This is my first photo shoot at a zoo.
I took both of my cameras. The Canon S3 point and shoot (for wide angle and great DOF or sharp thruout) and the XSi Canon with telephoto lens for close ups and blurred backgrounds. It was a little challenging blurring out the fencing. Sometimes my cameras just would not focus correctly. I changed to Manual Focus setting. And then sometimes the situation just wasn't right either. If the subject was too close to the fence I couldn't blur it out.
Another thing to be mindful of are any subjects with white coloring had the tendency to get overexposed and I'd lose detail in that area (like the bald eagle). So maybe shoot a little underexposed/dark in those situations.
On to the photos - part 1:
Alaskan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) or Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilus):
The bear looked kinda depressed or lonely or something, standing there with his head on the rock.
Brown Bear Links: wiki and NatGeo
Grizzly Links: wiki and NatGeo
American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis):
River Otter (Lontra candensis):
Supposed to have these in North Dakota. Didn't know that.
On a npwrc checklist
Family Mustelidae - in with the weasel, ferret, badger, mink, skunk.
Wiki on Otter
Dakota Zoo Map
Dakota Zoo Facebook