These close encounters of the furry kind are not as cute as you might imagine.
In fact, these 20 wildlife encounters left several of the victims changing their underwear, and I don’t blame them. It’s astounding that anyone could even face these animal charges or attacks, let alone catch them on film or camera. And yet, here you are looking at the best collection of hair-raising, spine-tingling, and blood-chilling wildlife encounters there are.
While viewing these photos, ask yourself what you would do in their shoes? Besides tremble.
Hikers at Kruger National Park encountered a bull elephant up close. Too close for comfort. The bull charged their group, but the hikers luckily stood their ground stopping the bull in his tracks. That would get my heart pumping. Or stop it.
2. Grizzly Bear
Larry Griffith and his wife were with a 14-person tour group in Katmai National Park in Alaska, when a grizzly bear charged them. They stood their ground and held stone-still as the bear sniffed around their group, posturing at them, and even touching some of them. Griffith stated that several group members admitted to actually peeing their pants. Wouldn’t you?
Steven Rinella, the host of “MeatEater,” was hunting moose on a float hunt in British Columbia. He shot a bull twice, but when he approached for a final killing shot his gun misfired. The bull suddenly got up and charged him and the cameraman, slamming him in his backside. Luckily, he escaped with only a sore behind.
This man is out riding his elephant, just like any other day. Suddenly, a tiger rushes out of the long grass and literally leaps up onto the elephant, injuring the man’s arm. This picture perfectly captures a feeling of helplessness I never want to know.
5. Wild Boar
This giant boar suddenly turns his attention from the dogs harassing him to the hunter next to them. I think the expression on his face communicates, “Oh crap, I don’t want to die in this outfit…”
Aww, he’s trying to help them get the spare down. Or break into the vehicle for some quick lunch. I think it’s pretty safe to say they won’t be going anywhere any time soon.
7. Cape Buffalo
This video from Nitro Express Safaris shows hunter Mark Sullivan standing his ground to make a great shot on a Cape buffalo charging full bore at him. You’d better not miss a shot like that, or it may be your last view from this world.
Several Kenya Wildlife Service rangers were trying to release a problem leopard back into the wild, but the big cat was feeling grumpy and difficult. To try to force the cat out of the cage in the back of the truck, one ranger leaned out the vehicle window to poke the leopard with a stick. The good news is the leopard exited the trap. The bad news is the leopard made right for the window and jumped into the vehicle, mauling the ranger in the process.
Another video from Nitro Express Safaris shows hunter (Mark Sullivan) facing down an angry hippo as it slowly approaches him. If I got an ugly look like that from a hippo, I don’t know that I would be so keen to stick around.
10. Polar Bear
This cameraman wanted to get up close to polar bears using a unique cage built of metal and a plexiglass-like material called perspex, pulled on a sled. It worked. This female polar bear was very curious and tried to extract him from his little can for around 45 minutes. That’s a long time to feel like you’re on the brink of death.
More from Wide Open Spaces:
While it’s tough to believe this one isn’t photo-shopped, it certainly backs up the fact that not many people stick around when a large rhino is ticked off.
12. Mountain Lion
While this photo shows that there are some bold hound dogs to mediate the situation, this is still a very angry and dangerous cat. And a cougar that is cornered should be treated with even more caution.
If this doesn’t get the “Jaws” theme song pounding in your head, nothing will. Can you imagine seeing a shark gliding through the very wave you’re about to crest? Someone definitely had to change their…wetsuit after this encounter.
I’m not sure what this guy would have been up to in this picture, but I guarantee the next frame would show him in the bottom of the boat.
Obviously this tour guide didn’t mind when he leapt out of the boat to wrestle a Burmese python in the Florida Everglades. But I think most of us would disagree.
This family only wanted their kids to pet this big fluffy bison. What could go wrong with that? Luckily the bison’s charge was mostly hot air, and nobody was injured.
17. Black Bear
While in a tree stand, a large sow bear chased this one up behind the hunters with Saskadrenaline. While not an extraordinarily big bear, you can still hear the nerves in the breathing of the hunters. This would surely liven up your day.
Yet another example of people doing things they ought not do. A wild animal is called “wild” for a reason. Do not approach wild animals, especially ones bigger than you and with large antlers.
19. Golden Eagle
This cameraman got a little more than he bargained for when this golden eagle grabbed him by the shoulder.
This wildlife encounter wouldn’t terrify most people, but I’m thinking this girl definitely peed her pants.
These pictures are proof that sometimes, nature is best appreciated from afar.