Gerenuk HS1703

Gerenuk means “Giraffe-necked” in Somali.
These gazelles stand on their hind legs to reach
the tender branches of trees and tall bushes.


Gerenuk HS1728

Because of their very long necks they can
reach branches other gazelles and antelopes
cannot, so they do not directly compete for food.


Gerenuk Portrait HS3847

Only the males have horns.
They also have stronger neck muscles.


Gerenuk Portrait HS3794

Note the scent gland in front of the eye.
The tarry substance is used to mark territory.


Gerenuk HS1727-28

Their triangular faces look very comical when viewed from the front (especially when chewing).


Giraffe X8274

Speaking of long necks... The tallest living animal, giraffes grow to 18 feet. Its scientific name (Giraffa camelopardalis) reflects the mistaken early belief that it was a cross between a camel and a leopard.


Giraffe Juvenile X8278

Giraffes have to spread their legs to
get a drink, like this young one is doing.
Giraffes drink large amounts of water, spending
long periods in arid regions on stored water.


Gorilla HS3408

A Western Lowland Silverback Gorilla.
The Silverback is the dominant male of this troop.
Gorillas use tools to fish, to scare intruders, and
for many other uses, both in the wild and in zoos.


Gorilla HS3428

This young male gorilla is about to use the
rock in his hand to break open some nuts.
Gorillas are highly intelligent primates, and
their DNA is 98-99% identical to human DNA.


Gorilla X5852 LG
(1239 x 1859)

The Western Lowland Gorilla’s arms are longer than their legs,
and along with the Chimpanzee, they are the only animals that knuckle-walk.


Lion Cuddle HS1317


Lion Cuddle HS1326


Lion Cuddle HS1339 LG
2175 x 1632 (779 KB)

A young cub stops by for a little love and attention from mom and dad.


Lion HS7153

The lion is the second largest living cat behind
the tiger, with large males exceeding 550 lbs.
They live in savanna and grasslands, but can
live in bush and forest as well. They are now
primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia,
disappearing from North Africa, the Middle
East and Western Asia in historic times.


Lion HS7174

The males have a distinctive mane, and are
the most widely recognized of animals, but the
females are the real hunters and operate as a
team, each lioness developing specific skills.


Lion HS7149-59

The male lion symbolizes power, courage and nobility on coats of arms and national flags.
Both the male and female lions roar, a sound which can be heard up to five miles away.


Lion HS7167 LG
(1200 x 1500)


Lion HS7149-59-67 LG
(2644 x 1200)


Lion Play HS7111


Lion Play HS7116


Lion Play HS7130 LG
(2000 x 1333)

A lion relaxes, rolling around on the grass, framed by a defocused log in the foreground.


Lion X8518

The lion’s characteristic fangs are rather impressive, don’t you think?


Lion X1457

A young male, just starting to grow his mane.


Lion X6010

Hanging out on a wrecked Range Rover.


Lion HS7183

Lions live in groups (prides) with several related females (and cubs) and one or two males.
Once a male cub reaches maturity they are excluded from the pride. Males often roam in pairs
(usually siblings) until they join a pride. Some roam their range and never join a pride. Females that
roam have difficulty joining another pride, as females in a pride are related and reject other females.


Lion X8557

Lions spend up to 20 hours per day resting and are generally most active at night.


Lion Cub HS2123


Lion Cub HS2136


Lion Cub HS2126

These images were taken late in the afternoon, in the long golden rays just before sunset.


Lion Cub HS2053


Lion Cubs HS2032


Lion Cubs HS2042


Lion Cubs HS2095


Lioness HS6695

A lioness rests in the shade during a hot afternoon in July. You may have noticed
color differences in these images... they were shot during six different visits in April,
July, August, September and two Decembers, in various weather conditions and at
different times of day. You may also notice that there are several different lions...
they rotate the lions they have on display (the park has several groups of lions).


Lioness Sunbathing HS6685

The lioness has been recognized as the animal world’s most capable hunter since the dawn
of human history, and has been represented on cave drawings and other, later artworks as
the apex of hunting prowess. The ancient Egyptians and other ancient cultures gave their
primary goddesses lioness aspects for certain roles. Lionesses hunt as a team, with each
lioness having specific tasks to perform in the hunt. The precision and complexity of tactics
used by a team of lionesses during a hunt is quite impressive, and makes them capable of
taking down very large prey such as Cape Buffalo and Wildebeest with great efficiency.


