“Stupid is as stupid does”, the wise words of Forrest Gump’s fictional mother certainly apply here. Sometimes we put ourselves into dangerous positions. Some say this is Darwinism. But what does it say about you when you do something incredibly foolish and take a selfie to commemorate being a giant dummy?
Selfies are a pretty fun concept. Most of us have been in a situation where we see something beautiful, amazing, or funny and want to take a selfie to capture the moment (the thought of several dozen likes on Instagram doesn’t hurt either). Unfortunately this means we can miss out on being in the moment because we’re so busy duck facing into our phone.
Others will go even further and put their lives in danger all for the sake of a picture. We’re not talking about professional adventure photographers here; we’re talking about regular folks who take selfies with wildlife, posing like they’d do with their BFFs. News Flash: wild animals are not your buddies. Ladies, want to pose for a selfie with a wild kitty? Chances are you’re going to see their claws. In 2015 death by selfie was more likely than death by shark attack. Add in people taking selfies in front of wild animals and you’re increasing your odds of death, injury and dismemberment tenfold. Here are 15 photos of dumb girls who decided to tempt fate, and take an epic, dangerous selfie with wild animals.
15. Dumbo Isn’t Peanuts For Kim Kardashian
What’s more entertaining than when a regular Joe’s selfie goes wrong? When it’s a celebrity, who would naturally have an entourage by their side, decides that it’s selfie time in the wild. While in Thailand, the self-proclaimed selfie queen, Kim Kardashian was enjoying the local wildlife by chilling with an enormous elephant. To show all of her lovers (and haters) just how Hollywood her animal adventure was, she decided to take a selfie, because that’s why Kim’s famous, right? The elephant was more than a little camera shy and decided to notify Kim by loudly blowing air out of his mammoth sized trunk. This made Kim panic, which is thankfully captured digitally for the entire world to see. An elephant doesn’t care how famous you are, show them respect and keep your distance Kimmy!
14. We’re Calling Bullsh-t On This Selfie
What’s worse: doing something stupid, or doing something stupid and then posting it online for the entire world to see? A woman named Connie Wange took this selfie when she was in Switzerland, and proudly posted, but never really acknowledged, how she had cheated death all for the sake of a photo. Wange wrote about the pic, “This was the first picture I took at Interlaken. I look terrified as a bull approaches me!” Perhaps getting out of the way would have been a more sensible solution than playing with her phone? Some researchers have determined that there is such a thing as selfie addiction and have linked it to some who have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. Some selfie addicted folks take up to 200 pictures of themselves each day.
13. Lions & Tigers & Bear Selfies – Oh My!
Just because you grew up with a Teddy Bear it doesn’t mean that you should pose for a photo-op when you see a genuine bear in the wild. Officials at various parks and wilderness facilities have threatened to close down certain areas because people getting too close to bears may provoke them to act out violently. A selfie with a bear, like the one this woman took, is just plain dangerous. These epic mammals can injure, maim, and even kill a person; black bears can weigh up to 500 pounds and run up to 35 miles per hour. South Lake Tahoe officials have reported, “mobs of people that are actually rushing toward the bears trying to get a ‘selfie’ photo.” If you see a bear, don’t take a picture, simply back away slowly and calmly, keeping your eyes on the bear at all times (something you can’t do when snapping a selfie).
12. There’s Nothing Like A Snake Earring Selfie
Even though some people like to keep reptiles as pets, guess what? They’re still wild animals. This lady was holding her pet snake, a ball python named Bart, when he decided to take a path less traveled, through her stretched out earlobe, and got stuck. Ms. Glawe, the pet’s owner took selfies of the snake, who she was calling the dumb ass, cause it’s his fault naturally, and posted them to Facebook while waiting in emergency to get him removed. Glawe told reporters, “[It] felt like he struck at my ear — I, like, froze instantly, I didn’t move because I really thought he was, like, attacking the side of my head.” Glawe attempted to remove him using cooking oil, but that didn’t work. In the ER, medical staff numbed her ear, applied lubricant, and then pulled the snake out. Glawe had a bruised ear from the incident but reported Bart, “acted like nothing even happened and was totally chill.”
