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Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you ever had a wild animal allow you to pet them?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43352points) May 1st, 2011

There was a little bitty bird in our yard. Small, like a finch or something. At first glance you might think it was a baby, but it wasn’t. It was full grown, but small. Rick was watering the grass and this bird just hopped up to him, looking at him, then pecking bugs out of the grass. Then he held his head up, mouth open so Rick gently showered some water on him, which he drank. He was just hanging around there, so Rick reached down and pet him on the head! Bird seemed to just love it! Rick stood up. Bird looked at him again, so Rick pet him again, and the bird allowed it, arching his head as though it felt good. Then it flew away.

How strange is that?

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29 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Perhaps the bird had been hand-raised by humans.

Cruiser's avatar

I had a hammock hanging under my tree fort’s deck that I used to lay in and Chicadees would land on my arm, I would whistle to them and they would come and just hang out with me.

I bopped a ten point buck under his chin with the top of my head in the middle of the night, but that is a whole other story.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Cruiser I must hear the rest!

@marinelife perhaps…

HungryGuy's avatar

Near me, pigeons and squirrels have no fear of people. They mingle with crowds on the sidewalk without a care in the world. But I wouldn’t dare try to touch one for fear of disease…

Dutchess_III's avatar

What kind of disease?

HungryGuy's avatar

Rabies, distemper, etc. I know that’s unlikely in an urban setting (I once had a squirrel run up to me and stop right in front of me on the sidewalk and look me in the eye as if demanding, “Feed me!”), but still…

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think only mammals can get rabies and distemper. I could be wrong, though.

HungryGuy's avatar

Well, I’m a city boy and know diddly about wild animals. But the scientist in me tells me that a squirrel is a mammal.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh. I thought we were talking about birds…but you did mention squirrels. I’ve never heard of a squirrel getting rabies…? Hmmmm.

HungryGuy's avatar

That’s good to know.

chyna's avatar

I have had two different deer come up to me and let me pet them. One while I was camping and one out in a friends yard.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@chyna THAT’S cool!!!

MilkyWay's avatar

All the time @Dutchess_III YH, all the time. Birds, squirrels, street cats, owls, badgers…

tinyfaery's avatar

I have a way with feral cats. I’ve been able to catch and help rehabilitate quite a few, all who went on to make loving pets.

dxs's avatar

The Gal├ípagos islands—my dream vacation! These wild animals that are only found there come right up to you and are so tame. I once only once I promise petted/fed a squirrel in the common, though it’s technically not allowed. I always trip on pigeons. City animals are very tame because humans give them so much food. Oh and back in Rhode Island I once picked up a squirrel from the compost pile back when I just turned five. It was buried in there, I saw its tail and picked it up. It squeaked a lot and thankfully I got no scratches or bites. Those little buggers have mad nails and teeth! I also remember petting a snapping turtle, too, along with many farm animals in a petting zoo at a carnival once.

tedibear's avatar

When I was seven I petted a deer at Estes Park in the Colorado Rockies. It would eat potato chips from your hand and let you pet her. She looked pretty young, so maybe she didn’t know to be afraid? Since then, I can’t even get my 18 month old niece to let me hold her. This is a recent development. Hopefully based on her desire to be running around and not in a lap.

ucme's avatar

I patted a giraffe on it’s leg once. It jumped….I shat myself. Here endeth the lesson.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Chickadees will land on my hand to take seed from me. I see them on my walks and they are very friendly.Yesterday I took a few pictures of this beaver a few doors down.I did not pet it but was able to get close as you can see.
I was able to pet black bears before.They were not wild though :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Very cool! Yes, I’m thinking the bird was some sort of chickadee. I had seen him a little earlier, and it caught my attention because I walked right by it and it didn’t spook….

JLeslie's avatar

I NEVER try, as tempting as it might be. Growing up we had info messages on the TV about rabbies. I was told birds are germy. And, a basic warning about all wild animals.

Two days ago I was putting Lime on my lawn and a doe came right up behind me, she must have been just 15–20 feet away, and was still approaching. It freaked me out, I walked back towards my house. Maybe she thought the Lime was food? But, I never feed the deer. My husband said I should have pet her. I think he is nuts.

woodcutter's avatar

We have a ex- feral cat that was a kitten outside our home. It took almost all summer to get him to let me finally touch him. Now he seems to crave being held.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! That’s a good dad!!

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Coloma's avatar

Nothing I have actually pet but, I have a Black tail Doe ” Mama Deer” that takes bread from my hand off of my deck. She has had twin fawns 3 summers in a row and they like to rest under my deck on hot days. I also have a Skunk friend I call “Little Dude” who loves hard boiled eggs and Italian salami. Haha
We have an agreement, I get to walk to my hot tub and I roll his egg the other way. lol
He did take an egg from my fingers once, but, I decided that was a bit risky.

Here’s a pic in my avatar. :-)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There have been two close opportunities, but sadly, not close enough to pet. Friends had a cabin in the woods on a lake in upper New York. While staying with them, the provided unshelled peanuts, and we would sit patiently on the ground holding the peanuts out. Eventually chipmunks would gather up enough nerve to come and take it from our fingers. Then they became comfortable enough to climb up on our legs to retrieve one. My sister got one to climb up her arm and onto her shoulder to get its snack.

The other time had to do with dolphins. Our family spent a week each summer in Nags Head, North Carolina. One year, we rented a kayak. When I spotted a pod of dolphins heading our way, so my brother and I jumped in the kayak and headed out. They must have been curious enough to come really close, but not close enough to touch. What a bummer.

downtide's avatar

Never with a truly wild animal, although I’ve had a squirrel feeding out of my land it was a park squirrel and was accustomed to people.

One time when I was in my teens I was cycling along a country lane with high hedges on each side. As I was cycling along, a kestrel flew over the hedge and was surprised to find me there. It banked sharply, and for fifty yards or so he flew right beside me. Close enough to touch, but I didn’t. Then he sped up and flew back over the hedge again and was gone.

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