With it unlikely I will get to a zoo in the very near future, I came across this lovely cat – Leopardus pardalis – otherwise known as an ocelet, in my collection. These lovely animals are native to the southern part of the US (mainly the southwest) as well as through South America.
This animal was one of many of the big cats saved by an organization called The Panther Ridge Conservation Center located in Loxahatchie, Florida. The organization gives guided tours with lots of opportunity to take photos. I have been their twice and it is quite interesting. Other residents include the cheetah, jaguar, leopard, clouded leopard, and panther.
Obviously, these are wild animals and kept in enclosures but these are not cages as such but habitats that are as natural as possible. Taking good photos through wire enclosures can be daunting at first but with a little knowledge you can get some great images. The best tip is to use a telephoto lens and get close to the barrier. Focusing on the animals relatively far away from the wires puts those pesky impediments out of focus.