The Honolulu Zoo’s African Crowned Cranes are a bit shy, and tend to stay in the center of a large exhibit that includes Bongo antelope and other animals. It’s a little hard to get a decent photo, so you have to be patient. But I was in for a surprise!
I was tracking one beautiful crane with a zoom lens when I noticed some blurred movement in the crook of a tree behind it.
Upon refocusing I was shocked to see a Cheetah staring right at me! The adjacent Cheetah exhibit has been closed to the public for months, and there’s no way to see the three female Cheetahs who live there. But apparently this Cheetah got a little bored and climbed into the tree to see out over the walls. She was only up there for a minute or so, and we marveled at our lucky timing. For a quick second we half-expected to hear a panicked announcement that a Cheetah was on the loose!