this post was submitted on 12 May 2024
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It has always amused me that the tourists to the US that I’ve spoken to are often very excited to see raccoons, and disappointed if they don’t see them before they leave.

Some others I’ve noticed on the east coast of the US are blue jays and cardinals. Boy, do people get excited about those if they’ve never seen them before! Very pretty birds of course, just very easy to get used to and see as uninteresting as well.

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[–] [email protected] 127 points 1 month ago (2 children)

Definitely kangaroos. But they have bad luck as I live in Austria and not Australia.

[–] kautau 24 points 1 month ago (4 children)

Austria!? Well then, G’day mate! Let’s put another shrimp on the barbie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYZ6_n7Mpb0

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[–] Ragdoll_X 78 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (14 children)

Capybaras are pretty common in the area where I live, and really throughout most of Brazil. Don't get me wrong, we still think they're pretty cute, but I've seen some Americans get really excited about them.

Oh, and the maned wolf. To be fair, I think they're pretty neat too.

[–] [email protected] 20 points 1 month ago (4 children)

Are capybaras as chill as their reputation suggests, or is that more a feature of cases that are used to captivity? If the memes/images/videos are to be believed, I'd expect to be able to just wander up to one in the wild and have it respond like a well-socialized pet dog.

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[–] [email protected] 69 points 1 month ago (2 children)
[–] [email protected] 48 points 1 month ago (1 children)

common animals

Royalty


"And here on your left you will see a prime example of the common European prince. No longer afforded a natural habitat, the nation of Britain has built special reserves for these princelings and other royalty, called palaces. On certain days you can observe royals being transported in specially equipped vehicles from one palace to another to encourage mating."

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[–] [email protected] 59 points 1 month ago (14 children)

I was excited to see squirrels, lightning bugs and a racoon in the US.

When people come to Australia they obviously want to see kangaroos, koalas and platypus and quokka. Koalas are very rare to see in the wild, and a visit to a zoo will score you a sleeping ball on a branch. Kangaroos are frequently roadkill if you go outside the city. Quokka require a long trip to a really remote location. You'll also almost never see a platypus, even the ones at the zoo you might catch a water ripple at best.

But if you're headed to Sydney city, guaranteed you'll spot the almighty and much maligned "bin chicken", our Australian white ibis. Often not quite white from the bins. At night they serenade you with their collective honking from their tree, which can be easily spotted by the masses of white poop underneath. And you'll see fruit bats in the evening. Hopefully not the daytime corpses hanging from electrical cables while they slowly rot, but that's not altogether unlikely either, unfortunately.

[–] [email protected] 15 points 1 month ago (3 children)

Seeing the flying foxes around Sydney surprised me.

The bin chickens, I simultaneously felt a little sorry for, and enjoyed watching.

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[–] [email protected] 49 points 1 month ago (5 children)

I've seen a vanload of tourists happily taking pictures of sheep on more than one occasion. New Zealand.

[–] LaunchesKayaks 18 points 1 month ago

I mean, I grew up in the US by several sheep farms and I would take pics of the critters constantly because they're cute.

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[–] [email protected] 42 points 1 month ago (8 children)

San Diego zoo has a racoon exhibit. I thought that was weird.

[–] [email protected] 27 points 1 month ago

they probably fell into an empty enclosure one day and the zookeepers just rolled with it and put up a sign

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[–] [email protected] 40 points 1 month ago (12 children)

Back when I worked at Disney, a subset of the Asian guests would get excited and take pictures of squirrels. Are there parts of Asia that don't have many squirrels?

[–] [email protected] 35 points 1 month ago

Japan doesn't generally have squirrels like in the US. I took my wife to DC and we spent a solid 10+ minutes taking photos and videos of squirrels around the mall.

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[–] jagungal 36 points 1 month ago (7 children)

Australian white ibises. They're kinda like the Australian equivalent to a raccoon in the US; they eat rubbish and their roosts stink because they tend to congregate in a single tree and then shit everywhere. But they are quite unique looking birds: long beaks, black heads and white plumage. So the tourists find them quite interesting and the locals call them bin chickens.

An Australian white ibis, a bird with white feathers, black head, long legs, and a long beak.

[–] [email protected] 20 points 1 month ago

I was one of the fascinated tourists taking a million pictures of bin chickens. But, I was at least aware of it... because I remember at the time joking with my wife that the locals were laughing at us basically taking pictures of pigeons/seagulls.

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[–] [email protected] 35 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Reindeer, the four-legged derp zombies of the animal world.

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[–] [email protected] 33 points 1 month ago

I've had kinda an inverse experience of this.

I was on a vacation to Mexico with my family and we decided to visit a local zoo. For the most part it was pretty similar to what we have back home with lions and gorillas but there was one exhibit that was drawing a large crowd so we decided to go see what it was. Once we are able to get a look inside there were just 4 or 5 white tailed deer grazing on some grass. We got a good laugh because back home these things are common to the point of nuisance. I don't speak Spanish but I then started to notice several children pointing and mentioning "Bambi" to their parents and all the commotion made sense

[–] [email protected] 33 points 1 month ago (1 children)

I'll answer the opposite way: in South America we have no crows, so it was by far the most fascinating animal I saw while in England.

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[–] [email protected] 32 points 1 month ago (6 children)

It's not a weird animal but cats. Stray cats are literally everywhere and aren't afraid of people so many will stop to pet them. And on the other hand, when visiting other countries, the lack of street cats does strike me a bit weird.

