Zoo vs Sanctuary vs Nature Center

Zoo versus sanctuary versus nature center versus the outdoors. I enjoy observing and photographing animals. I most likely will not see exotic animals in the wild. So watching these animals that were born in the zoo is my next best thing.

Here in Sacramento there are different places to observe wild animals. As a member of the Sacramento Zoo I frequently photograph the over 500 animals. In the almost 40 years I have been here this zoo has continued to change and improve the habitats of its animals. Being an AZA accredited zoo means 21st century guidelines need to be met. Efforts are now being made to move to a new location to allow this continued growth and expansion. In May a proposal is being submitted. Shall the Sacramento Zoo remain where it is and update and stay small or move to a location allowing it to grow? I am proud of this zoo and will support either option.

Stripes and more stripes

The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary receives animals that can not be released back into the wild. It is a safe place for wild animals. I have visited here a couple of times, and while it doesn’t have the variety of animals it does have its own charm. Animals are given names. In its early history a bear named Smokey caused a bit of a commotion as I found out by reading the following from their website.

Smokey became famous when the U.S. government contended only the “Smokey” known for forest fire prevention could use that name. The community rallied behind the Folsom Smokey and worldwide publicity brought even more support. Eventually the government relented and Smokey retained his name. Smokey passed away in 1984.

Folsom Zoo Sanctuary that does not have a large following. Plenty of local schools come here.
Zoo docent pointing out that bears like to eat ears of corn. Quite juicy.


Photographers are challenged to capture enclosure-free looking images here. Even using a wide open aperture it is hard to get past the cage bars.

Brown Bear enjoying corn on the cob!
Peacocks have free roaming privileges to visit Henry the Bear!
Peacock spotted.
Cougar staring contest!
Looks like kids are in cages.
Deer are found in a gully within the Folsom Zoo

The Sacramento Zoo enclosures can be masked by camera settings most of the time. Though I hear there are plans to change out the enclosures to glass. Wonder why since there is the talk of moving the zoo?

I captures these Wolf Guenons through a fence. So cute!
This African Lion was taken through a fence. This fellow likes to pose!
I have been privileged to see many of this lioness’s cubs.
Located in Carmichael the Effie Yeaw Nature Center is a popular place. Many families visit, and school field trips are developed to support science, and social science curriculums.

Many times a staff member will accommodate photographers and bring a bird out for show.

Barn Owl

Roaming the nature trails I can see deer, wild turkeys, hares, and sometime coyotes.

Plenty of birds to be heard and sometimes seen. Woodpeckers, turkey vultures, and some unknown to me birds.

Showing off those tail feathers!

Often I will meet up with a group of bird watchers. Butterflies, and caterpillars can be found. Walk down to the American River and you can spot ducks, egrets and an occasional turkey vulture enjoying a feast.

Turkey Vultures carefully observing their prey.
Fishing in the American River
Foggy morning fishermen heading toward the American River
Families exploring nature
My grandchildren a couple of years ago

I like the way the sun hits this buck.
Frogs found in the pond near the entrance.Fou
First photograph I sold of this abandoned bee hive.

I am glad that there is a variety of ways to enjoy nature, and view animals here in Sacramento. I know that a wild life safari to Africa is not in my future. Besides, I could not even hold up the size lens I would need to capture great images. So I am content to visit these different settings for my nature fix! What is your feeling about where you seek out animals.

I had hopes of going to the Sacramento Zoo last week with my photo friends. But now I am the full time care person for my dog Libby. I believe that the tumor on her spine is pressing against a nerve and probably making her foot tingle. Unfortunately she can’t talk. Her rear right back paw is not heeling after the toe amputation, and every day is more alarming than the previous day.

I am now changing her bandage using a wet-to-dry method. This is a many step procedure. She is such a good patient. Someone has to watch her 24/7. She has a way of pulling off the bandage, and trying to tend to the wound herself even with an extra large cone. The other day I woke up to bloody paw prints throughout my house.

Her very wounded paw.

Almost looked like a crime scene. Got out my Simple Solution pet stain remover. This stuff works great! Now Libby and I are sleeping in our “Rest Haven” with a cone on and a leash attached to my wrist. Heeling her foot is the only way to keep her alive. And I hope that when her foot heels she does not go after it again!