The best wildlife photography is a portrait of an animal. Just as with a human the eyes are the crucial element. Direct eye contact or at least a strong view of the eyes are a fundamental requirement.
You also need to get a shot, any shot, before looking for a better way of shooting. Animals won't pose for you, they won't stay still and they refuse to take direction! So grab a shot, and then look for ways of improving the shot.
If you have a chance to be patient then all the better. Get your camera set up, pre-focus on the animal and wait patiently for the decisive moment.