Animal Photography from Mark D Phillips
While working at the now defunct Tampa Tribune in the 1980s, I began a love of photographing animals that has carried through my entire career.
You wouldn’t think of Tampa as a wildlife center, but it really was. With Busch Gardens Tampa and the start of Lowry Park Zoo, there were more exotic animals to be photographed than In most African game parks. I latched on to every animal assignment I could get. When Busch Gardens hosted Ling Ling, a Panda on loan from the Chinese government, I was able to photograph both his arrival and birthday party. The feed truck at Busch Gardens gave me one of my all-time favorite animal photographs of three giraffes.
But my crowning glory in Tampa was documenting the building and opening of Lowry Park Zoo, a natural habitat construction replacing the Zoo for the City of Tampa. During this period I learned more about wildlife than I ever thought possible. Watching and being a part of the move of a Bengal Tiger from its cage to a natural habitat was something that few have had the honor of sharing. When you see one of these majestic animals up close, there is nothing like it.
Tampa led to two trips to Africa and more animal photography. It will always be one of the finest accomplishments of my photographic career.
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