Lioness HS7104

Some lionesses exhibit a ruff of hair at the
jawline below the ears, which can lead to their
misidentification as a young male. The male’s
mane extends above the ears and past the head.


Lioness Vignette HS7105

This image was shot through foreground trees
to create a green vignette framing the lioness.


Lion Fight HS0618

A playful fight for dominance. As usual,
the female seems to be winning this one.


Lions X1602

The young male and female are actually
quite friendly and may be siblings from the
same litter. Note the tuft at the end of the tail.
Lions are the only cats with this tufted tail.


Lioness X5990


Lioness X5978


Lioness Snarl X5982


Lioness HS7260


Lioness HS7271


Lioness X8589


Lioness HS7240


Lioness X6000 LG
(1843 x 1229)


Lions HS7198

Notice the wound near the mouth of the foreground
lioness. The lioness near the male is dominant.


Lions HS7215

This shot was taken just before sunset.
The golden light made this a nice portrait.


Lioness at Play HS7194


(2170 x 1760)


Meerkat HS6509

Related to the Mongoose, the Meerkat is a
very social animal that lives in clans of 20-50.
They have long claws for digging burrows and
for digging out prey (insects, snakes, lizards,
small mammals, etc.). They forage as a group,
with one or more on sentry duty guarding from
threats. The sentries signal with peeps if all is
OK, and loud barks and whistles for danger.


Meerkat HS6540

Meerkats live in large underground burrows with
multiple entrances. If danger appears, the sentry
barks and others dive into the nearest entrance.
The sentry is the first to reappear (the others stay
inside the burrow until the sentry stops signaling).


Meerkat X5753 LG
(1632 x 2448)

A sentry Meerkat sits on top of a rock, keeping watch for threats to the clan.


Meerkat HS5980-85-92 LG
(2369 x 1325)


Okapi M
(1500 x 1451)

The Okapi is a close relative of the giraffe, and has a beautiful, velvety fur coat. The stripes on
the back of the legs make them appear to be zebras when seen from a distance, and are thought
to assist young Okapi to follow their mother through the dense rain forests, as well as for camouflage.

They have an unbelievably long tongue, which they use for reaching tender leaves on high branches
and for grooming themselves and others.  The tongue is long enough that the Okapi can lick its own
eyelids and clean its own ears. This Okapi is a male (note the horns). They eat leaves and buds,
grass, fruit and mushrooms and they also eat clay for minerals and salt. They were unknown to
the Western world until the late 19th C. (but were depicted on the 2500 year-old Achaemenid
Apadana, an audience hall built in the 5th C. BC by Darius the Great in Persepolis, Persia).


Okapi Tongue X1462


Okapi Preening HS3463

Here, you can see two Okapi grooming each other.
That long tongue does come in handy, doesn’t it?


Rabbit HS6975

One of the few actual wild animals found at
the Wild Animal Park (other than local birds).


Red River Hog HS3960


Red River Hog HS3272

Red River Hogs, also known as the Bush Pig, roam in forests, mountains and swamps of Africa.
Primarily nocturnal, they also forage in the daylight if they feel safe from predators like Leopards.
They will eat almost anything, and have a powerful sense of smell allowing them to track down
food even when it is underground. They sweep their snout back and forth, tearing up the
ground to unearth tasty treats, which can damage crops, making enemies of farmers.

They live in troops of four to twenty animals: a boar, several sows and their piglets.


Ring-Tailed Lemur HS2192-3933 LG
(2188 x 1800)


Ring-Tailed Lemur HS2194

A large, strepsirrhine (wet-nosed) primate, the Ring-Tailed Lemur is the most widely recognized
of the lemurs due to the long striped  tail. Like all lemurs, they are from Madagascar. They live in a
matriarchal (female-dominated) society. They are typically 15” to 18” long, with a tail that is much
longer than their body (up to 25” long). The lemurs have been displaced outside of Madagascar
by other primates, but have been widely successful on the island (having arrived there after the
island separated from Africa by rafting over around 50 million years ago). The lemurs are more
closely related to each other than other strepsirrhine primates, thus they must have arrived in a
small group in a single rafting event before being isolated on the island. The original species
separated over the eons into over a hundred different species, but several have gone extinct
in the last century and most species are endangered due to hunting and habitat destruction.


