12 Animal v Traveller Stories

Animals can make us feel so many emotions; that smile we have on our face as we see one of the most enchanting creatures on this planet or the look of horror as we realise we have just escaped death from some man eating beast.

I wish I could say that I came across this scary beast that made my life flash before my eyes but I came across a bird, an arctic skua to be exact. I was exploring Neist Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland when this terrifying incident happened. Firstly, I explored this charming lighthouse and then decided to go down to the cliff edge and do a quick walk around. I would also like to point out that Neist Point is a decent tourist attraction and there were quite a few people around…

I was about half way around on my walk when I saw a bird nesting on the ground. I was conscious enough to walk far around the bird, in case there was a nest, but I also wanted to try and get up closer to see the wildlife. I took a couple of steps forward and then a second birds head popped up behind the other one. I stopped. The second bird then took flight straight at me. Like right at me. I ducked away as I tried to laugh off the swoop. I had that ‘I know I was overreacting but I am trying to look cool now’ look on my face. I turned to see where the bird was and it was in the middle of a turn and it was coming straight back at me. This time I had to dive to the ground, commando roll out of the way and bounce up to my feet. That’s it. I was out. For those who know me, I don’t sprint. But I don’t think I have ever run so fast in my life. I ran past these tourists (I was ready to sacrifice them to the bird) and just went straight up this hill. Everyone had stopped to watch this idiot sprint up a hill from a bird. At the  top of the hill, I stopped. Shrugged my shoulders to say ‘I’m still cool’ and walked off into the distance.

I am sure it wasn’t as smoothed as what I portray it to be but, hey, I am from Australia. Aren’t all animals trying to kill people?!

The jerk bird is plotting my death
The jerk bird is plotting my death


Stephania from Every Steph – Green & Glamorous Travel and Lifestyle:

It was my third and last day at Sukau Rainforest Lodge in Sabah, Borneo, and I was disappointed I still hadn’t had a chance to see the orangutans in the wild despite going on several river safari trips. I knew this was the rainy season and it was harder to see the wildlife, and I had already been lucky enough to spot right away a herd of pygmy elephants, which are quite rare to see because they usually hide away from the banks of the river. But the orangutans! That was the main reason I had come all the way to Borneo.Oh well, at least I had seen them at Sepilok’s Rehabilitation Center…better than nothing.
And then our guide said, quite excited: “Orangutans! On top of that tree!”, and I finally saw them. There they were, a mom with her baby and another one eating fruit. I was so happy I felt tears in my eyes. It was a magic encounter I will treasure for life.

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Danielle from The Thought Card:

While visiting the cliffs at the North Point in Barbados, I had the most interesting encounter with a black belly sheep (a.k.a. goat). As I watched the waves crash into the jagged cliffs below, a black belly sheep approached me and started licking my feet. This was the friendliest geep (goat + sheep) I’d ever seen. Feeling the chemistry growing between us, I started petting its head and within a few seconds, a small crowd had gathered around us. He was the center of everyone’s attention and he loved it. I later held his head in my hands and snapped this photo. Next time we’re taking a selfie!

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Matt from Live Limitless:

It was already an unforgettable day on the Kinabatangan River. We saw Orangutans relaxing in their giant nests high up in trees, watched colorful hornbills fly over us, and watched flabby-nosed Proboscis Monkeys jump from branch to branch but we still hadn’t found the Borneo Pygmy Elephants we were hoping to find. The elephants were in the area but like all wildlife, they move around all the time. At one point, our guide spotted one in between some bushes but they were difficult to see. Then, as the day was coming to an end, we heard some crashing around in the bush and out came an entire herd of Pygmy Elephants. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. As we inched closer to the shore with the boat, a baby elephant walked in front of her mother and tried to drink some water from the river. Unfortunately, the riverbed was too low and the baby’s trunk couldn’t reach through the thick bush to get to it. Then, the mother came to the rescue and used her power to move all the bushes and shrubs to the side so that her baby could get some water. The baby then reached down to the river with its trunk and chugged back some water. It must have been a long hot day for the animals because the baby elephant’s eyes rolled back in ecstasy as it leaned against the bushes overwhelmed by quenching its thirst. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. As if being within four feet of a family of Borneo pygmy elephants weren’t enough, witnessing the baby elephant drink water was the highlight of our trip. Unfortunately, a boat of tourists then rammed into the shore, scaring the baby elephant and ending our incredible encounter.  It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

