My Bucket List branches off into several directions and one of the many lists I am chasing is called my Wildlife Bucket List, comprising of all the animals on this diverse planet that I’d like to see. In no particular order here they are.
Polar Bear – this means I’ll be somewhere in the Arctic polar region. Score!!
Grizzly Bear – TV has a lot to do with it, but also seeing this paw print in Alaska in 2011.
Platypus – Despite living in Oz for two years and going back there last year, to an aquarium NAD the Australia zoo, I ma yet to see one of these guys. A.K.A Beaver Duck.
Blue Whale – I’ve been fascinated with the whale and how vulnerable they are despite their size.
Great White Shark – Hopefully from the safe side of a cage.
Howler Monkey – oh damn…I may have to go back to the Amazon again.
Gelada Baboon – Ethiopia. The photogenic cousins to the baboons that we know.
Gorillas – Trekking in Uganda, sitting in silence for that one photograph.
Orangutan – A big male with the prominent cheek plates
Pangolin – My Kruger Park Unicorn. Just one…please?!
Honey Badger – Another elusive critter. It’s like a pit bull and a shark had a baby.
Fire flies – Just enough to light up the sky
Bat swarm – I’ve read that swarms can be up 20 million bats all at once.
Deep sea fishing – I’d love to catch and release any game fish.
Asian Elephant – When in India…
Tapir – Another Amazon resident I’d love to see.
Slow Loris – I am against keeping these guys as pets because it created a hunting industry, so it has to be in the wild.
One of the Tuskers – After a visit to the Elephant Museum in Kruger National Park and seeing these behemoths that roamed the earth, it gives me hope to think some of them are still out there.
The Yeti – A kid’s got to dream. I saw the “Yeti Scalp” in Kumjung in Nepal, so who knows?
These are the animals I have seen
Chimpanzees – We adopted a chimp from Chimp Eden in Mpumalanga but the cherry on the top was getting to meet Jane Goodall, the Mother Theresa of chimpanzee conservation, at a talk at WITS University.
Manatee / Dugong – Australia Zoo. 2 Ton vegetarian that is always smiling.
Moose – On a cycle ride around Anchorage Alaska, there he was chomping the foliage.
Snow Leopard – Sadly, this one was in the Anchorage Zoo.
Pink Dolphins – The Amazon River in Peru.
Piranha – These feisty little beasts are as scary as they are made to be in the movies. Their razor sharp teeth will remove fingers.
Army Ant – Staying in the Amazon, these guys really can carry 50 times their own body weight. With low light conditions and me being a terrible photographer, I missed a chance to snap that perfect shot of a train of these soldiers carrying giant pieces of leaves up a tree.
Fish Eagle – For me, seeing and hearing the African Fish Eagle is a sign that I am in Africa. With all her beauty and majesty, we often need to be reminded of what really matters and what’s worth fighting for.
This list will probably grow over time but that’s ok, because each one is a potential story to tell and a memory to cherish forever. It's not just about searching them out and striking them from a list, it's about the journey that takes you to a part of the world that we share with them.
List it. Live it.