What's your closest encounter with wildlife?

Discuss the September 2017 Book of the Month, Bluewater Walkabout: Into Africa: Finding Healing Through Travel by Tina Dreffin.


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Miriam Molina
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What's your closest encounter with wildlife?

Post by Miriam Molina » 25 Sep 2017, 16:32

Tina Dreffin and her family went on a safari in the African wild and had terrifying encounters with leopards, buffalo and lions. What's the closest you've been to a wild animal?

In Subic, Philippines, we were able to see Siberian tigers up close in Zoobic Safari. We boarded a jeep (with a glass roof and metal-grid windows) with safari guides who fed the tigers raw chicken meat through the windows. The tigers (easily averaging 400 pounds of striped flesh) jumped the vehicle and gave us a close-up of their dental apparatus. Not a ride for the faint-hearted!

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Post by RegularGuy3 » 25 Sep 2017, 19:27

So this isn't really a close encounter because I never actually saw the creature. I was taking a hike one day at a park near Atlanta. It was a fairly wooded area, but well-worn paths throughout. For whatever reason, I climbed over the path fence and started walking deeper into the woods. My wife stayed on the path but we were walking parallel. I got to the side of a big hill and out of nowhere this overwhelming sound blasted out from maybe 30 feet away. The weirdest thing is that is sounded just like a humpback whale yelp. (Have heard enough on nature shows.) My wife and I froze for a full ten seconds. I took another step and the noise burst out again. I ran back to the fence and onto the path. My wife asked me what it was. "Land whale?" was all I could think of. That's probably 12 years ago and we still talk about that land whale and mimic the call.

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Post by Sarah_Khan » 26 Sep 2017, 12:55

I have never had any really close encounters with wildlife like the author of this book. I've been to a safari park where there were all kinds of wild cats but they never came even a bit close to our car so I don't really count that. The only other encounter I've had is with a snake that was lying in the grass near a local pool, but the snake didn't seem like it was dangerous. I think it would be amazing to experience even half of what the author had a chance to experience regarding wildlife!

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Post by Nick Rones » 26 Sep 2017, 15:08

Africa has quite a few wildlife sanctuaries where you get to meet and touch amazing animals like lions and leopards that have been rescued :)

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Post by EveS523 » 26 Sep 2017, 16:47

My closest encounter with wildlife was in Yellowstone National Park and a bear was walking down the roadway and walked right past our car. Other motorists were getting out and trying to pet the bear and get close up photos but we were essentially in the wild and his territory so I stayed inside my car to take photos.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 26 Sep 2017, 21:19

Shaking a wild animal's hand (or paw or fin or whatever it's called) is not on my bucket list. I need it inside a cage (or me inside the cage as in my Zoobic adventure)!

I even dread petting the cutest dogs and cats. LOL

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Post by juliusotinyo » 27 Sep 2017, 01:11

I've had a few encounters, I am an avid angler and camp a lot whenever I can. I have 2 most frightening ordeals.

The first time was on my compound in rural Busia in Kenya. I woke up one night to the sound of my dogs going berserk. I picked my machete (mostly ceremonial) and stepped outside.

I found a large male hippo next to my car. It was 2x bigger than my Toyota and mean looking, it's eyes shone in the dark-a forbidding red-blue hue. I just stood there, my 4 dogs ran to my side. We were no match for such a beast even with​ my ceremonial machete.

I had never seen a hippo that close except in parks and I've had stories of it being the most deadly animal in Africa. It started walking towards me, and my mind wandered... Standing ground to protect my wife and kids who were asleep inside or order Chowder (my biggest dog) to attack and make my escape. It stood before me some metre or so and just stared at me. My dogs had stopped barking at this point and had cowed behind me, my machete was no longer in my grasp...I'd thought of striking it's nose. Then suddenly from behind my wife shows up all groggy calling me back to bed when she sees it. Her screams...Well, at least it scared the hippo. The earth shook in its wake as it run away.

I replaced my barbed wire fence with a concrete one in a week. I've never seen the beast again.

-- 27 Sep 2017, 09:50 --

My 2nd encounter was off the East African coast. I had paid some local fishermen to escort me to a well known shark fishing spot.

I'd just seen Jeremy Wade's show and I felt I could best him in tagging a Bull shark. 3 men in a small outrigger canoe, I was confident.

About 4km offshore we cast our bait and waited. The waters were still and crystal clear, we could even see sharks below... Which was ok until a swarm of thousands, each about the size of a man.

They shoved, prodded and snapped at our boat. We're it not for the outrigger we would have capsized and be torn to pieces. It lasted for an hour before we realised we had a working motor ? strapped it and sped off...

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Post by Miriam Molina » 27 Sep 2017, 05:15

You are one lucky guy! Your wife should be a hippo tamer haha. Seriously, Juliusotinyo, take care!

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Post by juliusotinyo » 27 Sep 2017, 06:40

Miriam Molina wrote:You are one lucky guy! Your wife should be a hippo tamer haha. Seriously, Juliusotinyo, take care!
Am still shocked with the hippo ordeal. I've heard they kill more humans than any other wild beast worldwide. Interesting how quickly they run despite their size.

