Wildlife Learning Center Adult Zoology Recap


For five weeks in May, the Wildlife Learning Center hosted a Tuesday night Adult Zoology class. There are a few reasons that I took this class:
  • I love visiting the Wildlife Learning Center and supporting the work that they do. In April of this year, they hosted an art auction to raise funds for the organization (it's a non-profit) and I donated a framed print of this image of one of their Sulcatta Tortoises:

Sulcatta Tortoise

  • I have been on the waiting list for this class for about a year. previously, they had only offered the five week class on weekends, and didn't allow for the ability to make up missed classes. This weeknight class was perfect!
  • I  have always loved animals, and usually the weirder, the cuter. In fact, earlier this year, I had started the search for some type of zoology class to learn more about animal behavior in order to photograph them better. This class was definitely a step in the right direction to learning more about my subjects.

I couldn't have been happier with this class. OK, maybe if I could have actually pet the porcupine. I digress.

Our instructor Marissa was amazing. She is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge and was willing to share that information in each class without trying to overwhelm us, was very patient and direct, and let us take photos to our heart's content (well, of course I could have spent five hours alone taking porcupine pictures). but most of all, her passion for animals and education about animals really shone through. if anyone is exhibiting doing what they love and sharing their enthusiasm, it is most definitely Marissa.

I'm sure that I drove Marissa crazy bobbing and weaving with my DSLR and Speedlite, but she was always very accommodating to my photography needs.

While looking through five weeks' worth of images, here are some of my favorites-- some may have been seen here on my blog before:


First and foremost, this is our instructor Marissa holding a California Desert Tortoise. She always handled the animals with great care and grace, and made taking an alligator out of a crate look easy.

Porcupine profile

This is a porcupine from our first class. Porcupines may very well be my new favorite animals, after spending some time in their habitat.

Sloth toes

Getting up close with Lola the two-toed sloth was definitely a class highlight. I loved being able to get up close and detailed images of what made each animal unique. You can see here why these sloths are called "two-toed".

Great Horned Owl profile

I don't know when or where else I'd be able to get this close to a Great Horned Owl.

Red Tailed Hawk

This red Tailed hawk was recused because it was hit by a vehicle, and needed to have one of its wings removed. This is the type of work the Wildlife Learning Center does that I think is so awesome, and makes me happy to continue visiting and supporting them.