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Your Luck With Wildlife

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Thought it would make an interesting thread.

Do you get lucky when looking for wildlife?

I for one, have horrible luck. Barely saw a bear in BC (and saw it for about 3 seconds), saw nothing in Nunavut when I was expecting Polar Bears and Belugas and it took me 12 years to see my first raccoon in Canada. Only time I got lucky was in Rio Branco when I saw a bunch of Capybaras by the University river.

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The most exotic wild life experience I've ever had was seeing the foot prints of a snow leopard 

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Wildlife luck has gotten better over the years. As an example, 2001 Bandipur, Karnataka. I was told I'd be amazeballed by all the elephants roaming around so then I say to myself great I get to see a nice wild elephant but all I saw was fucking deer. I mean even monkeys didn't want to show up and all I got was Deer. I then tried for the next three years with an annual trip out there but nope just fucking deer. Fast forward to 2016 and its all gone upwards since then. 

Manta Rays in the Adaman
Tiger Fish (so hard to spot) in a place in south tamil nadu
Leopards in Wayanad
Rare birds in the salt flats outside south tamil nadu
Lions in Gir

And the best of them, all a swimming Tiger in the Sunderban

I think its all really just about timing and luck when it comes to spotting animals in their natural habitat just because they can be finicky. Add other things like a bunch of people making noise and you're probably not going to see much. 

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Been lucky to see lots of Wildlife on my travels but easily my best story would be in Australia.

I went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef a week after Steve Irwin died.

I was told our party were about 10 mins from where he was injured so the adrenalin was already a little high because it makes you wonder and outs thoughts in your head.

We were told what we'd may or may not see and not to panic under no circumstances.

Saw loads of coloured fish, various sizes but nothing too daunting, as well as a massive Bull Ray rise off the sand, but the biggest surprise was seeing the instructor indicate a fin on his head under water.

Instantly knew he meant 'Shark' and literally turned my head side to side and saw fuck all. Could I see it? Could I fuck but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried.

Next thing I knew, this thing outta nowhere literally cruised past my shoulder without a care in the world and I was in complete awe. My heart was going like the clappers. 

I remember back on deck him telling us that was a White Tip Shark and not dangerous but seeing it just glide past out of nowhere was pretty enthralling.

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In Europe: used to regularly see plenty of wildlife growing up and spending a lot of time in the countryside. Wolves, foxes, lynxes (probably my favourite), deer, elk, moose, wild boars, hares, beavers, badgers, squirrels, not to mention the smaller ones like weasels, minks, otters, stoats, various other rodents and all sorts of birds. The most impressive one is definitely the wisent (European bison) though. Almost extinct at one point and still endangered, but we have some free roaming ones and I was lucky enough to see them in the wild. 

In Asia: other than the usual various sorts of monkeys, lizards, insects, birds and snakes (king cobra is so cool!), I'm happy to have also seen a few less common ones. Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins are definitely one of those; they are only found in certain areas of Greater Mekong and are pretty scarce - I believe less than 100 of them exists overall. Water monitor lizards are not rare but they are very interesting as they're enormously huge and look so ancient. Also Sun bears (very cute), wild elephants (another highlight!), great hornbills, pangolins (weird), langurs, clouded leopards, gibbons, Siamese crocodiles, gaurs. Some of those rarer species I've spotted were actually in one of the wildlife sanctuaries sadly.

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I have seen a more variety of animals in Australia than anywhere else walking in the bush, countryside etc and a lot of animals across here at the zoo, that's about it really, our daughter always said she would love to swim with Dolphins. 

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I lived near a National Park for a considerable part of my childhood. I often spotted variety of snakes, and pythons that would coil themselves on the branches. My favourite was the Harantol (Vine snake). A tiny, light green beauty. 

There was a mongoose that lived near my apartment. Never saw him fighting a snake. But he would often beat the shit out stray dogs that were way bigger than him. 

Only once spotted a leopard, while I was heading for school at an early hour. It was frightened away by the school bus' arrival. I also heard numerous stories from my building's security guard and neighbours who witnessed leopards sneaking up on sleeping stray dogs and taking them away. 

Had a terrible experience with monkeys at a nearby hillstation. Bastard grabbed my bag that contained by Sony Walkman thinking that it was food. And then it tossed the bag down from a cliff. 

Almost ran over a pangolin once. I agree with @nudgeIt was by far the weirdest creature I have ever seen as well. 

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11 minutes ago, IgnisExcubitor said:

Had a terrible experience with monkeys at a nearby hillstation. Bastard grabbed my bag that contained by Sony Walkman thinking that it was food. And then it tossed the bag down from a cliff. 

