AOL Travel's Wild Animal Adventures
Cat videos are pretty funny. So are water skiing squirrels, photobombing stingrays and yawning llama. But what's even better than retweeting these posts is experiencing them for yourself in the wild. Animal adventures, whether they're unexpected encounters or a vacation dedicated specifically to seeing wildlife, are one of the most memorable parts of traveling.
For some people, this means planning a once in a lifetime safari trip. Perhaps you dream of spotting the Big Five (lions, rhinos, elephant, leopard, and water buffalo), while hopefully avoiding attacks like these. Safaris can also take place far from the pridelands – whether it's a cruise to the Galapagos, a great white shark dive off Mexico or a buffalo round-up on the Great Plains.
Other animal encounters have deep ties to local traditions. Go to a cow fight in Switzerland and you'll see competition between local farmers. Join a boar hunt in Tuscany and you'll glimpse another side of Italian food. Feed the pigeons in Venice's Piazza San Marco and, well, you'll get the city's true tourist experience.
Our Wild Animal Adventures series celebrates everything about these amazing wildlife encounters. The stories, photos and videos here encompass creatures great and small, and were shared by people from all over the world. We'd love to hear from you as well. Send us your Wild Animal Adventures to firstname.lastname@example.org and your story might just be featured next.
In a Neutral Country, It's the Cows Who Do the Fighting
"What shoes should I wear to cow fighting?" wonders Kelly DiNardo, as she prepares to watch a Swiss tradition in which local farmers have their cows wrestle for the championship title. Read more>>
Diving with the Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island
Off Mexico, Guadalupe Island is a prime spot for shark diving. Writer and diver Terry Ward faces her fears and ventures outside the cage for a closer look at the island's great white sharks. Read more>>
Monkey Thrills - and Oil Spills - in the Ecuadorian Amazon
A trip into Ecuador's section of the Amazon rainforest brings Elissa Richard face to face with our primate relatives, but also sheds tragic light on the destruction of human development. Read more>>
Man vs. Pigeons in Venice's Piazza San Marco
Despite an intense hatred (or is it fear?) of birds, Zach Everson attempts one of the most touristy must-dos in Italy's most touristy city: feeding the pigeons in Venice. Read more>>
A View to a Kill: Tagging Along on a Tuscan Boar Hunt
Not all animal encounters are uplifting, as Dan Allen learns when he joins a traditional boar hunt in the hills of Tuscany. Read more>>
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