tigers in wild
Gabrielle Therin-Weise/Photodisc/Getty Images

Here Are 9 Big Cat Instagram Accounts To Follow (That Don't Involve Joe Exotic)

If the end of Tiger King has left a big-cat-shaped hole in your heart (I’m also desperately missing Joshua Dial, Joe Exotic's campaign manager ), then these nine big cat Instagram accounts will help you get your dose of lions and tigers (and other cats I hadn't even heard of before).

While you wait for the Tiger King scripted series to come out (Nicolas Cage will supposedly play Joe Exotic, reported NBC News), you need look no further than the big cats of Instagram. Not to go full-blown Carole Baskin on you (if only I had her bank account and owned that much animal print), but these Instagram accounts only feature animals in the wild, or in refuges, conservation parks, or safaris. You won't find cub-petting, animals in cages, or tiger babies in cute outfits (unfortunately those do not exist in nature). What you will find are gorgeous images of big cats in their natural habitat.

A safari is out the question right now, but you can take yourself on a digital journey to Africa or Asia (sorry, not Oklahoma) to see some of the coolest, most beautiful big cats around. Read on for nine of the most beautiful big cat Instagram accounts that you don't have to feel any guilt for loving.



This gorgeous image was captured by the Etoshia Lion Project (@etoshalionproject_). These calm lionesses are hanging out on protected land in Namibia, watching the sunset. This Instagram accounts deliver stunning scenery, plus elephants, big cats, and even some cubs.



These tigers nestled among bright wildflowers are giving me a dose of travel envy. This image was captured by Anuradha Marwah (@anumarwah12) in 2012 at the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, India. Marwah's Instagram account is filled with breathtaking wildlife photos featuring an array of animals.



Look at this leopard literally just hanging out. This image by @retiefvanderreyden was taken in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa. The account is full of amazing images of animals in the wild, and they're so crisp and close you'll feel like you're there.



This lioness is living a #plantgoals life. Linda Clews (@lindajclews) captured this unbelievable shot at Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Her Instagram is filled with up-close shots of safari animals, plus wolves and foxes photographed in Yellowstone.



This trio of tigers in perfect lockstep were captured by Santosh Saligram (@san.tigris) in Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India. Saligram's account is packed with big cats (and the cutest cubs) in their natural habitats.



Sebastian Kennerknecht is the photographer behind the @pumapix account which is full of amazing photos of wild cats from all around the globe. He takes pictures of cats I didn't even know existed, like the serval cat featured above (which looks like it should be a sassy character in a Pixar movie) or the pampas cat which are small and look a bit like house cats. Above all, you can tell Kennerknecht has both a deep love and respect for the animals he photographs.



If you specifically love tigers, then the @mihirwildmahajan account is a good place to start. Wildlifer and specialist big cat tracker, Mihir Mahajan, posts incredible photos of wildcats, often from what seems like a very close distance so you can see every detail. You'll find some other amazing animals (like this hyena) but the focus is on tigers.



Hemant Vashista of @hemantvashista is excellent at capturing the mood and the expression of each big cat he photographs. From the relaxed tiger above to other, more menacing shots, every photo seems to tell a story.



If you dream of one day going on a safari, then the @safarishots Instagram is for you. You'll find crisp and close-up shots of all sorts of wild animals, including big cats of course, but also elephants, zebras, and more.