Looks like it was a chilly, but good day - love the prowling cougar, and that little black fox has that look that you just caught him in the open by surprise! (well kinda, bit too relaxed with his gaze and pose )
I can see why you like that shot, though if I'd taken it I probably wouldn't have posted/processed it. It would be one of those ones I kicked myself over for not having fast enough shutter speed/focus in slightly the wrong place. Good composition and nice post/motion from the cat - though I'd be tempted to crop close to the cats back and remove some of the top section
Generally speaking I dont crop after I shoot. My cropping is done before I shoot, however in this case I agree with you Overread. When I get the print made I will crop off the top as you suggest.
When shooting the cougar its through a green link fence. The lens is up close to the fence and the lens is actually looking through one of the holes so its not much of a problem. The paths the animal takes are laid out and some meat is placed along them. Then the handler lets us know the best place to be and prepares us what to expect. Its almost pretty mechanical, however, things happen very quickly anyway no matter how much pre prep we are given. The snow throws the camera meters off, the cat might not be exactly on que and he might pick up speed sooner than expected. Its the fun of a spontaneous set up shot.
For dxqcanada, except for the cougar, we were actually in the enclosed area with the other animals. They walked around us and kept their own safe distance from us. They were more cautious of us than we were of them. The silver fox was brought over to the lynx and bobcat area. They were kept aside in an enclosed area. But when they saw the fox on their territory they went bananas. He was there long enough for us to get our shots.