11. This Camel Doesn’t Just Spit
This is one of the funnier selfies captured on our list, but that doesn’t make it any less foolish. You’ve probably even seen it elsewhere since it’s been turned into a fairly popular meme. Thankfully no one was hurt. The woman pictured, is an Australian blogger named Justine. She and her boyfriend Dave were outside a cheese factory near Perth, Australia. For whatever reason, this factory had an area with two camels outside, so the pair decided to snap some shots with the camels. Since the camels, “seemed pretty placid” Justine decided to snap a selfie. Big Mistake! “The next thing [she] felt was the camel’s tooth making contact with [her] forehead.” The pair managed to escape the hurtful headlock from the camel uninjured, but a little frightened. They decided to share the pic with the world because, that’s what selfies are for, right?
10. Wild Elk Selfie
Here’s a tip: when enjoying nature, don’t turn your back on it. This woman was charged by an elk after inching herself closer and closer to the animal, which is just silly. When elk have just given birth to a calf they may be simply protecting her young, or simply upset because the human needs to back off. A National Park Service Spokesperson, Jeffery Olson warns people that the cost of an amazing photo can “endanger themselves and endanger wildlife.” He added, “People generally are just so excited to be in a park, and the next cool thing is if they can get a picture of wildlife, and then the third thing is ‘Can I get a picture of me and the wildlife?’” It’s recommended that humans stay a minimum of at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other animals. Also, touching wild animals is dangerous, and illegal. So keep your hands to yourselves, you filthy animals!
9. Just Duck Off
Just because a wild animal is familiar, as in you see them at parks everywhere, doesn’t mean that they’re domesticated. While ducks are probably on the low end of risk for injury, that isn’t an open invitation to invade their personal space and flash a camera at their bills. While not fatal, a duck has a bite that can be painful, and if you’ve been feeding them or have food on you, odds are they’ll be scouting out where more of that sweet sweet lunch is. This little lady learned her lesson the hard way when they got pecking distance away from a critter who decided the photographer was on the menu. When asked what the driving force is behind this risky behaviour around animals Margo DeMello at the Animals and Society Institute said, “I think we’re drawn to what’s left of wilderness.” We have a desire to feel close to wildlife and wild animals. As far as animals are concerned, the feeling is not mutual.
8. No Monkey Business
Has everyone forgotten the horror that monkeys are capable of? Maybe we need to reboot movies like Monkey Shines just to remind people how terrifying they can really be, and I’m not even talking about the poop flinging. Wild monkeys are nothing like Curious George people, which is something that this tourist found out the hard way. This woman was in the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Bali when she attempted to get a conversation piece selfie, framing both herself and a monkey into the shot. Monkey didn’t like her photography skills and wasn’t afraid to let her know. Some say that you should never show your teeth to wild animals, since to a lot of them it’s a sign of aggression. So perhaps keep your teeth to yourself, and avoid turning your back on a wild animal.
7. Selfie-Slaughter At Swan Lake
Photos with animals isn’t just dangerous for humans, it can jeopardize the safety of the animal for no valid reason. A tourist from Bulgaria accidentally killed a white swan, all in the name of a selfie. The woman, who was a member of a large tourist group, stepped into Ohrid Lake, grabbed the swan, and dragged it to land. Witnesses said that the swan didn’t really react to the horrifyingly aggressive act of the tourist, since these swans are very passive and used to humans doing what they’re supposed to; appreciate them from a safe distance. The swan lay motionless on the beach after, and animal lovers everywhere are left to wonder whether or not the authorities were able to find this woman and hold her accountable for her selfish and killer actions.