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Gia from Mismatched Passports:

If it were anywhere else in the world, a cow roaming freely on the streets is quite an unusual scene. In India however, this was considered normal. During our trip to Jodhpur, my boyfriend and I walked along the windy streets of the Blue City on our way to the famous Merangarh Fort. In one tiny street, a cow blocked half of the way and there was no other way through. Instead of going back, my boyfriend saw this as a great opportunity for an interesting photo. He got one as I squeezed my way through. Instructing for a photo of me facing the camera, I stayed for another shot. As I turned, the cow’s tail swung fast and brushed my face. I was startled and quickly moved away. Perhaps the cow wasn’t as keen on a getting another photo!

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Cathy from RoarLoud:

Our trip to Baxter State Park in Maine was filled with amazing experiences.  The highlight of our trip was to cross Mt. Katahdin’s Knife Edge, which would be testing my fear of heights (or more importantly falling from said heights).

The hike itself had odd happenings with weather patterns changing rapidly and having to aid a fellow hiker in need.  It truly was a hike that had one thing happening after another to the point that we thought nothing could surprise us.

Of course, as you know, the minute you think you can’t be surprised…you are.  Our surprise came when we were descending down from our second peak of the day (Hamlin).  We ran into a giant field of wild blueberries, which Cathy and I started eating.  No that wasn’t the surprise.  Our surprise was a bit bigger, like 200-300 lbs.  It was a black bear who was shoveling berries into his mouth (branches and all) like a steam shovel.  Apparently, when he saw us, he seemed worried there weren’t enough berries for all of us.  From watching him eat, we agreed with him. To convince us more he stood on up on his hind legs to have a look at us.  We took some quick pics, told Cathy that he didn’t need a hug (kidding…mostly), then moved on carefully.

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Kari from the Happy Coconuts Travel Blog:

Here is a snippet from the Happy Coconuts Travel Blog story called Are you a Screamer?

Two days ago Andy and I decided to hike down to a nearby waterfall in our village. It is an easy hike but it was obvious the trail hadn’t been used in a while, as the jungle had swallowed up sections of the path. Andy expertly hacked our way through the overgrown foliage with his machete.

When hiking in the jungle we are always on the alert for snakes, especially since they are known to live near rivers. But in this moment snakes had slipped my mind and I was more concerned with keeping a safe distance from Andy’s swooping machete swings.

Just as we reach the river and begin to hike along the creek bed I suddenly notice a sharp movement out of the corner of my eye. I turn to face a 6-foot pit viper, known also as the ferdelance, or terciopelo, coiled up defensively, and striking out aggressively, coming within inches of my bare leg. Never have I moved so quickly in my life as I flung myself backwards into the river, while the giant snake attempted to strike at me a second time.



Vanessa from The Island Drum:

Years ago I had taken group tour of the Bako National Park in Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo. As we started the tour, several Macaques made their appearance as the official wildlife welcoming committee. I jokingly said to one, “Hi handsome!” But no sooner than the words had left my mouth, a second monkey headed my way. And I kid you not, he wiggled his eye brows at me! He obviously thought I was talking to him.

My new friend suddenly had my left knee in both of his not-so-sexy paws and then rubbed his teeth across my skin. I froze. Our guide casually explained that perhaps I had a cut which attracted the monkey (as if I seriously cared why the monkey was behaving this way). The guide made no effort to assist beyond his words of wildlife wisdom.

