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Unusual Animal Encounters


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I am used to finding and being able to identify most forms of wildlife however this one really threw me for a loop when I found it at this cache:




In florida. I thought it was a prehistoric monster fish that would make me rich by finding it, but alas the locals seemed to know what it was. They called it a placostamas (sp?) the same as the sucker fish you'd have in your fish tank.. Only bigger. Much bigger!

My friend had a Pleco that grew to that size. It was 1 1/2" when he bought it, and he put it into his brackish water aquarium, and it grew to be a 15" monster.


Did you find it on land? Was it alive?



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While caching in Antigua and Barbuda last week my wife and I were climbing around the Fort Berkley cache area with free-range goats. I even came upon a hermit crab hiding between the leaves of a dead cactus.

At the Great Bird Island cache area we saw several large lizards but were blanked on our search for the Antiguan Racer snakes that are there.

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I encountered a "GROWLING ROCK"


On a Cache hunt in Southern IL, just today (2-11-05) we were looking for the cache right at the Corrds. the clue said log but we found nothing so we stared looking under rocks.


As I lifted a flat rock with cavity beneath it, I heard this Growling/hissing noise. I jumped up the hill my friend said "Whats wrong with you?" I said that rock just growled at me. He did not want to go near it, and tried to fo a very very steep incline and could not make it..


That rocc was the only accessable point to get out of the creek. He jumped over and ran and we hurried back to the car. Logged as a DNF dont know if I want to go back either.


It was a rather raspy hissing sound too deep to be a snake, but it was a rather small hole about the size of a grapefruit. That is what inspired me to look at the Unusual animals forums to see what others have done if encountering animals.


Also on another cache earlier today, saw a flock of wild turkey, but it is an area known as Turkey Bluffs State Wildlife area in Souther IL. If you want to see turkey in the Wild that is the place to go.


Any ideas on that hissing sound?

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My friend had a Pleco that grew to that size. It was 1 1/2" when he bought it, and he put it into his brackish water aquarium, and it grew to be a 15" monster.


Did you find it on land? Was it alive?



I found it on land about five feet from a floridian "lake". It was dead and eaten from the bottom so the outside top half was preserved. I assume it was eaten by turtles or maybe ants from the inside out.

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That's a porcupine... not very exotic, but it was the first time I ever saw one! I had to look up what it was on the net. I stopped the car and hooted at it to try to get a better photo, but it nuzzled up in the branches and wouldn't move any more. Amazing that I saw it at all, driving 55mph out on a desert highway on the way to the Honeymoon cache.


About a year later, my fiancee and I were driving just outside of Bend, Oregon when we saw something big and weird looking lying on the roadside on its back. I said, "Oh! That's a porcupine!". I had to turn the car around and go back because she didn't believe me. Neither of us had any idea how big they actually are! :ph34r:

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Boy have I got trouble!!! I was driving on my way back from a geocache in Southern IL and a cop started folowing me. As I was looking at him, I did not see a turkey run accross the road in front of me except till the last minute. It also started flying at the last minute.


I hit it and it went over top of my truck, and came down in the windshiled of the Cop Car. Next thing I know his lights come on, and we are stopped. He came to me and gave me a ticket!!! Can anyone help me out?

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A giant slug

That is what we saw  :huh: about 3 inches long.

I thought they were really cool. Not slimy at all, velvety. We were in Scotland, which is gorgeous. No mosquitos, although the midges are mean, to some people.


Where I'm at we have tons of these slugs, they are a huge problem for people with gardens. I've never seen them anywhere else, funny that the first time I'd see a picture of them would be from Scotland.

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Alan2, Thank you for sharing the great picture. I have never seen a turkey in the wild, although I have had people tell me we do have them here in Washington. That was really neat. What a beautifull bird!

I hate to rain on your parade but the bird in the picture is NOT the Mom. That my friend is the OLD MAN. :huh:

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Yeah. I know. I've been told. Everyone keeps reminding me and rubbin' it in. But I grew up in Da Bronx and we didn't have too many turkeys around, at least with feathers on dem. So I guess my turkey was not chasing its babies but babes. No wonder it hissed at me as it went by. Must have figured I was a competitor. :huh:

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Since I've last looked here we've moved from birds to mammals to insects to reptiles to arachnids to fish...


Here's a centipede, great blue heron, fawn and buck, the later three all photographed in one tiny park within hours of each other...


Click for full size





Finally, while doing a suburban cache...on a sidewalk inbetween storefronts and parked cars--this pony?!







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Neither of us had any idea how big they actually are! :surprise:

They are quite large aren't they! On our honeymoon in Vermont 7 years ago we went around a corner on the road and there was one crossing! I didn't realize what it was because it was so big! But we got a good look at it, luckily we were able to stop in time! Didn't want to get too close of a look!

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:D Just yesterday while we were caching at a park, we came across a squirrel. The squirrel had darted into a trash barrel. I told my husband that squirrel was in there but he thought I was joking. We were about 5 feet from the barrel when the squirrel popped his head out. Boy was he surprised to see us! He just froze and didn't move. Wish I'd had my camera. We stepped back several feet and the squirrel darted back down into the trashcan. We quickly moved past it to head into the woods for the cache.
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I've run into an armadillo rooting around for food, a few snakes (and I hate snakes...thankfully no one's there to hear me scream like a girly-man), but then I ran into a gator...

