Being an avid cyclist, mountain biker, and hiker, I’ve heard my fair share of horror stories about encountering the wild life. Everyone I interact with on the topic seems to want to give me their two cents on what to do: grab a walking stick, always keep talking, don’t get too close, don’t run, get big…etc.
When you come face to face with nature, sometimes you just have to let your intuitive powers supercede that of the logic your friends have tried to bestow on you. Clearly nothing crazy has happened to me, otherwise you would have heard it in the news first, but everytime I encounter a wild beast, my body becomes hyper alert, and I become an observant on looker as I gauge a tawny big cat’s gait, or the sulky waddle of a buffalo. In my observations, I’ve noticed two things: these creatures are majestic and they are just as curious about us as we are of them.
Am I still scared of them? Yes. But I no longer think that crossing paths with a creature of the land is the worst thing that could happen. The worst that could happen would be to only ever be able to cross paths with them in zoos, where passerbys have no Qualms
about tapping on the glass of their enclosures while they pace back and forth to settle their anxious nerves.
Just this last week, I went on a field trip to six flags and encountered such behavior. The creatures were no longer animals, but specimens bred in captivity for the pure purpose of allowing humans to look at them.
I would much prefer a subliminal wild encounter than a depressed model behind glass.