Ring-Tailed Lemur X6067

They eat primarily fruits and leaves, but will
also eat wood, lizards, spiders, grasshoppers
birds and dirt. They prefer Tamarind leaves.


Ring-Tailed Lemur X6068

During the dry season, they become very
opportunistic, and will eat nearly anything
that they encounter including spider webs.


Ring-Tailed Lemur X6073


Ring-Tailed Lemur X6028

The Ring-Tailed Lemur spends a third of
its time on the ground, but stays in the trees
the rest of the time. They are very comfortable
hanging out in the branches or in low bushes.


Ring-Tailed Lemur X8184


Ring-Tailed Lemur X8180

In the morning, they sun themselves, sitting
with their legs outstretched and facing the sun.


Ring-Tailed Lemurs HS0344

On cold mornings, the lemurs huddle together in a Lemur Ball (seen in the background).


Warthog HS6280

The Warthog is a wild African pig. They have four wart-like protrusions on the sides of their head
that they use for defense when males fight, and four tusks used as weapons against predators and
for digging (as well as against other hogs). The tusks are constantly growing (the two in the upper
jaw can grow as large as 9 inches, but the lower tusks can cause the more dangerous wounds).

They commonly live in open grasslands, but will shelter in dense thickets or forests. They eat
grass, roots, berries and fruit, bark, eggs, and sometimes small animals, lizards, and birds.
They are preyed upon by lions, leopards, crocodiles and hyenas (and humans for the tusks).


Black Rhinoceros HS7099

The Black Rhinoceros is much the same color as the White, with a pointed prehensile lip
that it uses for manipulating leaves and a shorter head and larger secondary horn than the White.
Until the later half of the 20th C. they were the most numerous of all Rhino species in Africa, but have
been pushed to the brink of extinction by illegal poaching for the horn, which is used in Chinese herbal
medicines and for dagger handles in the Middle East. The total African population of several hundred
thousand in 1900 was reduced to 2400 by 2004, and the Western Black Rhinoceros is now listed as
extinct, as the population dropped to 10 as of a 2006 survey. The Northern White Rhinoceros is also
nearly extinct as a recent survey only found four individuals. The Southern White is the only Rhino
to have recovered somewhat from the brink of extinction (from 50 in 1900 to around 14,500).

This one has had the secondary horn cut as it was growing into the primary horn.


White Rhinoceros HS7094

Rhinoceros’ skin can become infected with parasites, such as crabs. Birds living with rhinos
(such as egrets and oxpeckers) eat the parasites (one can be seen on the back of the rhino above).


White Rhinoceros X5886

Rhinos spend time in the shade during mid-day
heat, or wallow in the mud to reduce their body
temperature and parasites. The Black Rhino
above had just gotten out of a mud-wallow.


White Rhinoceros X5896

Solitary by nature, they group to mate or
for short periods to rest in the shade.


White Rhinoceros M
(1822 x 1259)


White Tiger 2775

The White Tiger is a rare mutation in the wild,
but is widely bred in captivity due to popularity.
White Tigers are all at least part Bengal, and
it is likely that the recessive gene that causes
the coloration is only carried by Bengal Tigers.

All of the wild White Tigers have been Bengals.


White Tiger 2764

The Tiger is the largest and most powerful of
the big cats (weighing up to 660 lbs.). They are
native to eastern and southern Asia, but habitats
are in the most densely populated parts of Earth,
and fragmenting and destruction of habitat along
with hunting threaten them with extinction. Three
of the nine Tiger subspecies are already extinct.


White Tiger 2773

Tigers are essentially solitary animals and are territorial (males have larger territories that
typically overlap those of several  females). While tigers typically avoid each other except to mate,
occasionally male and female tigers will share a kill. Tigers feed on large to medium-sized animals
such as antelope, boar, and ungulates  such as deer and buffalo, but they are opportunistic and will eat
other animals such as crocodiles, snakes, and smaller prey if the opportunity exists. They have been
observed taking down a young elephant, and once a tiger was observed taking down an adult rhino.
Sometimes old or wounded tigers become man-eaters (mostly in India). Tigers generally hunt at night.

These images were taken several years before the others. Lately, each time I visit the tigers are hiding.


Stop by and visit the Birds of the San Diego Wild Animal Park for more images.