6. Don’t Seal The Deal With A Selfie
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided it would be a good idea to preemptively strike against the selfie stick wielding wildlife fans. They have posted warnings of “No selfies with seals” (the same goes with fellow pinnipeds sea lions) and remind people that, “there is no selfie stick long enough” to get a shot with a seal. Just the same, seal selfies, like this one, still exist because people are ignorant jerks. NOAA also wants to warn temped photographers, “seals have powerful jaws, and can leave a lasting impression”, on your skin as well as your Instagram account. So take note and back off. Getting too close to an animal can stress them out, which makes them much more likely to act out. In addition to this, getting too close to a baby animal could cause their mother to abandon it, and then you’ll be that person who killed a baby seal.
5. Peacock Feathers Deadly Photograph
We don’t know whether or not the plan here was for a selfie, or for another regular photo, but just the same the people involved didn’t have the respect for animals they should have, and it led to death. When you visit the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, China, you are allowed to take a walk beside the peacocks and take photos. Apparently that wasn’t good enough for these tourists, who thought it was a great idea to pick up the fine feathered friends and give them big bear hug squeezes while snapping shots with them. This tight grip was violent, and the park has reported that this literally plucked feathers out of the birds, which led to them going into a state of shock, and eventually to their death. Was it really worth it?
4. Bison Attacks Mother & Daughter
In the summer of 2015, five separate tourists were gored by standing too close to the park’s bison, all in an attempt to get that “perfect” selfie. One woman, visiting from Mississippi with her daughter tried to get a double selfie, when they heard the sound of hooves moving quickly toward them. While they tried to get out of the way, mom was too slow, and the wild animal hoisted up the offending photographer with its head and tossed her. The woman was lucky and only had minor injuries. In May, the same year and at the same park, a 16-year-old exchange student from Taiwan was gored while attempting a selfie. The park confirmed the teen was only three to six feet away from the Bison when it charged at her.
3. Cobra Selfie, No Thanks
Snake selfies are apparently more common than I would have ever thought. As far as I’m concerned, this is nothing I’d ever, ever, want to participate in. A man in Russia was arrested after offering tourists a chance to pay to have their photo snapped alongside the deadly venomous snake. The man was arrested when the woman in the selfie above was bitten by the snake and left in a coma. Cobras are large snakes, with many reaching over six feet long. Their hollowed fangs hold venom so they can inject it into their prey. Snake expert Sara Viernum says, “The most distinctive behavioral characteristics of cobras are their defensive displays. These include hooding, hissing, and raising the upper portion of their bodies to stand erect. Most cobras can stand as tall as a third of their body length.” Can’t say I’ll be lining up for a selfie with a snake any time soon!
2. Not So Boaring Selfies
Cartoon Boars are cute. I mean after we all fell in love with Pumbaa in the 1994 Disney Classic The Lion King who could blame someone for wanting to have a selfie with a wild boar? We could, this is real life, not a cartoon reality where animals sing to you and your BFF, and it’s sad that people need to be constantly reminded of this! Boars are mostly foragers, meaning they consume mostly plants and whatever else they can find on the forest floor. That being said a wild boar can get really aggressive if you get too close for comfort. While they don’t hunt, so you can probably outrun them if you need to, they also have sharp tusks, which would hurt a lot if they jabbed you. Get too close and you could end up like this woman, who was attacked by a wild boar.
1. Jellyfish Selfie
Does being a professional photographer make a selfie with wild life any less dangerous? Probably not. Getting too close and turning your back is risky, no matter who you are. This professional photographer and a scuba diver, Nadia Aly, snapped a quick selfie while swimming in a jellyfish lake in Palau, and got a fantastic image. While swimming in this lake isn’t as dangerous as one might think, the jellyfish here don’t have stingers, you can go swimming with them without worrying about injury. This lake is over 12,000 years old and a huge attraction. While a selfie is really tempting here, remember to be careful and respect the nature at hand – hopefully Nadia did when posing for her fantastic photos. If you’re paying too much attention to photos you may not enjoy the real beauty of your surroundings, plus you could accidentally harm or even kill plant life or the animals that you’re so excited to see.