site stats
Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Out of the Ordinary Animal Encounters

When I was young and a girl scout, I fell out of my platform tent at night while camping. I think I must have rolled over in my sleeping bag and ended up traveling under the tent flap and off the raised decking. I landed hard on the ground, which was startling enough, but then I looked up and saw an owl with large yellow eyes staring from a tree’s branch extending above me. Luckily, all he did was look and “who—oo.” I consider that my first out-of-the-ordinary animal encounter.

I have touched a dolphin at Sea World. I have seen and smelled sheep up close. I have had way too much interaction with frogs and toads, amphibians I do not care for. Yes, it’s a phobia. I have been left with a stinging welt from a jellyfish’s tentacle. I’ve caught a possum eating from a cat bowl. I’ve seen a family of raccoons frolic on my back porch late at night, and the noise scared me half to death. I’ve had a blue jay dive bomb me for getting too close to her nest.

Tell me about your out-of-the ordinary animal encounters. What creatures, outside of pets, have you interacted with?



At 7:30 AM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

I worked as the Outreach Coordinator for a Zoological Society. I dealt with all sorts of critters (and was nailed by just about all of them). But I guess because it was my job, these were 'intentional' and not really 'encounters.'

We had snakes (non-venomous, of course), birds (parrots & owls), possums, a prairie dog, African hedgehogs, a squirrel monkey, sugar gliders, salamanders, a tree frog. When the zoo had bear cubs, a keeper would handle them, but they were fun.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Judy said...

Oh, Mo, what you ask. I had a family of spiders in my window for a long time. I decided better them than the other creepy crawlies, since at least the spiders stayed put. Hiking in the Superstitions and passing a rattlesnake on the trail, at night. My dad and I heard it and decided we'd look for it on the way back, in the morning. Our five companions had all walked past the creature laying coiled in the middle of the trail. How they missed it, we will never know. Deer, buffalo, elk, moose, and even a brown bear when I worked in Yellowstone. I was chased by a moose. Fortunately for me, I could move around a car faster than it could turn. Killing a rat in Thailand, and having my picture taken on a waterbuffalo. Touching a ray at Sea World; they're slimy. When I was little a school friend had a tarantula for a pet. To name a few. :-)

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Merrillee said...

Your post brought to mind a number of encounters for me. When I was a little girl, we went to Yellowstone. While we were driving along, we saw two little bear cubs. And I mean little. They were probably not much bigger than a raccoon. (We should have known "mama" wasn't far away.) My dad stopped the car and we all got out. My dad took movies with our old 8mm. The cubs came right up and stuck their noses in the lens. Then charging out of the woods comes Mama Bear. She was big and brown and mad. We all scrambled into the car. Mama Bear came over to the car and put her big paws on the passenger side window and actually rocked the car. My dad drove out of there in a hurry, and we kids decided we didn't want to see any more bears.

I've also encountered a raccoon in my kitchen, a snake on our pool deck, and armadillos digging holes in our yard.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Great post, Mo! I love everyone's encounters! Scary bear story, Merrillee! A few weeks ago I was in Nepal and we were chased by a killer elephant who had three weeks before killed two locals. They don't go after the elephant because they have lost too many animals through poaching. Scariest time of my life. I was worried about rhinos and tigers but not killer elephants! Those elephants track you for hours. We ran through the jungle for 15 minutes before coming back out onto the main trail and rushing back to the river to hop in a boat with the crocodiles too close to stick your hands out. Phew!

I helped bathe friendly elephants the next day and got to play with two twin elephants. Here at my house we have coyotes, raccoons, possums, skunk, wild rabbits, name it, we have it. I grew up with dogs, cats, mice, chipmunks, hamsters, turtles, ducks, chickens a rooster, ponies, horses, snakes, birds, and a pet squirrel monkey who wore diapers in the house. His name was Cecil and oh, so cute!!

