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ucme's avatar

What animals have you seen up close & personal that left you awe struck & did it leave a lasting impression on you?

Asked by ucme (46460points) March 12th, 2010

Maybe at a zoo or nature reserve,on safari or perhaps an exotic pet of your’s or a friends.

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48 Answers

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Manta rays. I was shocked by how big they actually are, and how graceful they are in the water. Swimming with them was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

marinelife's avatar

I once came around a curve on a trail and startled a deer. The deer then proceeded to jump over my head straight up in the air about 10 feet and landed on the bank above. That was surprising!

I encountered a sea turtle while snorkeling in Hawaii that left me amazed. I would love to see a whale shark sometime.

Snarp's avatar

I worked with a leopard, that left quite an impression.

Also, boogie boarding and sharing the wave with a dolphin, as well as kayaking with dolphins. Pretty amazing.

And a manatee surfacing behind my boat while I was fishing. Those things are really big.

Vunessuh's avatar

When I was in Yosemite, I saw a family of five deer.
The experience itself was incredible, watching them eat and play. I almost started crying.
I think it was a combination of everything – being out in nature, surrounded by life, I don’t get to do any of that very often, so I was definitely in awe when I saw such a large family of deer all in the same spot. My friend and I watched them for about 30 minutes. It definitely left an impression. It made me happy and I’ve never forgotten it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

A dairy cow walked through a campsite where I was tenting. The thing was a big as a house. And dumb as rocks.

BarkelFashions's avatar

many yrs ago whilst walking in the lake district I got very close to a Golden Eagle it was breathtaking I’ve never seen anything so majestic and magical

tinyfaery's avatar

An albino peacock. They are stunning and eerie at the same time. I plan on getting a tattoo of one very soon.

Aethelwine's avatar

Texas longhorns. They have them at the ranch my husband works at. We were able to camp at the ranch last summer and the longhorns were just 300ft or so from our tent. We also got to ride a four wheeler through the pasture and my daughter was able to pet a few of the longhorns. A moment I’ll never forget. They are beautiful creatures. tasty too ;)

@Vunessuh You need to come to my house. Deer pass through our backyard every evening. :)

ucme's avatar

This is the kind of stuff I was hoping for & expected.It is an amazing & humbling experience to see animals at close quarters.Washes all the bullshit away & leaves me completely in awe of their grace & power.I’ve seen my share but my favourite has to be otters. Drop dead gorgeous, cuteness overload.Yeah animals are definitley in my cool book.Cheers people.

OpryLeigh's avatar

A few years ago I was in Greece and I saw Turtles in the wild. It was such a beautiful sight that it made me cry!

Berserker's avatar

I saw an albino peacock at the zoo when I was little. As if seeing that wasn’t rare enough, I happened to see it with its tail entirely displayed. It was awesome.

What’s weird is that I’d been to that zoo like 20 times, and I never saw that peacock again, only the one time. All the times after I kept looking for it but it was never there.
This was a special they did where they brought elephants and pandas for like half the Summer, and then returned em elsewhere I guess, maybe the peacock was part of it.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

It’s cool to see that people get these kind of experiences from seeing deer. Like @jonsblond, I live in an area where I see them almost daily, so I guess I’m a bit desensitized, but they truly are amazing creatures.

Not a deer, but here’s a picture of an elk I took a while back. :)

Ivy's avatar

In the wilderness around where I live, diamond back rattlers, mountain lions (cougars), buck elk, moose, and black bears stand out, but I have to admit that my favorite of all the critters around here is the prarie dog.

marinelife's avatar

@Dracool I love prairie dogs! I have only seen them once and it was at a nature preserve.

davidbetterman's avatar

Eagles…I saw them while camping in Kentucky a few years ago (like 1990). In flight right above us as we floated lazily down river.

lilikoi's avatar

I don’t count animals as ones I’ve seen if I don’t see them in the wild in their natural habitat…

African lions, leopard eating its prey in a tree (I could hear the bones cracking on my video), zebras, elephants, hyena, hippo, maribu storks, variety of vultures (eating wildebeest flesh – wildebeest got trapped in a gulch; seeing them circle in the air was amazing), giant bird like 5’ long flapping its wings, giraffes (two types), flamingos, white and black rhino – white is practically extinct, secretary bird, pueo Hawaiian owl, various hawks, green sea turtles (honu), chickens (used to collect their eggs), albatross, egrets, humpback whales, dolphins, monk seals, various sharks, sea gulls and seals and Condors in California (they are so huge compared to the kinds you see in Hawaii), antelope, impala, live wildebeest, baboons, monkeys, cape buffalo, dik dik, waterbuck, warthogs!, hyrax (giant rat like thing), various butterflies (mostly Monarch)...

is anyone still reading, lol?

