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Get the word out about the state of zoos with THETA, a 360-degree camera!

Interview

Posted date : 2020.05.21

We interviewed Mr. Nakajima who works as a breeder at Nishiyama Zoo in Japan. They are now temporarily closed due to COVID-19 but they share what the animals are up to via social media using 360-degree images.

Why use THETA at Nishiyama Zoo?

I heard Nishiyama Zoo is famous in Japan for its red pandas. Please share your story.

Indeed our zoo is known around Japan for breeding red pandas.

Currently, we have 13 red pandas at Nishiyama Zoo, and many visitors from outside the prefecture come to see them. That’s why we wanted to keep people updated on the condition of the red pandas on social media.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Taken with THETA: The house of red pandas

People from outside the prefecture cannot come to the zoo frequently, so we are strengthening communication using Facebook and other social media platforms so that fans of the red pandas at Nishiyama Zoo can get regular updates on them.

Did you purchase THETA for that?

I was already curious about 360-degree cameras, so I suggested purchasing a THETA V.

Since I heard about THETA, I had been thinking it would be fun to photograph the animals with a 360-degree camera.

Favorite scenes taken with THETA

What’s the funniest red panda moment that you captured with THETA?

I often take videos and photos during their meal times.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Taken with THETA: During lunch

We stand THETA on a tripod in their enclosure and surround it with apples, their favorite food. Then when we let them out, they see the apples and naturally approach THETA. I am able to check the footage remotely while observing from a distance.

Taken with THETA: Lunch time!

*For smartphones, click on the video title at the top of the screen, jump to the YouTube app with “open app”, and swipe to look around in 360 degrees.

Wow, this video is so adorable! But don’t they knock over THETA?

Red pandas lose themselves in eating when they are hungry, so they don’t get interested in THETA. Once they’re full, they start getting interested in other things, so I’ll stop shooting after they eat their fill.

Have you had any difficulties in shooting animals with THETA?

Of course, they are animals, and they don’t always do what I want, so it happens a lot that I can’t get the shot I’m going for.

Mr. Nakajima, a breeder, with red pandas

Above all, it’s necessary to gain the trust of the animals.

If a stranger suddenly puts THETA in front of them, they will be vigilant and run away, or attack THETA.

But we breeders have good relationships with them, so even when we shoot with THETA on a monopod or place it on a tripod, they are not afraid. Of course, they need to get used to THETA itself.

Shooting inside the red pandas’ house with THETA

Nishiyama Zoo is also famous for its full-scale red panda house.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Taken with THETA: Atmosphere of Nishiyama Zoo during temporary closure

*The front is the breeding area for the red pandas, and the building in the back is their house.

Red pandas prefer to live in the same place all the time, so the ones who are kept outdoors are always outdoors and those that are kept indoors are always indoors.

Taken with THETA: The red pandas’ house

*For smartphones, click on the video title at the top of the screen, jump to the YouTube app with “open app”, and swipe to look around in 360 degrees.

For this reason, we designed a space for the indoor pandas that encourages them to move around. That way they do not become under-exercised.

How we shoot with THETA on a monopod

There is a passage for visitors in the middle of the red panda house. A bridge for the red pandas is suspended overhead, so people can see them crossing right above them.

This movie of them eating apples is so cute!

They eat bamboo leaves like their black and white cousins, but their favorite treat is apples. So, I often feed them apples when shooting.

Taken with THETA: Lunch time for the red pandas

*For smartphones, click on the video title at the top of the screen, jump to the YouTube app with “open app”, and swipe to look around in 360 degrees.

Red pandas can stand up on two legs. The way they stand up and sit down is one of their most adorable traits.

From that angle, THETA can shoot their furry bellies, which we rarely get to see.

Taken with THETA: The red pandas’ house

*For smartphones, click on the video title at the top of the screen, jump to the YouTube app with “open app”, and swipe to look around in 360 degrees.

Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to watching more videos of the lovely red pandas in 360 degrees!

Model:THETA V

 

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