If you’re an animal lover, you might find yourself constantly watching live-feeds of animals in the zoo or aquarium just to get your fix of unique creatures. But oftentimes, your local zoo is going to be lacking in truly exotic animals. To see the creatures you’ve only ever looked at in pictures, here are some ideas for catching a glimpse in real life.
1. Take a Vacation
One of the best ways to be exposed to anything new is by traveling. And there are tons of different places you can go to see unique animals. Even cruises from Florida can take you to new places where you can see all kinds of things, from wild dolphins to sea turtles. If you’re from the US and want to stay relatively local, San Diego, CA is a good place to go if you want to see birds of prey.
For the truly adventurous, locations like Indonesia and Bali allow you to get up close and personal with all kinds of monkeys and tropical birds. There are tons of amazing cruises you can take around Antarctica to see polar bears and penguins in their element. If your local zoo isn’t giving you the animal experiences you’ve been craving, taking a trip can often be the best way to get out of your rut and see something new.
2. Visit Local Shelters and Sanctuaries
While they may not be the best place to see exotic creatures, your local shelters might have more than you anticipate in terms of animals you can see and interact with. All kinds of dogs, cats, and sometimes stray animals like wolves and raccoons will be taken in by shelters and sanctuaries. If you want to teach your kids about local wildlife and help them learn the importance of taking good care of our pets, shelters are a great place to go.
And you might be surprised by the amount of exotic pet sanctuaries there are in places like the midwest. If you have an exotic pet sanctuary near you, then seeing tigers, lions, bears, and all kinds of cool cats could just be a short drive away. Plus, you’ll get an opportunity to donate and see how your contribution can improve the lives of exotic animals whose owners were unable to care for them properly. Learning more about the animals near you is a great place to start when it comes to getting more familiar with the exotic creatures of the world.
There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities that can have the potential for real-life experiences with unique animals. Just by volunteering with your local parks to help with upkeep can get you some really amazing sightings of local wildlife. A volunteer position with a local shelter, wildlife sanctuary or game warden ensures that you’ll be able to help your local creatures find a better life and keeps your community safe.
You’ll learn all kinds of interesting things about animals, from bunnies found in someone’s garden to wolverines wandering in the woods nearby. Of course, the animals you get to see in these positions largely depends on where you are geographically. But you might be surprised at the kinds of animals that live in your own backyard. And having the opportunity to help save an injured swan is something you’re not likely to forget any time soon.
4. Joining Clubs
Depending on where you live, there might be an active animal-loving community that loves to volunteer together, or visit interesting destinations to see exotic and unique animals. Being part of a group can open you up to opportunities you wouldn’t know about otherwise, and can help you broaden your horizons. And if there isn’t a group near you, it might be your destiny to start one. At the end of the day, the best way to appreciate animals is to get out there with a pair of binoculars and start looking.