Our staff share some of their favorite photos on the job

When you work at an animal sanctuary, it can be difficult not to take a million photos every day. For this issue, we asked staff to share some of their favorite shots—and they delivered. Follow Black Beauty Ranch on Instagram and Facebook for more sanctuary pictures!

A collage of images including a brown bear, emu, black bear, goat, iguana, cow and tiger
Jackie, Serenity and Sammi: Christi Gilbreth/The HSUS; Chetana: Ashley Orr/The HSUS; Spongebob, Chia and Sparkie: Jennifer McAnally/The HSUS

Clockwise from top left: 

  • Jackie the bear lives with her son, Russell; the two love to swim and splash around in their pool together. 
  • Sparkie the emu loves water and gets excited whenever she sees caregivers using the hose; they always try to give her a spray! 
  • Pumpkins make great enrichment items; Sammi the black bear digs into his treat. 
  • Although cats are often associated with an aversion to water, tigers love to swim; here, Serenity plays with the spout in her pool. 
  • Chetana the cow comes to say hello to caregivers as they do their daily rounds. 
  • The sanctuary’s two iguanas, Chia and Illini, have a heated house with perches, a sun room, an outdoor yard and a pond. 
  • SpongeBob the goat peers into the camera for a close-up.
Submit your best shot

Do you have an inspiring photo of a wild animal, beloved pet or rescued farm animal? We want to see it! Send it to us for possible publication in All Animals magazine, along with an explanation about why it's meaningful to you.

cats licking each other in a pet bed
Rachael Rodgers

Previously featured photos

Charlie the dog wearing his coat and hat in the snow.
I’ve had Charlie since he was a puppy and he’s been my rock throughout my 20s and 30s. Last year, I went through a breakup. I was depressed and spent a lot of time inside. To motivate myself to get out more, I created an Instagram for Charlie where I could document our adventures. Through Charlie, I’ve met other dog lovers in my area and found dog-friendly businesses to explore. It’s snowballed into this awesome community of animal lovers.
—Elizabeth Sarber, Maryland | Featured in the Winter 2024 issue
Barred owl sitting on a maple tree with a crawfish in its mouth.
During a May visit to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, I spotted this barred owl sitting on a maple tree. The bird kept glancing at the shallow canal below and eventually swooped down and grabbed a crawfish from the water. I had only a few seconds to take the picture before the owl swallowed the crawfish. I don’t often have the opportunity to photograph barred owls, particularly in good light. A crawfish hanging from the bird’s beak was a real plus. A little while later, the owl caught another crawfish and went back to the maple tree to enjoy the meal.
—Gordon Kilgore, Georgia | Featured in the Fall 2023 issue
Photo of a gorilla standing against a rainy landscape.
Seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat with my wife, Wendy, was a longstanding bucket list item. In November 2018, Wendy and I traveled to Uganda and Rwanda to see these amazing animals firsthand. During our final trek, a group of gorillas left the safe confines of Volcanoes National Park and ventured into the adjacent agricultural fields to feast on eucalyptus trees. As we followed the group at a respectful distance, I noticed this silverback standing on a ridge. To my surprise, he stopped—covered in a chilling drizzle of mist—to survey the mountain forests of his natural environment behind him and the planted fields that had once been his natural habitat surrounding him. After contemplating the scene, he descended to his group.
—Gary Price, Connecticut / Featured in the Summer 2023 issue
A a male blue-gray gnatcatcher feeds a fledgling.
As I stepped outside my house one June day, I saw a baby bird fly into a trash can then begin flying in circles. I went over to help and he was surprisingly calm as I picked him up. The other bird in the photo, presumably his parent, began to call out as I held him. While I was checking to see if the bird was OK, the parent flew over to feed their young. Afterward, I placed the baby bird on a branch and waited with my camera—and sure enough, the parent came back to feed him again. After taking the photo, I waited at a distance to make sure that the baby could fly in a straight line. He flew off with the other bird about 10 minutes later!
—Emma Dampier, Georgia / Featured in the Spring 2023 issue

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Cover all All Animals Magazine Spring 2024 Issue