These photos are all of captive wild cats rather than truly wild ones. They’re magnificent and beautiful creatures to see, but it’s always bitter sweet to see them in enclosures.
In 2015 I attended a photographic workshop at the Cat Survival Trust near Welwyn which was run by “Photographers on Safari”. The workshop provided greater access to the cats than at a zoo, with just one layer of fencing between me and the cats, plus the photographer running the workshop feeding tidbits to the cats to get them nice and close.
Asian Leopard Cat
The “Bengal” domestic cat breed was created by mating an Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic cat breed. As I have a Bengal myself I was delighted to get a chance to see an Asian Leopard Cat up close! They have such big eyes.
Also known as the Arabian Wildcat. In common with a number of small wildcat species, this cat could be mistaken for a domestic cat. They may be relatively small in size, but this species has a reputation for ferocity!
This pair of Amur Leopards were clearly favourites of the photographer holding the workshop, and the leopards seemed to know him well too.
I’ve visited a few zoos over the years. It’s pot luck as to where in the enclosures the cats are, although they usually list the times they feed the animals so that can help with ensuring they’re out in the middle! One of the visits was to Longleat Safari Park, which I visited in my Lotus Europa S – it must have looked a little incongruous to see a low sports car crawling through the lion enclosure.