Basically, seeing any animal in the wild for me is awesome, memorable, and significant.

I’d like to see the cheetah and the polar bear.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Otters. I’ve never seen one get snarly. They always seem ready to play.

brownlemur's avatar

An aye-aye touched my head. It is analogous to god’s reaching his hand out to Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. For me, at least.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities I’m sure the mantas are saying the same about you. (Except about the “big” part, that is.)

stardust's avatar

This is a wonderful question. Seeing animals in their natural habitat really does cut through all of the rubbish. It’s a liberating experience.
Seeing lions roam about in their natural habitat has to be one of the greatest memories I have. It was truly humbling. They’re so majestic; so proud. My goodness, I loved it.
Aah, also elephant’s – it was an incredible experience.
Rhino’s, Hippo’s, Zebra, Giraffe’s (they’re wonderful creatures :-) )
Springbok, they’re beautiful.
Ths question has brought a smile to my face. What great memories.

absalom's avatar

Last summer I was reading on the deck in my backyard, and a hummingbird flew right in front of my face and hovered there for the longest time, just staring at me. It was so tiny I thought it was a bug at first. Eventually it flew away.

I was able to pet a deer once. It wasn’t in the wild, though. I was just breaking zoo rules. It still felt pretty cool. And sad.

Ivy's avatar

@marinelife They’re everywhere here and considered pests to be eradicated by most people. I know they cost ranchers money, but watching a community of prarie dogs on a summer afternoon, tossing them treats and getting to know their different characters, is really, really entertaining!

marinelife's avatar

@brownlemur What an interesting looking animal. I had never heard of the ayeaye before.

rangerr's avatar

We got to swim with Orcas and dolphins for my sister’s Make-A-Wish.
I was so speechless the entire time. Those animals are so gorgeous and so graceful.
It was one of the most fun days of my life. They are super gentle, too. It was so great.

Horses leave me awestruck a lot, too. Even though I’m constantly around them, I still can’t get over how gorgeous they are.
I’m just in love with the animal kingdom.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t get out much anymore, but I love to watch the squirrels playing in the trees and on the fences around my house. They come right up to my front courtyard and chatter at the dog and cat inside. I’m pretty sure they are saying “Nyah, Nyah, Nyah” before they run away.

Naked_Homer's avatar

Those giant budweiser horses. I could not believe how big they were.

rangerr's avatar

@Naked_Homer Clydesdales are amazing.

escapedone7's avatar

A portuguese man of war. I was definitely awe-struck and yes it left an impression.

marinelife's avatar

@Naked_Homer I love Clydesdales (and all draft horses)! I love the Budweiser commercials just because of the Clydesdales.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@rangerr Clydesdales have always been my favourite breed of horse apart from Haflingers, although I am slightly bias!

downtide's avatar

Once while cycling in the English countryside, a kestrel popped up over the hedge and flew beside me for a while. It was a bit startled to see me in its way, I think, and for a while it was trapped between me and the hedge. It was flying just a couple of feet off the ground so I was looking down on it, close enough for me to reach out and touch it if I’d wanted to. After a hundred yards or so it just lifted up, flew over the hedge again and was gone.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@downtide I had a very similar experience with an Owl once whilst walking the dogs very early in the morning.

Coloma's avatar

I live in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 50 miles from Lake Tahoe.
A total nature/animal nut. lol

About 8 years ago I went out with a flashlight to lock my barn and critters up about 9 o’ clock one evening.

As I turned to walk away I was looking into the huge neon green eyes of a good sized mountain lion!!!!

We stared at each other for about 45 seconds motionless and then it turned away calmly and disappeared into the brush.

I walked calmly about halfway back down the hill and then RAN LIKE HELL! hahahaha

Awesome and awe inspiring and very intimidating too!

I think it was stalking my geese that had wanderd into the barn for bedtime.

