Have you ever had a wild animal just come right up to you and what did you do when it did?
It doesn't have to be a big bad ferocious animal. It could be a raccoon, squirrel, deer, even a bird. It's funny because after working at a dude ranch and seeing the extraordinary range of reactions to everything from possums to frogs, I'm always curious as to how people react. So what kind of animal was it and how did you react?
Once when I was out predator hunting, I had a two or three week old Bob cat come up to me and follow me home. I tried to take the animal back to the general area where I first saw it, but it followed me home again. I decided to take care of the animal for a short while if I could, and watered and fed it for about three weeks. One day when I came home, I found that the critter had left and walked across the road and back into the woods from where it had come. My neighbor saw the cat heading back across the road and told me later.
When I was living in Tucson, I had several bird feeders on my open porch....their was a finch flying around and it would occasionally land on the brick wall about a foot away from me. I held out my finger (never thinking anything would happen) and all of a sudden it flew over and landed on my hand. I felt like a male snow white and was bummed out because no one was there to see it!!! It stayed there and let me talk to it for about a minute and a half before flying away. It was really cool.
I had a baby woodchuck in my yard I walked up to while he was eating grass last June. He didn't seem to be frightened much by me standing beside him or that my cat was rubbing against my leg. He let me take his picture. I wrote a hub about it. http://diana-lee.hubpages.com/hub/Baby-Woodchucks
When I lived in rural Hillsboro, Missouri, I enjoyed a myriad of wildlife from deer, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks, to a huge variety of birds, including pileated woodpeckers. I fed them all. Rarely, usually in early April, I would enjoy seeing one or two "tropically orange" orioles. The last year I spent in Hillsboro, while I was outside with my dogs on the deck, I heard a bird singing directly behind me. I turned around and an oriole was on the deck post looking right at me and singing. I felt incredibly astounded as he finished his personal greeting to me before he flew home.
I loved spending time working in the yard. I had a culvert near the private road that I spent considerable time coercing into a naturalized but civilized oasis. One day I noticed a snake basking in the sun not far from where I was working. I stayed put, as he did and enjoyed the company. The next time I was out working in the general vicinity, but in a different section of the culvert, I saw the snake return to lay not far from me. I said a few, quiet words to him and he stayed. I saw the snake on a regular basis during the summer whenever I spent time in what must have been "his" space.
The following winter, my 12-1/2 year old Golden Retriever, Leo, was dying of cancer. The night before I knew it was time for his last ride to the vet, I stayed with him, on the deck, in the falling snow, as the cold made his breathing easier. Across the street stood a family of deer watching us until headlights chased them away. Then a resident chipmunk scampered down the tree, stopped at our eye level as if to say goodbye while the raccoons I fed watched from a nearby tree. Earlier that day a squirrel ran into Leo while he was in the yard. The wildlife we shared space with "knew" and were saying "goodbye" to my beloved Leo.
We had racoons come into our campground one year. Our kids were camped in a tent next to us and they got scared. I took some chopped up weiners with me and sat at the picnic table. They came right up to me and took the pieces of weiner right out of my hand. Their little fingers felt so strange! It was pretty cool!
Yes while I was in my university years. One summer while I was employed by Kimberly-Clark I was north of Lake Superior and a black bear approached me. I fired a pen-flare (air force flare signal device) into its chest. It took off in a Northerly direction and I exited stage-south...
well, as i lived in a jungle, i had a lot of animals either come up to me or some even chased me ( a porcupine once managed to chase me up a roof... - to be fair to it, i surprised it cause i could not sleep at 1 in the morning!)
i have bumped into 3 bears and luckily all three times, both of us made an excuse of a pressing engagement (in one of the cases i had climbed a tall hill in about an hour and came down it in about 3 minutes)
i have come very close to snakes, been chased by a rather large monkey, stumbled into a sambar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambar_(deer) and then given it chase for about 600 or so meters ( it was waaaaaaaay faster)
had crabs and frogs sleep under my pillow, been bitten by three scorpions ( not large ones thankfully)
and the loveliest was that i used to go downstream after a long day and just sit there watching the most beautiful of squirrels , the Malabar giant squirrel ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malabar_Squirrel , http://www.indianaturewatch.net/display … ?id=130496 ) i would just sit and watch them fly from tree to tree. what an awesome sight.
and over a period of a month or so, a couple ( am not sure whether they were a couple, but there were two of them and they did look slightly different ) came closer and closer to me, till they were within touching distance, they never came closer and i didnt reach out, we just watched each other calmly. it was beautiful
It was somewhat like what happened to procreate-light . . .
My mother was teaching me to swim in our apartment complex's pool. She was next to the edge of the pool when a sparrow (and you know how flighty they are!) flew down to the edge next to her. Guessing maybe it wanted the water, she reached her cupped hand out to it and it hopped on! Then she held it down close to the water, it took a couple of sips and then flew away! We both couldn't believe it!
Oh yes, deer, raccoons, squirrels, wolves....of course all of these animals were habituated. The most memorable was wolves. I was thrilled to have the close encounter. If a wild animal trusts you, that is really worth something.
I came across a fox in an alleyway when I was walking home late one night. The alley I was in was quite narrow and dark so we were on top of each other before we knew it. We both stopped and just looked at each other, not knowing what to do. In the end I just slowly moved past it and it did the same and then ran off.
At least I can tick 'Have an awkward moment with a wild animal' off my list of things to do before I die :-)
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