It was in a state park in Central Florida. I'm driving down a road when my GPS says it's directly west of me. There's an abadoned access road there, so I park and start walking down the road. It passes right by a swamp, and there's a sign to warn of wildlife in the area (including gators). So I'm walking...nice walk...and a log about 20 feet in front of me just suddenly moves. Thankflly, after 20 years of video games, my reaction time is fast! That dadgum gator chased me to within 40 feet of my car! :ph34r:

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I had a run in with hornets (or wasps). I was walking between two geocaches in South Africa, when I came to a dried up river. My gps pointed up the river and so on I went. I then came to a hole in a rock, bored through by the water and making a cave. I then made my mistake. I stuck my head into the cave without looking first, and got stung at least 9 times. Phew, I have never run like that before. I even lost my sunglasses! I don't normally do stupid things like that, since I learnt that you should always be cautious in the bush. Oh well, now I have really learn't my lesson. :huh:

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In the Croom Section of the Withlacoochee State Forest in west central Florida, quite a few caches in the area. I actually stopped to take a picture of the old rusting harrow, only noticed the fawn when I nearly stepped on it. I think it reacted late, and just decided to freeze and hope.

Fawns will do exactly what you saw there. When young they carry no scent whatsoever and they curl up and hide as a defense mechanism.


Interestingly, mommy was probably close by trying to get you to follow her instead.



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(That's not actually the snake I saw on the way to the cache, but it's the same kind. I tried to pick up the one I saw on the way to the cache, but it peed on me and I let go of it. Snake pee REALLY stinks.)


Saw both of those in the same area while hunting a couple caches.

Edited by Tidalflame
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Well, I wasn't caching, but we actually saw and photographed a Kermode Bear (or Spirit Bear) while taking the Inside Passage ferry from Vancouver Island up to North BC in Canada (which I can recommend most highly as an amazing unforgettable ride).


The crew on board said one had not been spotted for 7 years, and they were actually giving the talk onboard the ferry about the 'elusive spirit bear' which I was listening to when the call came out that a Kermode was off the port bow... I had my Pentax F all ready with a 300mm lens... but that was actually the worst idea on a ferry... handheld shot, overexposed as bear was in shadows next to bright reflecting water... Anyways, took a whole roll, and on closer inspection, it is undeniably a Kermode, and only I and one other tourist had good enough lenses to have any chance of gettingh him/her.


Also saw bald eagles, whales, dolphins, black and grizzly bear, moose etc on that trip.. what a great time.


Pics (not mine) at http://www.ronthiele.com/kermode/spectrum.html


see also http://www.savespiritbear.org/ for conservation information.

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We were hunting thought Dollar Lake Provincial Park, here in Nova Scotia a couple of weeks ago. While I was thrashing through the bushes, my wife looked up and saw this little guy in the tree directly above me - and the cache. I'm glad I didn't run into this little porcupine while I was walking through the knee-high grass instead. She kept an eye on the prickly little guy, and I quickly grabbed the cache :P



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While at a cache in Northfield, Massachusetts, we spotted this spider in some bushes:




It was about 1.5 to 2 inches long. I've looked at a few web sites with spider pictures, but haven't seen one that looked like this (although I barely scratched the surface of potential sites to look at). Does anyone know what it is?


The strange thing is that until a few weeks ago, we had never seen a spider like this, and then we saw one on a farm in Hillsdale, NY. And now we've seen two within one month -- are they something new, or have they been around here all along and we just never noticed them before? (And was I really stupid to get up close to take its picture? :lol: )

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nice pic. the spider appears to be a member of the argiope family of orb weavers. this is the kind of spider that Charlotte, of Charlotte's Web fame was based on. harmless to people, tough on flying insects. unless i'm mistaken it is a female black and yellow argiope (argiope aurantia) -harry

Edited by shawhh
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(DigiFerret @ Jul 18 2004, 06:57 PM)

I was out caching today and was bushwacking through some dense bush and trees. I happened to scare up a couple of young squirrels. They ran up a tree about waist high to me, and stopped to see what I was. I just stood there for a second, and then did something really stupid; I tried to do a "squirrel call".

All of a sudden, they both started chirping at me, and one of them ran right at me and went right up my leg! Did I mention I was wearing shorts?

Well, like any well adjusted outdoorsman, I jumped 6 feet into the air, screaming like a little girl , and ran out of the woods.

I did eventually make it back to the cache, but not without carrying a big stick with me to fend off the killer squirrels.


Oh, and the first person to make any jokes about about "squirrels and nuts" gets a smack on the head! tongue.gif


My friend had the same thing happen except that he wasn't geocaching. He was with his dog and the dog chased it up his leg! haha Was quite funny to see! :lol:

Edited by Dew Crew
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nice pic. the spider appears to be a member of the argiope family of orb weavers. this is the kind of spider that Charlotte, of Charlotte's Web fame was based on. harmless to people, tough on flying insects. unless i'm mistaken it is a female black and yellow argiope (argiope aurantia) -harry

Thanks! We had just come to the same conclusion before reading your response. We were searching around and found an Argiope aurantia about two-thirds of the way down this page, and it looked just like our spider :lol:

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Today we encountered pure evil! As we were walking along a path my Julian got nervous and didn't want to proceed. When I asked him why, he pointed to 3 or 4 squirrels that were on the side of the path up ahead and he said he was afraid of them biting him. It took me a couple minutes to convince him that he was being silly and that squirrels won't allow humans to get close enough to them to bite, that they'd run away first. Ten minutes later on another part of the trail, another squirrel walks right up to us. Julian started to freak of course, because he thought I lied to him earlier. I took a pic and then shooed the squirrel away. Julian calmed down and we enjoyed the rest of our stroll in the park.


When I got home I loaded the pics into my computer only to find this one:







:laughing: (I am guilty of taking red-eye photos from time to time, but never thought I could get such amusement out of one of these shots!)

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