[–] [email protected] 14 points 1 month ago (2 children)
[–] [email protected] 14 points 1 month ago

Greece but pretty sure it applies for Turkey too

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[–] kerrigan778 26 points 1 month ago (4 children)

Raccoons are a national treasure and should be recognized as such.

[–] Glytch 14 points 1 month ago (5 children)

Trash panda > regular panda

Fight me, China

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[–] slowwooderrunsdeep 26 points 1 month ago

I’m American and I always get a chuckle from the adoration that people have over raccoons as well. I guess they’re cute but they’re also a menace, there’s a reason we call them “trash pandas”.

But I also went to Spain several years back and saw my first hedgehog. And it was even in a hedge! I took probably two dozen photos and the locals thought I was crazy. So I get it.

[–] [email protected] 26 points 1 month ago (5 children)

It's all about the koalas and kangaroos but then they see a cockie or a rosella, hear a possum late at night and shit themselves

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[–] [email protected] 25 points 1 month ago (7 children)

Here in Australia, it's drop bears and hoop snakes. People always want to see them... until it's too late.

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[–] bhamlin 22 points 1 month ago

Florida man. 🇺🇸

[–] RBWells 22 points 1 month ago (9 children)

Here in Florida it is alligators, certainly. We also have remarkable birds, but it's alligators.

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[–] [email protected] 21 points 1 month ago (1 children)

It's not a native species, but in some German cities, you can see a lot of rose-ringed parakeets. They really stand out between the other local birds, so if you go to places like Cologne or Heidelberg, it's quite likely to spot them, especially since they're so loud. A few months ago, I moved to a city without parakeets and frankly, I miss them a lot.

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[–] [email protected] 21 points 1 month ago (5 children)

Black squirrels. They aren't very many if any at all in the south and when family/friends come to visit it blows their mind seeing them.

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[–] [email protected] 20 points 1 month ago (6 children)

Bears ☠️

They actually get dangerously close to them, to pet them and take photos of them and feed them, then these tourists wonder why are they being attacked...

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[–] [email protected] 19 points 1 month ago (2 children)

Moose (mainland) or Polar bear (Svalbard)

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[–] [email protected] 19 points 1 month ago (4 children)

God damn Canada Geese.

Also, I've seen tourists fascinated by seagulls in Vancouver which surprised me because I thought they were everywhere.

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[–] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago (7 children)

I'm from the US and I still get excited when I see raccoons. I love those lil guys.

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[–] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (5 children)

Kangaroos are the clear winner in my experience, but we've also got possums and various parrots (e.g. sulphur crested cockatoos). Wombats too but they're less common to see.

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[–] chazwhiz 18 points 1 month ago

We did a Mexican vacation several years ago and everyone in our tour group would surround and excitedly take pictures of iguanas. The local tour guides would laugh and talk about how that always happens and how they were like squirrels to them.

[–] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago (3 children)
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[–] suckmyspez 18 points 1 month ago (1 children)
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[–] [email protected] 17 points 1 month ago (5 children)

for australia i think most people would assume kangaroos, and sure people are excited to see them but they’re not quite as common - youre probably only going to see them if it’s intentional

i think common AND excited is probably rosellas - they’re a bright red and blue/green parrot that are kinda eeeeeverywhere

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[–] Chef_Boyargee 17 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago) (4 children)

Desert southwest USA here. For us, it’s usually roadrunners, armadillos, and blue tail lizards. Although, the blue tails along with the horny toads are becoming a touch more rare it seems.

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[–] [email protected] 17 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Prairie dogs along the front range of Colorado, deer in the Colorado mountains...

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[–] [email protected] 16 points 1 month ago (4 children)

I'm not Japanese but have been living here most of a decade. As no one mentioned anything from that side yet, the Nara Deer are probably the most famous followed by the hotspring monkeys. Tanuki are also something people might want to see, off the top of my head.

My wife was super surprised by all the squirrels in the US and loved taking pictures and videos. She suddenly realized we kept seeing more of them as we walked and, yep, they're everywhere.

She was also super surprised that people just had cattle and horses when we'd be driving where my US family lived (countryside).

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[–] [email protected] 15 points 1 month ago (3 children)

People are excited to see raccoons. If you've ever had to make major repairs to your property, this makes no sense to you.

People somehow don't even think about hummingbirds. We get ruby throated hummingbirds through here, and they're fascinating. Never had a visitor even mention them.

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[–] LaunchesKayaks 15 points 1 month ago

Okay, so it isn't animals, but tourists in my parents' town get stoked when they see how big the Monongahela River actually is. They think a nearby creek is the river and we're like, "that's a creek. Drive up the road a bit to see the river."

The same tourists also lose their minds if they see a train filled with coal go by.

[–] iamericandre 15 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Black bears, mountains southeast USA

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[–] [email protected] 15 points 1 month ago (2 children)

I'm from the US but lived in Japan for a while. They have squirrels, but they're not very common. They went nuts when they would see a squirrel. At least where I was (Tohoku).

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[–] [email protected] 14 points 1 month ago

None! I live in Korea, and the local wildlife was long ago mostly displaced or eaten by the seething mass of humanity. Once upon a time, there were some cool bears and tigers even. There are some nice, big herons still around I suppose. Oh, some tiny deer, too.

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