My previous post left off at the start of our 3 day at the Triple D Game Farm.
Waiting on the clouds to clear, we had all submitted a photo for the Triple D staff to vote on. Winner got a free optional animal to shoot! My friend, Amanda, was the lucky winner. Apparently, this was their hardest one to date since they started these contests with their guests. All the images had one vote and only one image got two votes.
First model of the day….an adult Siberian lynx. Unfortunately, he was having an “off” day and to prevent stressing him, we had to cancel this shoot. I was able to capture a few good shots before the trainers determined this was not his day.
Onto the next model….Hershey the TIGER!! There was much more preparation for this shoot. The enclosure had a hot wire attached and there were 2 short fence lines between us and her. The large fence around the enclosure was more substantial than any of the other enclosures. We drove into this one and were instructed to keep the vehicles unlocked in the off-chance she decided to jump the fence. It has never happened but better to have a plan in place than to be caught off guard. Hershey, it turns out, was just as lovable as the cougar, DeeDee. Hershey seemed to adore Heather as they played and we took photos. At the end of the shoot, Heather led Hershey back to the truck to go home by giving her a baby bottle!
This was the end of the photoshoots for the 3rd day. As the true photographers we were, we retired to the cabin for a silent afternoon of photo processing. We are such an exciting bunch 😉
Day 4: Our final day with the Triple D group.
Since the Siberian lynx wasn’t up for a photoshoot, Triple D does not just leave it at that and the guest loses out. They will reassess the animal and you either get to try again or they substitute for another. This time, he wasn’t up for photos so they brought us Kira, the Siberian lynx kitten. So adorable and so fast. She launched out of her carrying crate like a bullet and ran straight up the first, tall tree she found. Kira then proceed to stay there for the next 6 HOURS! Heather stayed with her all day until she decided to come back down.
Since the Siberian lynx kitten decided to hide out in the tree. Justine took us to a different enclosure to get photos of a badger. He was chosen by some of us as an option. So out of 7 of us, 5 paid extra to get photos of him. Now most people would ask WHY? Badgers are know to be fairly vicious as well as nocturnal. They aren’t seen often….unlike their burrows that are large holes left in fields and pastures on farms and ranches. I have only ever seen one before now. Justine kept him in line with a shovel in case he got grumpy. Much safer than using your hands or feet to guide him.
Justine then had a surprise for us….not one but two red foxes and a cross fox! These were not requested animals nor were they options that anyone was paying for extra. The foxes were cute zooming all over the enclosure. The male entertained us first with his antics. Then he was switched out with the female, Zinger. She was true to her name and looked every bit the cartoonish sly fox. After she got to play a bit, Rusty the cross fox got to come out to play. Eventually, Justine let Zinger out again. Apparently, Zinger has the reputation of a bully but we also noticed how Rusty was a bit of a drama queen. They chased each other around literally screaming like little girls and then Rusty would continue to cower and “scream” whenever Zinger would even look her way. In the end, Justine brought out a mouse and Rusty won the reward when they raced to get it.
After a bit of time back at the cabin, we got a phone call that the lynx kitten was still up in the tree, so as a consolation, we all got to shoot the porcupine. I was already going to be getting photos but now I didn’t have to pay any extra for it and everyone got to revel in their cuteness. We actually got to photograph a soon-to-be breeding pair of porcupines, Elvis and Presley. One member of our group thought Elvis looked more like Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.
Presley was just adorable, for a porcupine. She frequently wandered off and needed the help of the “porcupine transport”. We got to witness a little porcupine love and even a Lady and the Tramp re-enactment. These two were definitely the grand finale to our visit.
Contact me if you are interested in joining me on another of these trips. Check out all possible animals to photograph!