I tried to make a joke and cover my fear, but the monkey went for my right knee. And just a bit more aggressively. I was actually videoing the incident as it occurred, until I finally freaked out and managed to break the not-so-magic monkey moment. Obviously I survived, but still a weird monkey experience.

Anna from Global Gallivanting :

One of my dreams when I thought about visiting Australia was to see a kangaroo in the wild. So when I visited family in Melbourne they took me to a golf course one afternoon where they said they had seen kangaroos many times and I got a lot closer to the kangaroos than I had bargained for! Initially I was delighted to see so many kangaroos grazing happily in the lush grass of the golf course. In my excitement I got closer to try and get some good photos of one of the baby kangaroos, in hindsight this was a mistake because a huge male kangaroo was really not happy with this. With incredible speed and power he rose up, hurtled towards us in one huge bounce and as we ran as fast as we could as he used his tail for balance and kicked out at our backs with both huge feet. Thankfully we narrowly escaped because that kangaroo could have done serious damage! That’s the last time I try to get a selfie with a kangaroo! I’ll be keeping my distance in the future – Kangaroos are more aggressive that you might think!

Kangaroos fighting it out in Australia


Claudia from My Adventures Across the World:

Before visiting the temples of Ulu Watu, in Bali (Indonesia), I had been warned about the presence of a lot of monkeys there, and I was told that they can be really naughty and steal anything they can get their hands on, including sunglasses. I wasn’t too worried – I really like monkeys, they are funny animals and although I have seen them many times I always feel happy and excited when I spot or hear one.

As I explored the temple, I didn’t see any monkey and didn’t worry about taking my sunglasses off – to be honest, I completely forgot about the warning. However, as I moved towards the more western side of the temple, more and more monkeys started appearing, to my amusement. I was staring at a bunch when I heard people screaming towards me, and I didn’t even have time to realize what was going on that a monkey snatched my sunglasses (which are also prescription glasses!) off my face. It all happened in the space of no more than 2 seconds.

Luckily a local lady who was sitting there and who was evidently used to scenes like this had a bag of toys she could use to distract the monkey, and she managed to get back my sunglasses.

The day after, when I went to the Monkey Forest in Ubud, I made sure to wear contact lenses, just in case!!

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Paula from the Contented Traveller:

I was sailing a catamaran in Vanuatu with Gordon, when I had to relieve myself. We were a long way from the shore, so I decided that I would just go over the side. That is when a water snake appeared and held its head up high about to strike at my butt. I was faster luckily. So I don’t like water snakes.

Vanuatu Water


Gemma from Two Scots Abroad:

If you ever get to Chiang Mai, Thailand, please visit the Elephant Nature Park and 100% do not take an elephant ride! This project takes on injured elephants (and street dogs!) and nurses them back to good health before releasing them back into the wild. As a paying customer you get to wash and feed the elephants. However, don’t do as I did and try to stick the fruit up the elephant’s trunk! Elephants take the fruit from you using their trunk as their hand, then they deposit the scrummy food into their own mouths. It’s a miracle that I have survived life this long without doing serious damage to myself or others! Don’t leave Chiang Mai without trying this elephant experience and cursing tourists who ride the beautiful beasts.

Gemma from Two Scots Abroad feeding an elephant in Thailand


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  • Cathy

    August 15, 2016

    Thank you for including us in this cute article about animals around the world.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 21, 2016

      Thank you for being a part of this post!

  • Gemma

    August 15, 2016

    I honestly don’t know what I would do if I saw a snake that big! Thanks for featuring us!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 21, 2016

      Thank you for contributing! I wouldn’t know what I would do either if I saw a snake that big!!

  • Lisa

    August 19, 2016

    I love to see animals out in the wild in their habitats. I could watch them for hours! It’s always part of my travels.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 21, 2016

      I could not agree more with you!I will always go out and see animals in their natural habitats. It is one of the best parts about travelling.

