General Question

marinelife's avatar

What is the most amazing wildlife encounter you have had?

Asked by marinelife (62485points) May 28th, 2008

I once was on a steep trail and startled a deer below me on the hillside. The large deer leapt from a standing start over my head (I am 5’4”) and sailed up in a single bound to the hilltop several feet above me. It was enough to convince me Santa’s reindeer probably can fly. What’s your story?

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51 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

We were driving in the Cascades to go camping. We hit a deer while driving (about 50MPH). I had the window down and when the deers head hit the windshield its eyeballs exploded. The juice covered my face when it came in through the window.

The front of the car was gone. It is a miracle we are alive and the car made it back home.

jstringham21's avatar

When I punched a shark in the face. Or perhaps when I saved the entire world from a giant reptile. OR maybe it was when I beat a black bear at arm wrestling.

jtvoar16's avatar

Well, it’s hard for me to say which one is my favorite. I have nearly had my head taken off by a great horned owl, I have stood ten feet below a very pissed off mountain lion, and nearly had a 5,000$ camera lens destroyed by a dive-bombing falcon.

marinelife's avatar

@johnpowell You were lucky! In Alaska, moose encounters happen a lot and can end badly. Although then you do get the moose meat, whuch I love.

marinelife's avatar

@jtvoar16 I have had the crap scared out of me by owls several times, and I know they can be dangerous if threatened. But I want to know what happened next in the mountain lion story? How did you part ways with him or her unscathed?

marinelife's avatar

@jstringham21 Thanks so much for the great addition to the discussion.

delirium's avatar

Probably mountain climbing and reaching the top of the cliff only to be visited by a golden eagle soaring back and forth right by us less than an arms length away. Or the time (in the same place… its an annual trip) that a bunch of black vultures decided that I was a very nice warm rock and made an attempt to land on me and walk all over me. I was too scared and awed to move.
Ooh, or the time that (same place) we got to see a juvi broad shouldered attacking a statue of an owl that was set on a high up (20 ft) post to attract that exact same kind of activity. It went on for about 30 minutes and was absolutely incredible to be right beneath them.

marinelife's avatar

@delirium A what attacking the owl? Being walked on by vultures seems like a scary concept. Hopefully, they decided you were alive and therefore of no interest to them.

delirium's avatar

They did decide that I was alive, thank heckandahalf. I think the reason they were so interested was because of the warmth and they were just taking a rest from migrating.

Sorry, a Red Shouldered Hawk attacking the owl. (I mixed red shouldered and broad winged in my head!)

richmarshall's avatar

I was scuba diving at Coral Street in Monterey, California and at the end of the dive we saw a harbor seal stillbirth a pup. She kept pulling the pup down to the bottom (we were in about 20 feet of water) with her mouth and we would watch it float back up to the surface. Kinda sad, but I really wish I would have had my video camera that day.

jstringham21's avatar

Wow. All these wild experiences with nature! I was just making mine up. Altough I did have you all fooled.

marinelife's avatar

@jstringham21 Oh, yeah, we were in awe, especially the saving the world thing.

richmarshall's avatar

@jtvoar16, I would also like to request you tell a little bit more about that mountain lion story. We have ‘spottings’ every year in our neighborhood, and we make sure to get the kids in before dark because of them.

Allie's avatar

In Thailand:
– I took a shower with an elephant. My friend and I went on a ride through the jungle with one other guy and a guide; four people, four elephants. We found a waterfall and a swimming hole and decided to stop and play in the water for a bit. My friend and I gave our elephants baths with some soap the guide had brought. It was pretty cute.
– I woke up next to a boa constrictor. Same trip in the jungle. All four of us spent the night crammed into a tiny hut. When we woke up there was a boa in our room. Turns out the guy who owned the boa was in the hut next door and the boa just moseyed on over.
– Stray monkeys wander into town and steal food from you. They aren’t too nice about it either. A gang of monkeys took a bag of walnuts from us and spilled it all over the place in the process of opening it. Haha.

In Dubai:
– Seeing about fifty free camels caravaning through the desert. They aren’t tame so our Jeep had to wait for all of them to cross our path before we could continue our drive in the desert. It took a while, but was a pretty amazing sight.

In Cancun:
– A sea turtle swam past me when I was snorkeling.

In Humboldt:
– My friend almost hit a deer. It came running out of the woods, she honked, it jumped from the ground to the roof of the truck to the ground on the other side of the truck. She had a big dent in the top of her truck.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

In Jamaica my brother and I were sitting on the ground-floor porch and a peacock jumped onto the railing and tried to attack us.
My brother was then attacked by another peacock in the Bronx zoo.

