The Top 5 Viral Wildlife Videos of 2018
Sometimes wildlife gets pretty, well…wild! And when people are in the right place at the right time to record it, we often end up with some pretty incredible videos. When these videos go viral they take the world by storm. National Wildlife Federation’s Naturalist and TV host, David Mizejewski, shares his thoughts on some of 2018’s wildest wildlife videos:
“Ranger Rick’s BIG adventure”
We all remember in June when an overly ambitious raccoon scaled the facade of a Minnesota skyscraper. Not only was it a truly astonishing feat, but the mammal’s grand escapade captured the attention of millions. People were glued to twitter for minute by minute updates, as many had concerns that he may fall. However, as the video shows, after a full day’s trip to the very top of the 25 story building, a can of cat food was all it took to land this little guy safely back on the ground.
“Raccoons are the token urban wildlife species. They’re so adaptable they’ve been able to thrive right alongside humans even in densely populated areas. They’re also natural climbers,” explained Mizejewski. “Onlookers quickly learned that attempting to capture it with makeshift rescue equipment was not the way to go. When frightened it is natural for a raccoon to keep heading upwards to find safety high up in a tree…or in this case a skyscraper. It’s important to remember that wildlife were here first and we need to find ways to not only coexist peacefully, but to make sure they have natural habitat within our cities and towns—which is the main message of NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program that helps people do just that.”
“In the Deer Tonight”
Deer, depending on where you live, can be common backyard wildlife. However, this deer looks a little too comfortable in this backyard – so much so that he tries to make himself at home by having a go at a child’s play slide that he was not fully prepared for.
“Though we would never want to laugh at an animal getting hurt, the deer doesn’t appear injured, except maybe his pride. There are countless videos on the internet of wildlife getting into odd predicaments when they encounter things we leave laying around our yards. Wildlife can be curious, so it’s important to remember not to leave anything that an animal can get tangled in lying about on our property.”
When a tourist at Yellowstone National Park tried to pick a fight with a fully grown bison over the summer, the scene escalated quickly. It turned out the one ton bovine did not have any interest in making friends that day and made this very clear after charging the tourist several times.
“This is a great example of how NOT to interact with wild animals. Tourists are injured by wildlife in national parks every year and it’s usually because they tried to get too close. Just because an animal doesn’t have sharp teeth or claws doesn’t mean it can’t cause harm. This man should consider himself lucky. Wildlife of every shape and size deserves our utmost respect…and space!”
Not only is it pretty rare to catch something like this on video, to some people it’s also quite comical. When we think of cats we think about purring, meowing, even roaring… but screaming? Many people were surprised by this interaction. If you listen to the audio alone it sounds pretty horrifying, but, paired with their “will they, wont they” head butt battle, it’s really interesting to watch.
“Lynx are generally solitary animals. So, it’s no surprise that when these two ran into each other there was tension in the air. It could be a territorial dispute, it could be an attempt to mate, all we can say for sure is it’s a pretty incredible encounter.”
This funny video of what appears to be a crow looking into the KTVU weather camera shows just how curious some birds can be.
“Crows are actually very intelligent. This one probably saw its reflection in the lens of the camera and wanted to get a closer look. Or maybe he is looking to take over the role of weather crow? Either way, it’s one of many great examples of clever crows making us laugh and we love him for that.”
If we can learn anything from these videos it’s that every species has unique adaptations and behaviors and seeing them in action can sometimes be as confusing as it is amazing. Thankfully we have experts like David Mizejewski to shed some light on these interesting encounters and help us build appreciation and respect for wildlife of every shape and size.