This shot was taken at the Hsinchu Zoo quite a while ago and to be honest, I’m not sure why I didn’t post it. It’s very sharp and shows off my 70-300 lens’ capability. It was an easy shot, taking place at the monkey pen at Hsinchu Zoo. I have seen semi-wild monkeys before – in Taiwan, the best place is Songboling – just make sure you REALLY follow the rules about not feeding them.
Before I start, I’d like to say thanks to the fine folks at WordPress for featuring my blog as “Freshly Pressed.” This is the second time this has happened, and the traffic spike is always fun. Welcome to the site if this is your first visit! Check out the About Me page if you are wondering what this is all about and take a look at some video slideshows for some previews of my work. I’ve also got some links to other pages, like my Twitter and a portfolio as well.
These shots are from the Taipei Zoo last weekend – Yuling and I visited on Sunday as we decided to spend the day trying out some new things in the city. The admission for this extremely well-kept zoo (the best in Taiwan) is only $60 NTD, or about $2 USD. I was able to pay with my metro card to make it even easier. Like most large zoos, this one does include some programs for conservation and education – unlike the much smaller Hsinchu Zoo.
These semi-wild monkeys live near Songboling, a popular hiking trail and home of a large temple complex near Changhua and Nantou. I call them “semi-wild” because these monkeys, Formosan Rock Macaques, were released purposefully to the area and live on their own. The species is endemic to Taiwan and the government is trying to increase their population in the area.
Unfortunately, people do feed them, and they will bug you for food on the trail. However, it was nice to get some monkeys outside of a zoo for a change as I broke out the 70-300mm and SB-600 for some more wild shots than before.
Notice the sign above. These bilingual notices let people know about the potential risk of infection from viruses. Most tourists did keep away from them – some people just HAD to try to touch them. Ugh.
I was very happy with the detail in this shot – a little different from the rest.
I really enjoyed the challenge of getting the monkeys that were deeper into the woods. I unfortunately didn’t get any in the air, but wouldn’t mind spending more time trying to get one of those shots.
I’m sick of this weather. Taiwan has had record-cold temperatures this winter and it’s supposed to end soon, and I’m looking forward to it and hoping its sooner than later. These monkeys – crab-eating macaques – were more annoyed than I was, apparently as they huddled up for warmth.
Photos taken at Hsinchu City Zoo. See the post that made “Freshly Pressed” for more from this zoo.
Last weekend, I had the chance to revisit Hsinchu Zoo. I revisited my old favorites, the crab-eating macaques, and they were especially lively. I then made my way up to an area which I neglected before – the orangutans, tigers, and bears. I have a previous post with photos from the first time I visited.
These shots were all made with the Nikkor 70-300mm. I had to turn the ISO up to 1600 and was shooting at f/5.6, the widest aperture at 300mm. While I could’ve used a wider aperture (meaning a more expensive lens), there was a decent amount of light, though I felt like I was racing the sun.
Yuling and I visited the Hsinchu Zoo today, after kind of randomly wandering into the front gate after looking at a seasonal “holiday” market set up as a follow-up to the Moon Festival. The cost for the zoo was $10 NTD… about $0.30 US. Hard to believe – but we went ahead and went inside. Yuling had remembered the zoo as a shadow of a zoo in its earlier years – but it did have decent facilities and I could tell animals were being taken care of pretty well. While it didn’t have a large selection, it was a great deal for what we got. Photos are below – along with some descriptions. Check out this Flickr set of mine to see the rest of the photos.
Above: some shots of the Crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis). These monkeys are common in Malaysia and were in an open-air area which made these shots easy with my 70-300mm lens. They were great subjects as they moved around – the last photo is the youngest of the group.
Below are a few more photos – a crocodile and an ostrich. While there were more varieties of animals at the zoo, the size and budget of the place worked against me – along with some cages which I couldn’t get clear shots through.