I took my camera, but the speed of most of the animals made it tough to capture any decent shots. So the logical step was to get out the sketchbook... Strange decision I know, but I've frequently found that quick pencil sketches are definitely the best way to capture the true nature (and in this case character) of the subject. Some animals were hard to draw (monkeys, otters, turtles - speedy creatures like that), and some were easier - the orangutan below was a bit of a poser.
These are some of the favourite sketches from my moleskin. From there I photographed a few and edited them digitally at home. So, meet Cecil:
The turtles were surprisingly quick! Just as I'd settled down to draw, he moved and I was left about four lines into my drawing. However, I found that these were the crucial lines in order to recognise a turtle, and it makes for an interesting angle of an odd creature. I emphasised these simple lines, and used yellow and white to show the softness of the sand surrounding him. Anyway, enough of Cecil, here's Benji:
I loved Benji's mess of long hair, although it proved difficult to sketch. I highlighted this by having the added orange spill out beyond his arms, increasing the shagginess. It doesn't quite come through in my sketch, but he had a contented, almost dazed look about him as he stared out of the window at the strange creatures photographing him.
Finally, here's Arnie (Fi's suggestion of name, due to him looking "mean"):
Maybe my favourite - and I nearly gave up whilst drawing him. He's an African Hunting Dog, an ugly brute with whacking great ears. He kept running away whenever we went near him, so I was scribbling away from a distance. I added to this scibbly nature, and gave it a moody look by scratching away the blacks and greys.
So there we are! My own little zoo.