Harp's avatar

I was on a solo backpacking trip in the West Texas desert and spread my sleeping bag on a tiny level spot on a hillside. Sometime during the night, I awoke to a thundering sound. It was a herd of javalinas streaming down the hillside over and around me. I just ducked down into the bag to protect my face.

That was far better than the time I spread my sleeping bag in a London park and had rats running over me all night.

delirium's avatar

OHMYGOD! They don’t have peacocks anymore at the historical society here because one attacked me! I’ve never known anyone else who had been attacked!

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Oh, also in middle school they brought in a kangaroo specialist who bought a recently-born joey with him. Long story short, the joey escaped his cage, went crazy, and attacked the kid sitting next to me.

marinelife's avatar

@omfgTALIjustIMDu & delirium You guys must have bird-friendly pheomones!

delirium's avatar

Apparently so!

judochop's avatar

I have a couple.
Once I was backpacking and looking for a good spot away from camp to relieve my number 2 if ya know what I mean. I squated between two rocks with my pants down only to hear a rattle snake that I could not see. To afraid to move my business started dropping and the rattle snake moved and rattled more. I kept up and ran.
The second one was while backpacking too. We were in camp with our food hung up about 70 yards away. We had two teabags and finished our nightcap to turn in. We set the bags in the fire coals. Well in comes a big black bear. At first we could not tell what it was but after peaking through the top of the tent the bear was brushing against the front door. We blew our whistle as loud as we could and it only seemed to upset the bar as he sorta made a grunt sound and was sniffing at the tent door. We wrapped ourselves up in the middle of the tent with our bags and stopped beathing until it left. Whew.

buster's avatar

i was hiking at laurel hill wildlife preserve in tennessee by the buffalo river. my buddy and i decided to climb up this cliff and check out the view. halfway up we were climbing across a ledge and we stumbled up on a big nest with some big white baby birds in it. they were squawking and carrying on. we decided to make a hasty retreat because we didnt want to meet momma bird. later on that day we met up with a wildlife resource officer. i told him about the encounter and he said they were golden eagles and it was a good thing we got away before momma came back.

on another hike at cape lookout state park in tillamook oregon my buddy and i found some of the most remarkable slugs ive ever seen. id say they were at least six inches long and a light yellow brown. i think they were pacific banana slugs. they dont make slugs like that in tennessee.

brownlemur's avatar

Had a piece of my scalp removed by a chimpanzee.

Got chased out of my tent by a pack of wild bush pigs and was stuck in a tree for an hour while they sniffed around my tent.

Got peed and pooped on by lemurs.

A pair of fossa (giant Malagasy mongoose) stalked me at 2am in the forest.

A gorilla threw a head of cabbage at me (not in the wild).

Allie's avatar

brownlemur: All of yours are rather unfortunate….. but really funny. =] Except for the one about a piece of your scalp being removed. That’s not funny, that’s just 100% bad.

spendy's avatar

During a 7-day hike in the Rockies, we set up next to a beautiful lake. I had packed my collapsable pole, so I headed off to see about catching a fish. I was perched on a boulder lakeside, tossing back a few Skittles I’d been saving. I noticed a few marmots, running back and forth chasing each other in the snow, playing on the other side of the lake. Cutest thing you’ve even seen. Then they stopped, stood on their hind legs staring up the hill behind me. After about 10 seconds they cut out like lightening, scurried off and hid. I turned around, Skittles in hand, to see a huge bear about 100 yards up the hillside, nose in the air. I’m guessing he was smelling my treat. Luckily he wasn’t interested in making chase, but I packed up and hauled azz out of there faster than you can say, “Taste the rainbow.”

marinelife's avatar

@brownlemur But you still love nature and wildlife, right? :)

marinelife's avatar

@spendywatson I find bears very scary, because they are so unpredictable!

delirium's avatar

Marina: I’m fairly sure that nature and wildlife are both his happy place and his life. (From what I’ve heard. Feel free to correct me if i’m wrong)

brownlemur's avatar

@Marina – Of course I do. Anything “bad” that an animal does to me is my own stupid fault no matter what the situation.

Bri_L's avatar

I almost wet myself when a grass snake went by me at scout camp.

thats about it.

spendy's avatar

@Marina, you’re not kidding. I was so freaked. I started confusing every wild animal survival tactic I knew – look it in the eye and don’t back down, they smell fear…no, that’s wild dogs, back away slowly and no sudden movements…nope, that’s snakes, hold your breath and count to ten…nope, that’s crazy relatives. :)

Bri_L's avatar

@ spendywatson – almost wetting myself worked for me, the snake left.