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Post by ReviewerDiksha » 28 Sep 2017, 08:11

My friends and I were on a road trip. We stopped at a place. There was a pretty stream flowing down and the other side of it was a big forest. We were just having fun, taking pictures and all. There were some local people on the other side, their cattle grazing. And then suddenly a cow came running out of the woods and we heard this deep roar. We all panicked. Two of my friends went straight for their vehicle(we were on motorcycles). And they drove away. I was with my best friend. We were sitting on the bike, but my friend refused to drive. And then we heard a roar, again. And I was like, "dude come on! Start the bike". But he wanted to see it. He wanted to see the tiger!! He didn't realise that the stream wasn't broad enough to keep the tiger on the other side and that it could come right at us in a matter of seconds. I kept pleading him to drive but he wouldn't budge. At all. And then the tiger came out of the woods and that's when we drove away. At full speed!

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Post by juliusotinyo » 28 Sep 2017, 12:42

ReviewerDiksha wrote:My friends and I were on a road trip. We stopped at a place. There was a pretty stream flowing down and the other side of it was a big forest. We were just having fun, taking pictures and all. There were some local people on the other side, their cattle grazing. And then suddenly a cow came running out of the woods and we heard this deep roar. We all panicked. Two of my friends went straight for their vehicle(we were on motorcycles). And they drove away. I was with my best friend. We were sitting on the bike, but my friend refused to drive. And then we heard a roar, again. And I was like, "dude come on! Start the bike". But he wanted to see it. He wanted to see the tiger!! He didn't realise that the stream wasn't broad enough to keep the tiger on the other side and that it could come right at us in a matter of seconds. I kept pleading him to drive but he wouldn't budge. At all. And then the tiger came out of the woods and that's when we drove away. At full speed!
Whoa...! Tigers are scary.

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Post by Cloe101 » 28 Sep 2017, 12:56

ReviewerDiksha wrote:My friends and I were on a road trip. We stopped at a place. There was a pretty stream flowing down and the other side of it was a big forest. We were just having fun, taking pictures and all. There were some local people on the other side, their cattle grazing. And then suddenly a cow came running out of the woods and we heard this deep roar. We all panicked. Two of my friends went straight for their vehicle(we were on motorcycles). And they drove away. I was with my best friend. We were sitting on the bike, but my friend refused to drive. And then we heard a roar, again. And I was like, "dude come on! Start the bike". But he wanted to see it. He wanted to see the tiger!! He didn't realise that the stream wasn't broad enough to keep the tiger on the other side and that it could come right at us in a matter of seconds. I kept pleading him to drive but he wouldn't budge. At all. And then the tiger came out of the woods and that's when we drove away. At full speed!

:lol2: :lol2: , this should be a scene in some book! You've just had me roaring in laughter and my sons are looking at me like, "Wha the _?''
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Post by Miriam Molina » 28 Sep 2017, 13:45

@ReviewerDiksha, that scene is reminiscent of The Gods Must Be Crazy or some other jungle comedies. But I'm sure you were not laughing then.:angry-screaming:

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Post by ReviewerDiksha » 28 Sep 2017, 21:33

Cloe101 wrote:
ReviewerDiksha wrote:My friends and I were on a road trip. We stopped at a place. There was a pretty stream flowing down and the other side of it was a big forest. We were just having fun, taking pictures and all. There were some local people on the other side, their cattle grazing. And then suddenly a cow came running out of the woods and we heard this deep roar. We all panicked. Two of my friends went straight for their vehicle(we were on motorcycles). And they drove away. I was with my best friend. We were sitting on the bike, but my friend refused to drive. And then we heard a roar, again. And I was like, "dude come on! Start the bike". But he wanted to see it. He wanted to see the tiger!! He didn't realise that the stream wasn't broad enough to keep the tiger on the other side and that it could come right at us in a matter of seconds. I kept pleading him to drive but he wouldn't budge. At all. And then the tiger came out of the woods and that's when we drove away. At full speed!

:lol2: :lol2: , this should be a scene in some book! You've just had me roaring in laughter and my sons are looking at me like, "Wha the _?''
:lol2: I will add all these experiences in my book, for sure.

-- 28 Sep 2017, 21:41 --
juliusotinyo wrote:
ReviewerDiksha wrote:My friends and I were on a road trip. We stopped at a place. There was a pretty stream flowing down and the other side of it was a big forest. We were just having fun, taking pictures and all. There were some local people on the other side, their cattle grazing. And then suddenly a cow came running out of the woods and we heard this deep roar. We all panicked. Two of my friends went straight for their vehicle(we were on motorcycles). And they drove away. I was with my best friend. We were sitting on the bike, but my friend refused to drive. And then we heard a roar, again. And I was like, "dude come on! Start the bike". But he wanted to see it. He wanted to see the tiger!! He didn't realise that the stream wasn't broad enough to keep the tiger on the other side and that it could come right at us in a matter of seconds. I kept pleading him to drive but he wouldn't budge. At all. And then the tiger came out of the woods and that's when we drove away. At full speed!
Whoa...! Tigers are scary.
They are :( I was so scared that time and so angry on my friend. When we stopped again, at a safer place, I told him that he could have got us killed. And he was just like, "we'll never get to see a tiger like this. You should be glad of this experience." I just thought him a fool at that time. It really was stupid to just stand there waiting for the tiger to show itself. And I kept arguing, "What if it had come at us? What if the bike hadn't started?" Because this happens, right! Engines jam all the time. Especially in cases such as this. But he was all "but it didn't happen and we saw it."
I have got some crazy friends(now that I think of it) :roll:

-- 28 Sep 2017, 21:44 --
Miriam Molina wrote:@ReviewerDiksha, that scene is reminiscent of The Gods Must Be Crazy or some other jungle comedies. But I'm sure you were not laughing then.:angry-screaming:
Oh no, I wasn't laughing. That is when I have been the most scared in my life.
Maybe, my friend had seen one such film. That's why he was inspired to act like this!

-- 28 Sep 2017, 21:59 --
juliusotinyo wrote:I've had a few encounters, I am an avid angler and camp a lot whenever I can. I have 2 most frightening ordeals.

The first time was on my compound in rural Busia in Kenya. I woke up one night to the sound of my dogs going berserk. I picked my machete (mostly ceremonial) and stepped outside.

I found a large male hippo next to my car. It was 2x bigger than my Toyota and mean looking, it's eyes shone in the dark-a forbidding red-blue hue. I just stood there, my 4 dogs ran to my side. We were no match for such a beast even with​ my ceremonial machete.

I had never seen a hippo that close except in parks and I've had stories of it being the most deadly animal in Africa. It started walking towards me, and my mind wandered... Standing ground to protect my wife and kids who were asleep inside or order Chowder (my biggest dog) to attack and make my escape. It stood before me some metre or so and just stared at me. My dogs had stopped barking at this point and had cowed behind me, my machete was no longer in my grasp...I'd thought of striking it's nose. Then suddenly from behind my wife shows up all groggy calling me back to bed when she sees it. Her screams...Well, at least it scared the hippo. The earth shook in its wake as it run away.

I replaced my barbed wire fence with a concrete one in a week. I've never seen the beast again.

-- 27 Sep 2017, 09:50 --

My 2nd encounter was off the East African coast. I had paid some local fishermen to escort me to a well known shark fishing spot.

I'd just seen Jeremy Wade's show and I felt I could best him in tagging a Bull shark. 3 men in a small outrigger canoe, I was confident.

About 4km offshore we cast our bait and waited. The waters were still and crystal clear, we could even see sharks below... Which was ok until a swarm of thousands, each about the size of a man.

They shoved, prodded and snapped at our boat. We're it not for the outrigger we would have capsized and be torn to pieces. It lasted for an hour before we realised we had a working motor ? strapped it and sped off...
:o that is really scary- the hippo one. I am trying to picture the scene in my mind!
And with the sharks, where you forgot about the motor on your boat. :| That's what happens right. All these things just disappear when you are in danger and you could do with some help!

-- 28 Sep 2017, 22:01 --

Are/did you serve in the army, Julius?

-- 28 Sep 2017, 22:03 --
RegularGuy3 wrote:So this isn't really a close encounter because I never actually saw the creature. I was taking a hike one day at a park near Atlanta. It was a fairly wooded area, but well-worn paths throughout. For whatever reason, I climbed over the path fence and started walking deeper into the woods. My wife stayed on the path but we were walking parallel. I got to the side of a big hill and out of nowhere this overwhelming sound blasted out from maybe 30 feet away. The weirdest thing is that is sounded just like a humpback whale yelp. (Have heard enough on nature shows.) My wife and I froze for a full ten seconds. I took another step and the noise burst out again. I ran back to the fence and onto the path. My wife asked me what it was. "Land whale?" was all I could think of. That's probably 12 years ago and we still talk about that land whale and mimic the call.
What could it have been? Ever try to find out?

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Post by IanYanny » 29 Sep 2017, 01:28

Miriam Molina wrote:
In Subic, Philippines, we were able to see Siberian tigers up close in Zoobic Safari. We boarded a jeep (with a glass roof and metal-grid windows) with safari guides who fed the tigers raw chicken meat through the windows. The tigers (easily averaging 400 pounds of striped flesh) jumped the vehicle and gave us a close-up of their dental apparatus. Not a ride for the faint-hearted!
I guess I can say that this is also my closest encounter with wildlife. Although, my tito (uncle) actually tried taking a photo with a baby tiger. I love tigers but that is scary. Another close encounter I have with wildlife is with those pythons at Manila Zoo and those kalaw(Philippine Hornbill) wherein you are allowed to take photos with them. I hope that still counts though because I guess that is already a common thing.


As for plants, we saw a small rafflesia on our way to Mt. Makiling peak 2. I can't remember the closest station to it, but it was just sitting near the path. Image

Photo credit to my friend Lloyd Morilla

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