My son was bit on the head by a monkey in India three years ago and chased by dingos. My nephew was stung by a stingray five times in the foot and almost didn't make it. Ended up in a hospital but he's alive and still as daring as ever!

Glad we're all alive to tell our stories! Oh, that reminds me...two months ago I ran into a black bear on the trails of the Appelachian Mountains! that was cool! I

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

I bet those bear cubs were adorable!

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

I don't think I've ever met anyone else who was chased by a moose!

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

The bear cub and Mama incident sounds scary. But I have to admit that I'm intrigued by the casual mention of encountering a racoon in your kitchen. How did the racoon get in?

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

I think I would have had a heart attack if I had been chased by an elephant. I'm so glad you didn't!!

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

When my NY city boy husband and I were dating he had the bright idea we should go camping in the Shenandoah Park. As a girl scout, I'd done some camping.

First thing he did was throw a piece of a hot dog near the fire. A few minutes later a skunk waddled in looking for it and stood between us and out tent. Then after the skunk left and we went to sleep in the tent, my husband woke me up. "There's a bear outside our tent!" Sure enough, we could hear him breathing. I rolled over and said, "Just be quiet and he'll go away." In the morning we discovered the bear had torn into someone's convertible and gotten into their food.

Not quite the exotic excitement of moose, elephants, or attacking mama bears, though.

At 7:54 PM, Blogger Merrillee said...

The raccoons began a nightly visit to our screened porch after we made the mistake of eating watermelon out there and not cleaning up after ourselves that night. We were tired and going to do it in the morning. Well, the little buggers came every night looking for that food again. We tried everything to discourage them. One night we were sitting upstairs watching TV and heard this terrible racket. I went downstairs to discover Pepper (another Pepper story) barking at a raccoon who had let himself into our kitchen by opening the screen on the slider. The glass door was open because it was a nice evening. Only the screen was closed. Little did we know that a raccoon can open a sliding screen door. We learned our lesson.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

I really needed a laugh after work today and I have to admit I am laughing at all of these "close encounters." I have often wondered what the animals think about encounters like this. Do they go home and tell the family "You're not going to believe what the human I ran into did today."

Like you, Terry, I volunteered at our local zoo for a number of years and was fortunate enough to get up close and personal with some pretty wild characters. One of the most memorable was the one-winged bald eagle, Ulysses. He was amazingly serene when I took him out into the zoo to meet the public. There were a lot of times I just stopped amazed and said to myself "You have a bald eagle on your arm."

We took a group of zoo teens on a trip to Guntersville State Park for Eagle Watch, a week long event every year where there are classes about eagles and best of all the chance to watch dozens upon dozens of bonded pairs of bald eagles in their natural habitats as they return to their nests every year.

We went out just before sunrise one morning and stood on the side of the road that looked across the valley to the mountain where most of the nests were. We stood there in the near dark in absolute silence. The first sliver of dawn crept over the mountain and a lone eagle screamed (made us jump)Suddenly like a World War II bomber battalion the eagles rose off their nests and flew across the valley to buzz us before they continued on to the lake where they would get their morning meal. It was one of the most surreal and moving moments of my life. The expressions on those jaded teenagers' faces are something I will never forget.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

You've given me two more reasons not to go camping!

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

That's hilarious. I din't know racoons could open screen doors either! Good thing Pepper barked.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

I loved your story of the bald eagles!

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

My, aren't we a living-on-the-edge bunch, LOL! Thanks for sharing the stories, everyone :-).

My favorite out-of-the-ordinary animal encounter tale belongs to my husband. He was called to his city office in the middle of the night (an alarm problem). When he got there, a raccoon was waddling past the office door.

My husband waved a hand and told the animal to "Shoo!" The raccoon stopped in its tracks, rose on its hind legs, raised its forepaws in a menacing pose, and growled. My husband beat a hasty retreat back to his truck :-).

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I don't blame your husband. I would've retreated, too!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]