I will most certainly try the crazy relatives trick though.

spendy's avatar

If that doesn’t work, try this:

1. Place one finger in each ear
2. Hum loudly


Bri_L's avatar

That will work! No question!

Unless the crazy relative doesn’t like my fingers in their ears. ;-)

spendy's avatar

(that’s hilarious – nice one) :)

Bri_L's avatar


breedmitch's avatar

Back in High School, I was driving with some friends on a very rural, back-country road. We rounded a turn and were heading over a low water crossing over a creek when suddenly a large bird wley directly at us. It just came out of the darkness. I slammed on the brakes and the bird landed about ten feet in directly in front of the car. It stood about four feet tall and was pale white. We were all speechless and just watched for a moment. Just then it spread its massive wings, craned its neck into the air, opened its beak and vomited a large, still flapping, live fish into the middle of our path. A peace offering? Naw, I think we just scarred the fish out of him.

breedmitch's avatar


rowenaz's avatar

Dinner with the in-laws?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I grew up in San Francisco, a city that has trees growing along many sidewalks. I have been attacked in the city twice by crazy Brewer’s Blackbirds who apparently were pissed I happened to be walking by their nest. The damn things swooped down on me repeatedly, landing on my head and pecking me.. I can still remember the feeling of their little talons grasping at my hair.

If someone had video taped either encounter, I surely would be rich from a win on America’s Funniest Videos. I’m sure I looked absolutely nuts, yelping and waving my arms around, trying to fend off a blackbird.

I’m the only person I know that’s been attacked by blackbirds in SF.. not just once, but TWICE!

marinelife's avatar

@AlenaD How Hitchcockian!

Seesul's avatar

Mine doesn’t compare to most of those above, but I was staying up at a friend’s property up on Palomar Mountain in San Diego county. It was the stop/inn for the area and had been in her family since the beginning. We were in one of the rooms and had her boxer at the end of the bed, and everyone else had left their doors open because it was a family fun get-together. All of the sudden, we were awoken by a shriek from her aunt, who was on the toilet. We then heard that door slam and a warning for everyone to stay still.

We reached out and held on to the dog tightly and hoped for the best. The critter then made the rounds of every room in the house and scampered out. All that we saw was the white stripe streaking from room to room. No one moved for the rest of the night.

The next day, her aunt found the nest of skunks under the house and blocked into the house so that we would not get a repeat visit.

The place has since been turned back into an inn/resort.

Curious404's avatar

In the Austrialian outback I saw a huge wedge tail eagle just a few feet from me.

jtvoar16's avatar

Well, long story short. I was walking and heard the sound of something large climbing a tree. I ran toward the tree and was watching the branches, expecting to see a Raccoon or maybe a really big Porcupine. But what I saw instead was a very large, frightened mountain lion. I didn’t see her at first, not until she did her little, “I want to hiss, but then you might eat me, so I’ll do more of a whisper” hiss at me. I looked up and freaked out, like I just jumped and screamed, then I collected myself and began checking the other trees around me, just in case, then I moved away slowly and calmly back out into the open field behind me and then ran like hell. I figured if she had followed me into the open field, then she must be damaged, that is why I decided to run once I got to the field.

rowenaz's avatar

When I was 3 or 4, I managed to catch a squirrel. Needless to say, it bit me. At that time, rabies were really rare around here…nonetheless, my sister says i had 30 shots in my stomach…thankfully enough I don’t remember that part.

marinelife's avatar

@rownaz Yes, the old adage about Be Careful What You Wish For has a corollary Be Careful What You Chase Lest You Catch It. I saw a young girl chasing a swan in a park. I told her it could hurt her, and her mother made her desist. They can be deadly.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have had alot of them.I’ve seen bear,coyotes,fox,bobcat,deer,elk,otters,mink,all kinds of rodents and birds,been dive bombed by a hawk,just last year,lol!,but the one I’ll never forget is when I was thinking of cedar waxwings and suddenly there they were, flying everywhere!It was one of the strangest,most incredible things for me.They were so beautiful and I’ll never forget it :)

Violet's avatar

A bear in Yosemite. It was so cute!

marinelife's avatar

@zenele Where and how did you encounter it?

rowenaz's avatar

Went to Sanibel Island, Florida, and off one of the beaches there was an open rest room building. I went into the toilet stall, and as I put my hand around to close the metal door, my hand landed on something large and slimy.

The door swung shut, and I was face to face with a green tree frog that was clinging to the vertical door. It jumped FROM THE DOOR to MY CHEST and then proceeded to CLIMB UP ME ultimately using my CHIN AND MOUTH as a spring board to jump back onto the metal door but much higher up. My my my how I screamed!!!!

Then of course I caught it, and brought it outside to share with the girls before setting it free.


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