I’ll never forget that moment..and, oh yeah..I was topless in my undies, a hot summer night, alone on my 5 acres…just the usual…so it would have had little resistance to a juicy meal! hahahaha

Coloma's avatar

And last summer in the redwoods a herd of Elk came crashing down on a trail in front of me. HUGE bull & about 6–7 cows & calves.
Just backed off and they passed without incidence, but man..I couldn’t believe the size of them compared to the blacktailed deer around my place!

I’d love to see a bear in real life!

escapedone7's avatar

@coloma WOW! I have seen 3 bobcats in the wild in my lifetime and I’ve hiked quite a bit. I have never had the opportunity to spot a mountain lion outside of a captive setting. That would be awesome.

Naked_Homer's avatar

@rangerr and @marinelife – I literally stood there in awe of the Clydesdales. I am afraid of horses. I will ride them but be terrified the whole time. They are so big and could do what they want when they want. It seems nuts. But when I was standing there I was so overwhelmed at their beauty I didn’t even think about fear. After I left and thought about where I was in proximity to the horses I broke out into a sweat.

rangerr's avatar

@Naked_Homer Yeah. They are magnificent to just stare at. So gorgeous.

JeffVader's avatar

I know this is abit stupid, but Llamas! What awesome creatures. Stupid, ugly, smelly, inedible, rubbish pack animals, sour milk, & rubbish fleece. Basically the most useless animal there is, but they’re just awesome!

Coloma's avatar

Hahaha…yes, Llamas, my neighbors have one, Hercules! haha

I love to watch him chew, wacky unhinged sideways jaw motion.

He likes bread and apples….he’s my buddy! :-)

I also admit to liking to throw strawberries at their sheep off my deck…sheep…silly creatures…bonk ‘em with strawberries from above and watch them look as if the sky is raining strawberries. lolololol

JeffVader's avatar

@Coloma Hahahaha, love it…. sheep are really silly creatures too, not quite so bonkers as Llamas but well worth a giggle, many thanks for the imagery :)

Coloma's avatar

Animals are so cool! I was just out singing to my geese…they have a morning song and a bedtime song..fortunetly I live on secluded property, oh…the city people would think I was bonkers…all the songs and conversations I carry on with my guys. lol

My white chinese gander, ‘Marwyn’ he is the most humorous and smart goose…he likes me to play my djembe drum and sing to him….okay…I have shared quite enough to create a pretty nutty image now! lololol

Oh…tell the ‘geezers’ every night…bread before bed unless you are dead! lololololol

JeffVader's avatar

@Coloma Ahhhh, I love Geese & ducks…. especially Mallards. When I was at University it was those little critters that kept me happy, I had a little flock that used to come to my window (I was on the ground floor) & peck the at glass asking for bread. Funny thing was, the first Xmas I went home & they started knocking at my flat mates window, he had to buy extra bread for them Hehe!
Not to mention all the Canadian Geese who were such a laugh. My favourite though was this one old gnarly white goose, he had such a wonderfully foul attitude & short fuse….
Haha, I think we may be as bonkers as each other :)

Coloma's avatar

Birds of a feather….lololol

JeffVader's avatar

Hahaha, wish I could russtle up some other animal related saying…. but my brains too feeble on a Monday :)

Coloma's avatar

Deck the halls with bowtied ganders…fa la la la la…la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Storms's avatar

As a small child I was swimming in a makeshift pool when I realised I was sharing it with a juvenile rattlesnake. I got out of there faster than I knew I could move. Then I grabbed a shovel, scooped that sucker out of there and promptly removed his head. I was shocked again when I leaned in close and the severed head’s tongue slithered out.

I was also assaulted by an angry buck during mating season one night just outside my house. I lashed out at it and then ran inside. I might be making this one up because I was drunk and high.

From a sailboat in lake Michigan, off the shore of a preserve, I saw a mother deer and her youngins on the beach. One of them was an albino.

The other day, my snail latched on to a floating plant, waited until it was over the under-gravel filter’s bubbles and then “surfed” on them for a good fifteen seconds, like it was trying to. Seriously. He did nearly the same thing just a little while ago.

Naked_Homer's avatar

@Storms – awesome stories!!!! I freaked out just reading about the rattlesnake. The snail tale was a beauty!

Coloma's avatar

The other day I heard something loud walking on my roof. Had a pair of Canda geese scoping out my domestic guys. Let them out in the yard and everyone had a moment of ’ Wow! you guys are for sure like me, but kinda weird too!’ haha

It was fun watching them watch each other.

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