Sorry buddy had to laugh at that :rofl:

 

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If going to Kruger park counts then I've been very lucky. Apparently you don't get to see the 'Big Five' too often all in one day. But that's exactly what we did.

Never been so close to lions either, who were lying by the side of the road after a good session of mating xD.

Elephants are some of my favourite animals and to see them close up in the wild was surreal. 

Got a long-distance view of leopards and buffalo and because we went stupidly early in the morning, when it's a bit cooler, we got to see rhino's having a wonder around one of the waterhole. 

 

Before that trip, we went to a crocodile sanctuary in a place called Tongaat, near Durban. Got to roam the areas there with about 200 wild crocodiles around us. The kind of place where you go in to it and it's just your standard zoo-like place where you can see crocodiles in their enclosures like normal. But then after that, when you get chatting to the owner/manager, they say 'do you want to walk with wild crocodiles'? So he takes us round the back of the enclosure to a gated section where there used to be a river that runs through this area and there's literally hundreds of big crocodiles basking in South African sunshine. Unreal experience.

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25 minutes ago, IgnisExcubitor said:

Had a terrible experience with monkeys at a nearby hillstation. Bastard grabbed my bag that contained by Sony Walkman thinking that it was food. And then it tossed the bag down from a cliff. 

I had a similar experience when I went to a temple area with some friend in Jarkhand. I was walking and all of a sudden a monkey tried to climb me and grab my bag. I was told to stand still while some local guide tried to get it off my back, literally, it pulled so hard that I almost fell down and if I had id probably have rolled a few feet down too as this was on rocks. Luckily for me it went away but I was told not to walk alone up there because it figured my backpack had food in it which it didn't.

Just to also add, Crocodiles. I went on a trip to Ranganthittu in Mysore and we were in shallow boat that they use for trips around the entire bird sanctuary and you see so many crocs on the little banks but the best is actually being in the water and watching them float by the boat. I'd never recommend going on a boat with kids for that because they get so worried and upset that they start screaming and at some point you think the boat is going to capsize (which it has a few times in that place). 

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Last time I had a close encounter with wildlife I got my hand ripped open for my troubles.... 

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When I'm abroad Im generally in cities so there's not much  wildlife. In Florida I've seen some alligators, and also been trapped in a car with a giant water bug hanging right above my head. 

At home I see loads of foxes and squirrels around where I live, which is pretty common with suburbs in Scotland. I once even saw a young deer passing through my garden, but that's only because I live quite near a large-ish area of woods. 

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7 hours ago, Stan said:

If going to Kruger park counts then I've been very lucky. Apparently you don't get to see the 'Big Five' too often all in one day. But that's exactly what we did.

Never been so close to lions either, who were lying by the side of the road after a good session of mating xD.

Elephants are some of my favourite animals and to see them close up in the wild was surreal. 

Got a long-distance view of leopards and buffalo and because we went stupidly early in the morning, when it's a bit cooler, we got to see rhino's having a wonder around one of the waterhole. 

 

Before that trip, we went to a crocodile sanctuary in a place called Tongaat, near Durban. Got to roam the areas there with about 200 wild crocodiles around us. The kind of place where you go in to it and it's just your standard zoo-like place where you can see crocodiles in their enclosures like normal. But then after that, when you get chatting to the owner/manager, they say 'do you want to walk with wild crocodiles'? So he takes us round the back of the enclosure to a gated section where there used to be a river that runs through this area and there's literally hundreds of big crocodiles basking in South African sunshine. Unreal experience.

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I was told when it comes to the big 5, Elephants you see immediately, Rhino's and Wildabeest are easy, Lions are a bit tougher but the guides know where they like to lay around and Leopards are luck. What would you say about this Stan?

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In Rio Branco I saw Capybara's and Alligators. They were by the University. I also saw Piranhas but they are too small to photograph from surface.

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Saw a bear in Terrace for 3 seconds... and no, it is not the Budweiser bear.

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Finally, every 6 AM I get the same skunk show up in my backyard. Took it for my IG story one time. Here it is

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8 minutes ago, Grizzly21 said:

I was told when it comes to the big 5, Elephants you see immediately, Rhino's and Wildabeest are easy, Lions are a bit tougher but the guides know where they like to lay around and Leopards are luck. What would you say about this Stan?

Elephants are easier to see, yeah. There's a lot of them and they're hardly the stealthiest of creatures xD.

Depending on time of day you go, the others are a bit of a lottery. Most would sleep during the day because it's too hot so they'll find shaded areas under trees etc...

