Tiger at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park - Tiger Trail exhibit - Photo by Ron Bebus

Tiger at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park – Tiger Trail exhibit – Photo by Ron Bebus

When arriving at a zoo, what animal should you check out first?   I recommend the human.   They come in all forms, but the volunteers and staff are passionate about their zoo and are a wealth of information.  They are usually easy to find in matching shirts and sometimes holding their own signs.  In my opinion, they are easily the best first stop for a successful day of photography at the zoo.


As one of over 600 adult volunteers at the Denver Zoo, I know the effort these people undertake to make the zoo a great place for both the animals and the visitors.  Some of these special people have devoted more than 35 years helping the zoo and guiding visitors to get the most out of their trips.  They always impress me on just how much they know.


At at recent visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the volunteer inside the front gate showed me how to route my morning through the zoo that put me at the Tiger Trail exhibit before the crowds and back to the Trams before the lines grew too long.   Less crowds and shorter lines gave me more time for photos.   Two big bonuses in any zoo visit for me.


These dedicated zoo resources usually know the new and exciting things to see before it’s printed on a sign or map and that’s why I always look for a volunteer to question as my first stop inside the gate.  You should too.


Tip: Stop and ask a volunteer or staff member what’s new and exciting at the zoo.  They might lead you to the best shots of the day.