Today I visited and photographed Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, and this was the closest (safety restricted) I’ve ever been able to get to Athena to photograph her!
She seemed to know I was close by but never once made eye contact with me.
Athena was rescued in 2017 when as a kitten just a few weeks old, she was left by her mother in the Big Cypress National Preserve.
Attempts to reunite her with her mother and three siblings failed, and after needed medical care, Athena came to live at Naples Zoo where she now is an adult panther.
She will spend the rest of her life safely at the Zoo being cared for by the veterinarians and support staff.
She’s a fascinating, powerful animal, and I was so happy to have this opportunity to photograph her.
Be sure to notice Athena’s emerald green eyes — beautiful!
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