Big 5s

Shannon Wild

Photographer / Cinematographer / Film-maker

“It’s so hard to choose a favourite animal to photograph. Some of my favourites are kind of obscure. But I’m going to say the polar bear. That was definitely a stand out moment for me, to spend time with polar bears. You work really hard to go out and see them, to find them, and then everything is on their terms. It’s not unlike with mountain gorillas in that sense. But with the polar bears, it’s kind of clear that if they could get on the ice breaker, they would probably eat you.

I really love simple compositions, clean lines and all that kind of stuff. So photographing and filming polar bears and other wildlife in the Artic is a real treat.

I’ll also choose the pangolin for my Big 5, which a lot of people don’t know about. It’s a small, scaled mammal found in Africa and throughout Asia. There are eight species. It’s maybe like a small armadillo. They’re ant-eaters and they’re nocturnal and very elusive. I know guides in Africa who ‘ve worked every day in the bush for 20 years and never seen one. It’s always been so high on my Bucket List, and only a few months ago I got to see and document one for the first time. I’ve done this for so long that I am pretty good at keeping my emotions in check inside. But once I finished photographing this animal, I literally cried because I was so happy. I just wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get the opportunity to see one, and they are the cutest, most adorable little animal.

I also want to include gorillas, something else I got to tick of my Bucket List this year in Rwanda, after wanting to see them since I was probably a toddler. That was absolutely magical. It’s incredibly difficult trekking for gorillas.
They are so expressive, very big, yet so gentle. It’s not until you literally stand there with one that you realize how massive the silverback is. I managed to see a silverback mating, so that was unexpected. It’s incredible how close they would let you get and they absolutely don’t care. They’re just assuming you are behaving with respect and then they are absolutely chill and go on about their day

My other choices would be the Komodo dragon, because I’m such a huge reptile lover and for me that’s the pinnacle reptile to see and photograph in the wild, and then, of course, the black panther, which I recently spent 18 months filming in India. It’s actually a melanistic leopard. My goodness, that cat is elusive. The entire forest that we were filming in which was 600 square kilometres and there is one individual that is black. Trying to film an entire documentary in an incredibly dense jungle in India was not my easiest assignment.”

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Photo by Shannon Wild

My Big 5

    Polar Bear
    Komodo Dragon
    Gorilla
    Pangolin
    Black Panther

Shannon Wild

Photographer / Cinematographer / Film-maker

“It’s so hard to choose a favourite animal to photograph. Some of my favourites are kind of obscure. But I’m going to say the polar bear. That was definitely a stand out moment for me, to spend time with polar bears. You work really hard to go out and see them, to find them, and then everything is on their terms. It’s not unlike with mountain gorillas in that sense. But with the polar bears, it’s kind of clear that if they could get on the ice breaker, they would probably eat you.

I really love simple compositions, clean lines and all that kind of stuff. So photographing and filming polar bears and other wildlife in the Artic is a real treat.

I’ll also choose the pangolin for my Big 5, which a lot of people don’t know about. It’s a small, scaled mammal found in Africa and throughout Asia. There are eight species. It’s maybe like a small armadillo. They’re ant-eaters and they’re nocturnal and very elusive. I know guides in Africa who ‘ve worked every day in the bush for 20 years and never seen one. It’s always been so high on my Bucket List, and only a few months ago I got to see and document one for the first time. I’ve done this for so long that I am pretty good at keeping my emotions in check inside. But once I finished photographing this animal, I literally cried because I was so happy. I just wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get the opportunity to see one, and they are the cutest, most adorable little animal.

I also want to include gorillas, something else I got to tick of my Bucket List this year in Rwanda, after wanting to see them since I was probably a toddler. That was absolutely magical. It’s incredibly difficult trekking for gorillas.
They are so expressive, very big, yet so gentle. It’s not until you literally stand there with one that you realize how massive the silverback is. I managed to see a silverback mating, so that was unexpected. It’s incredible how close they would let you get and they absolutely don’t care. They’re just assuming you are behaving with respect and then they are absolutely chill and go on about their day

My other choices would be the Komodo dragon, because I’m such a huge reptile lover and for me that’s the pinnacle reptile to see and photograph in the wild, and then, of course, the black panther, which I recently spent 18 months filming in India. It’s actually a melanistic leopard. My goodness, that cat is elusive. The entire forest that we were filming in which was 600 square kilometres and there is one individual that is black. Trying to film an entire documentary in an incredibly dense jungle in India was not my easiest assignment.”

Photo by Shannon Wild

My Big 5

    Polar Bear
    Komodo Dragon
    Gorilla
    Pangolin
    Black Panther

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