We went about 5am in the morning so just as daylight was breaking and it was fairly cool in temperature. Rhino's and buffalo's I think we saw fairly quickly. 

Leopards are sheer luck - you have to be seriously fortunate to get a good glimpse of one as they'll rarely roam the roads we go on and like to be quite subtle. We wouldn't have seen the one we saw if the guide didn't track/spot it himself. 

Lions we were quite fortunate to get so close - there's a lot of tours on at that time and all the guides have their radios/walkie-talkies so when one said that a couple were by the side of the road it was a race to who else could get there first. We were lucky as we weren't too far away and before you know it there's about 4 or 5  jeeps all huddling around to get a good sighting of them xD. It was just luck on that day that they'd finished mating and so were quite relaxed. On another day they'll be tucked away in the bushes or not near any roads to get good views of them.

If you get a good guide, you're in luck. They'll have the knowledge of where to go indeed.

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On 26/09/2019 at 23:32, CaaC (John) said:

I have seen a more variety of animals in Australia than anywhere else walking in the bush, countryside etc and a lot of animals across here at the zoo, that's about it really, our daughter always said she would love to swim with Dolphins. 

Saw a fin behind me once at my local beach. Turned out to be a few dolphins. We really are in a very special place. 

For me, I saw fuvk all in Japan. 

I never saw an echidna in the wild until last year and now have seen 3 including saving one a couple of weeks ago. 

Kangaroos all the time, Emu’s, eagles...

Snorkelling in Hawaii was a particular highlight seeing a pod of dolphins swimming under me - as well as a Sea Turtle.

I would love to get to Africa though and see some lions and cheetahs. Or better yet... Mountain Gorillas while they’re still around. 

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During family vacations my dad would always wake us up at like 4 or 5 AM to go look for deer, foxes and other woodland animals whenever we'd be in rural France or Germany. We ended up seeing quite a bit of those. The most exotic animals I've seen in the wild were monkeys.

I'd still like to see killer whales up close sometime, but only in the wild.

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I see a fox every now and then, which is quite incredible considering i live in a city, or well, in the direct outskirts. 

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You know, if you’re drunk enough the title of this thread looks like it’s asking whether or not any of us fuck animals out in the wild.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

You know, if you’re drunk enough the title of this thread looks like it’s asking whether or not any of us fuck animals out in the wild.

Fucking hell that car crash has messed you up mate. 

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6 hours ago, Stan said:

Fucking hell that car crash has messed you up mate. 

He’s literally asking if I get lucky with wildlife

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See a koala in the wild once, very rare sighting indeed. The fat bastard was walking down a path on a cliff face towards the beach, and the koala was up in the trees hanging over on a thin branch as if certain death wasn't below.

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On 01/10/2019 at 19:06, Tommy said:

I see a fox every now and then, which is quite incredible considering i live in a city, or well, in the direct outskirts. 

Last fox I saw was when on my way back home from my recent trip down south, it was walking up the hard shoulder just as you come onto the Motorway from reading services.

It's not unknown to see them in cities though as you get them in London. "Urban foxes", it's like Racoons in New York or Herons in Amsterdam. In fact, even Peregrine Falcons in a lot of English towns now, they love to nest in Cathedrals especially and of course, in towns and cities, there are shitloads of their favourite food source:- pigeons.

 

I'd say I've been very lucky in this country as I've seen everything pretty much. Especially when it comes to birds of prey, I've seen alsorts. Kestrel(obviously they are common as fuck around here), Buzzard(same as the Kessas), Honey Buzard, Hobby, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier....I just need to see an Osprey, a Goshawk and a Merlin now, although I may have seen a Merlin before and not known about it and could have seen a Goshawk and mistaken it for a Sparrowhawk. You could say Golden Eagles and Sea Eagles as well, but they are all in Scotland nowadays. Oh yeah I've seen Barn Owls and Tawny Owls as well, which I personally class as Birds of Prey. As for other species, I've seen alsorts. My favourite probably being Kingfishers, they are class. Seen many of them.

As for other species, Badgers, Foxes, Adders, Grass Snakes, Slow Worms, Deers, Otters, Mink, Stoat, Weasel, Red Squirrels, Field Mice, Wood Mice, Water Vole, Bats, Newts, different Frogs and Toads, hedgehogs...Obviously fish as well.

When abroad, I mainly go to cities are somewhere near the sea, but off my head, I've seen bits and bats like a whale, a few dolphins, Portuguese Man o war, scorpions, lizards, etc.

Edited by Carnivore Chris

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