My love for animals is no surprise to those who know me well. It all started with frequent trips to Corbett national park (One of the best wildlife parks of India) as a kid. My dad is a wildlife tour operator and his keen interest in animals and birds peaked my enthusiasm towards these curious creatures (Well, me being the curious one now) .
I am always drawn towards animals big or small – this showcases clearly in my travels as well. I try to make my way to any wildlife park, zoo (though , I don’t necessarily support the idea behind captivating wild animals) or find animals on streets to cuddle and click. My travels are a lot about seeking solace and discovering myself – animals have this unique way of comforting and uplifting me. No matter what kind of animal, they always spark my interest and bring a smile to my face.
Here are some pictures and stories behind them. Read up on how I got up close and personal with these amazing creatures and how I will savor these precious moments forever.
Disclaimer for all fellow animal lovers – Don’t worry , no animals were harmed during the shooting of these pics.
My favorite animal snapshots from around the world
#1 – Found these cute gibbons in diapers on my maiden visit to the floating village – Koh Panyi in Krabi, Thailand. What an amazing experience holding these cuddly , delightful monkeys – I just didn’t wanna let go.
#2 – This was near Thompson falls in Kenya. A guy just came up to me with these lizards and heck yeah I wanted to get clicked with them. Amazing experience though it came with few side effects. Their nails were pinching into my skin as they walked all over my arm (well, not their fault – they need to hold on to something, right) , which results in red itchy dots all over. Well, not a big issue – a little bit of aloe vera , which I always keep handy, sorted the problem in few minutes.
#3 – I have always been fascinated by the majestic tigers, so it was no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to get clicked with my favorite animal. Ofcourse , it seems they are not too well kept and drugged most of the time as he was barely bothered except for one scary growl and then went back to his sweet slumber. After doing this though, I would not recommend it as I feel the poor animals are being exploited for money. So, not on top of my experience list for the “moral” reasons but on top because I got to get close up and personal to a full grown Tiger.
#4 – When I visited Dusit Zoo, Bangkok, I honestly wasn’t expecting much. I guess I was extremely lucky here as I met a friendly animal feeder who could probably sense my love for animals. He got me a big bag of fruits and asked if I wanted to feed the hippos – well heck yeah. Super exciting stuff and finally got to see their huge smiles up close.
#5 – Just lazying on the beach in Goa and a guy suddenly comes up to me and asks if I wanted to hold a crab. Oh yes, was my answer – as always. This one was a bit tricky to hold on to and we let it go eventually, ofcourse – but not without getting clicked with yours truly.
#6 – Again got lucky at the beach. This one was in Koh Samui , Thailand. Sure enough a guy walks up to me on the beach and asks if I would like to hold an Iguana. How do people just walk up to me and ask me this, is beyond my comprehension. I thought only animals could sense animal lovers – do people have that gift too ? Okay, a big lizard sounds scary but well here goes –
#7 – Well its not just animals and creepy crawlies – I happen to have a big thing for birds too. So here’s a shot with an absolutely delightful Brahminy kite in the floating village of Krabi.
#8 – Found these adorable dogs in Thailand when we were on the road. Stopped in a local restaurant to grab brunch and made friends with these darlings instantly.
#9 – Found these adorable Turtles in the Turtle Hatchery in Sri Lanka. Ofcourse you are not allowed to hold them but just talk to the crew and be nice, kind and smile – they will let you cuddle these cuddly ones.
#10 – Well no “Real” interaction with the animals in these two images but it was an experience nevertheless. The first one was clicked in Taman Safari , Indonesia where I saw Kangaroos for the first time and in close proximity.
And this was was in Kenya where the wild elephants just came right up to our tented camps . Only separated by a trench in the ground . Imagine a herd of African wild elephants with huge tusks right next to you – gives you the goosebumps, I tell ya!
EDIT – I just remembered this one so I simply had to come back to edit this article and add this picture. This was clicked in Taman Safari , Indonesia. It was a bird show and the trainer picks me from the crowd (Ah, maybe around 200 – 300 people) and YES he picks yours truly – My, I feel lucky. Asks me to stand with him, in front of everyone and just hold my hand out. I follow, a bit skeptical about what’s gonna happen or who is gonna eat me up – At that point, I was thinking about the Pterosaurs – You know those flying dinosaurs from Jurassic Park?
Well shrugging off that feeling, I wait. After around 30 seconds (it felt like an hour – standing in front of that crowd with my arm out – like a scare crow, and I was wearing black – so, yeah ) , I see a huge bird flying towards me in full speed. Now my Pterosaurs nightmare came to life till I noticed it was a huge ass Hornbill. Now, Hornbills are my favorite bird species but heck this was huge. It comes and sits on my arm and grabs it. It felt like a person grabbing me with his hands and my arm almost dropped – yeah, it was “that” heavy. Once it settled, I had this picture clicked and was thanking my lucky stars that I did some weight training in the gym at some point. What an experience !