  • Travel Lexx

    August 19, 2016

    What a great post! I absolutely love animals and it’s awesome to read about some of these incredible encounters! I’ve had monkeys steal stuff from me on Bali as well!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      Thank you for the comment! Monkeys are such cheeky animals, that really can’t be trusted! I always try and interact with animals when I travel 🙂

  • Marcelle Simone Heller

    August 20, 2016

    We were on the Isle of Skye only a couple of weeks ago and wanted to see some wildlife – but not much luck. It’s quite amusing that you as an Aussie (and most probably used to dangerous wildlife) get attacked by a arctic skua in between otherwise most tame wildlife of Europe. Sorry about this, for you it wasn’t too funny 😉

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      Haha, no need to be sorry, I would have laughed! I looked and felt like an idiot! You would think I would be use to ‘dangerous’ animals but maybe the old bird has confused me 😉

  • Tom

    August 21, 2016

    I’ve never seen anyone put together a collection of animal-encounter stories — this was a neat read. Nice collection from all different types and places.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      Thank you for the comment. I really enjoyed putting this post together – it was good fun!

  • Sarah Yekinni

    August 21, 2016

    What a fun post! It brought back memories of many of my animal encounters that I had forgotten- chasing peacocks in Hawaii, petting donkeys in Peru and posing with a mystery creature in Costa Rica that looked like a mix between a beaver and an aardvark with very scary teeth! I hadn’t really thought about the impact animals on my experiences abroad, but your post brought back some wonderful memories!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      Thank you for the great comment! I am glad this post had brought back so many fond memories, that was my main aim. I would be interested to know what the beaver/aardvark thing is! Let me know if you ever find out 🙂

  • Juliette @ Snorkels To Snow

    August 21, 2016

    Cool collection of animal stories! Recently we were driving along a main road in Fiji – and we saw an old run down van with a COW being transported in the back seat! It was the funniest thing we’d seen!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      That would have been hilarious to see!! I hope you got a photo of it!! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • carmel

    August 21, 2016

    wow, great collaboration of interesting experiences. Love the orangutang.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      Thank you for the comment. I would love to see an orangutan like this in the wild!

  • Aisha

    August 22, 2016

    LOL. This was so fun to read. I often laugh at our species and our fear of animas that are smaller and less harmful than we are. I would have been the typical human in most of these stories.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      I am glad you enjoyed reading it! I completely agree, it is amazing how humans can run from smaller and less harmful animals. But at least it usually means there is a good story! 😉

  • Kerri

    August 22, 2016

    Great collab. Always great to see how travellers and nature interact. I know whenever I’m travelling I always seem to find someone’s dog to pat, and there are numerous photos of my patting goats, sheep and cows along the way.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      Thanks Kerri! Some of my favourite memories involve interacting with animals in their natural environments.

  • Kayla Manoe

    August 22, 2016

    What a great collaboration post! Very entertaining and lots of LOL’s! Paula that would have been so scary haha! I hate snakes more than any other animal- water ones included! Glad you are fast! xx

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      August 22, 2016

      I am glad you got a good giggle out of this post Kayla! I did have a good mental image of Paula running from the sea snake!! Haha.

  • Nathan

    August 23, 2016

    These are awesome but I can’t do snakes! They’re a bit scary to me. I agree with the observation about India.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 3, 2016

      Snakes can be so terrifying so I do agree with you! Thanks for the comment!

  • Castaway with Crystal

    August 23, 2016

    OMG the water snake one! Ahhhhh. I saw one of those but it just ignored me. I also saw the elephants on Kinabatangan river in Borneo 🙂 That was pretty cool…

    Crystal recently posted… Spectacular Photos Of The NT That Will Make You Get The Next Flight

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 12, 2016

      Haha! I had the same thought when I read the water snake input. I would love to see the elephants on the Kinabatangan river one day. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • I love this article! Animal encounters are my favorite part of traveling. Thanks so much for sharing, made me smile 🙂

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      September 15, 2016

      Thank you so much. I am the same, I love having amazing animal interactions overseas 🙂

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