This past week I was lucky enough to travel to Southern California and visit the famous San Diego Zoo! It was great. There were so many animals waiting to be captured in my sketchbook.... I think I even salivated a little bit upon arrival :-)
The Koala Bears were my first subject. I have never seen a Koala live - and you might actually mistake these guys for stuffed animals! Apparently their favorite pass-time, besides eating eucalyptus is sleeping. I did manage to catch one in the act of eating... but before I could finish my sketch, he crashed out! Must take a lot of energy to eat all of those leaves.
After my time with the Koalas, I happened upon the New Guinea Singing Dog. This wild dog is apparently a distant relative of the dingo, and has been known to howl in harmony if they are in a group. He wasn't letting out a single tune for us, unfortunately. I guess he was waiting for the rest of the band...
Then it was time for the big cats. The San Diego Zoo has a wide variety of them, but the Black Jaguar captured me the most. Orson was extremely active for his old age - zipping all over his exhibit. I managed to get somewhat of an action "shot"... He was magnificent.
After spending time with a large carnivore, it was time to visit one of the zoo's most coveted exhibits - The Panda Bear. On loan from China, San Diego has 2 adult Pandas (Su Lin & Zhen Zhen), and one baby. This baby (Yun Zi) happens to weigh as much as my dog (45 lbs)... pretty big baby...! I was lucky enough to find a spot in the back corner where I could draw this adorable creature and still keep out of the way for the many people waiting in line. Zhen Zhen was enjoying her bamboo snack... so much so that by the end of the drawing she needed to lie down! (but continue to eat - of course!)
After my visit with the Panda Bear, the day started to get hot and the animals started to cool themselves down (by hiding out in the shade or in their pools). My last sketchbook entry was perhaps, the "coolest" of all the animals - The Orangutan. This female got such a kick out of watching the visitors, you would have thought WE were the exhibit. I'm sure all of us look hilarious with our paper cups and funny "fur"... What a gorgeous creature to end my visit with!