Athletes with Random Wild Animals
Social media apps like Instagram and Facebook are a gawker's paradise.
We survived before the Twitter era, but there's no closing the Pandora's box of memes, awesome animals pics or any of the other superfluous excesses we suddenly can't live without.
What exactly did the terminally curious do before countless photos of celebrities and athletes we love (or hate) became accessible in a few clicks?
Luckily, we don't have to answer that question, because that smartphone will never stray far from our pocket, and athletes will continue to post pics that make us want to reach for it.
Nothing underscores this fact like athletes on Instagram who publish photos of themselves posing with rare, exotic or just unusual animals. Let's face it: Being an athlete and having all that comes with it makes you 100 times more likely to be seen with a crocodile, someplace other than a zoo or national park...on purpose.
Instagram ID: cristiano
Caption: Love this photo of when I was swimming with the dolphins in 2011 #tbt
Is it just me, or is this the most likable soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has ever been? The dolphin sure doesn’t hurt, but the fact that he’s not carrying a purse and doesn’t look sticky for once is a major contributing factor as well.
Instagram ID: chriscanty99
Caption: Didn't expect to pull this guy outta the water this a.m. Happy Independence Day!!! #seaturtle #fishinginthebackyard #islandlife
Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty pulled an unexpected surprise out of the water while fishing on the Fourth of July. Let’s hope that baby sea turtle wasn’t too scarred by the experience.
Instagram ID: tonyhawk
Recently, legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk learned firsthand why tourists are not supposed to feed the monkeys. It’s all fun and games till a monkey jumps up and steals your chips and sunglasses before slapping you in the face and running off.
Instagram ID: m_phelps00
Caption: I caught a lobster
Since there is no fishing gear or crustacean cages in sight, there is at least a chance that Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps caught that lobster with his bare hands. That’s definitely the best of all the possible scenarios I’ve just tried to imagine. The worst is that he drunkenly bought that from a grocery store for a staged photo-op and then decided to set it free in a freshwater lake.
Instagram ID: chrisbosh
Caption: Two young fellas on a caravan. I love seeing him smile like that… #boshfamilyworldtour
Bosh and his family have been on a ridiculously amazing world tour for weeks now. Elephant friends and camel rides are the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the photos on Instagram are really worth a look.
Instagram ID: jimmiejohnson
Jimmie Johnson has been my favorite NASCAR driver ever since his inexplicably adorable commercial with him and Pricklebear, a baby porcupine that he rescued and raised before sending it back off into the wild, aired in 2012. Maybe it wasn’t real, but it felt real to me.
Instagram ID: jimmiejohnson
Caption: I took a car load of kids to the Lazy 5 Ranch this weekend. #MustDo
Recently, Johnson took his animal-feeding show on the road. What a jarring way for kids to find out a giraffe’s tongue is black—as it clumsily tries to rip a bowl of food from their hands. Awesome.
Instagram ID: dockett90
Caption: Me and my lil homie skeeter .. He smart as s--t.. Gonna take him to king of diamonds with me… #imjustdifferent
Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett is known for collecting, or pretending to collect, angry-looking wild animals as pets. Although, his menacing possible menagerie probably doesn’t include little Skeeter, since bringing home monkeys from tropical locations is usually frowned upon by customs.
Instagram ID: caroline_wozniacki
Caption: Caro with her penguin friends!
Earlier this year, Dutch tennis player Caroline Wozniacki visited Dubai and was lucky enough to hang out with some seriously adorable penguins. She looks understandably thrilled, but that penguin looks pretty desperate to get away.
Instagram ID: ajacaly94
Caption: Never ever ever again! I’m out!
It doesn’t look like Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn will be following in the footsteps of Dockett and ill-advisedly adopting an alligator. He looks pretty freaked out—although that little baby isn’t nearly as scary as some of the other reptiles he saw at wherever he was.
Instagram ID: kellyslater
Caption: Cruising #FloridaStyle with this guy. Raddest creature on earth. #Manatee #SeaCow #MotorBoatSpeedBumps
Starry-eyed surfer Kelly Slater runs into his share of marine life in his line of work, but you can’t blame him for being partial to the manatee—the most harmlessly adorable giant animal on Earth.
Instagram ID: ajwilliams23
Caption: Black Rhino at #TDS
Buffalo Bills safety A.J. Williams recently visited somewhere that let him get up close and personal with a whole mess of wild animals. Among them were a black rhinoceros, adorable warthogs and a slightly less adorable baby alligator.
But that’s not all...
Instagram ID: therock
Caption: Silverbacks and Koalas get along after all... Thank you AUSTRALIA for opening your arms (and Koala claws) w/ love to myself, Team Rock and our entire SAN ANDREAS film crew. Being able to call AUSTRALIA "Home" has been a true pleasure and unforgettable experience - the fans, the love, the filming, the crew, the workouts, the food and all our dirty jokes. Til we meet again, AUSTRALIA.. wish you peace, love and fine tequila -- if you can't find the first two, you can always find the last. #AussieLove #JRichardsBlues #KoalasTasteLikeChicken
Geez that koala is cute! Hard to believe The Rock ate him…but he obviously did.
Instagram ID: ianjamespoulter
Caption: I signed an #ijpdesign shirt and Chandrika #Woburn Safari Park elephant painted it. It will be auctioned off for Charity. Info to follow soon.
In July, PGA player Ian Poulter visited a safari park located, believe it or not, in England. Apparently, they fund the park by putting the elephants to work painting.
Instagram ID: jtuck9
Caption: Black bear smiling for #zooselfies
This summer, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker took one very eventful trip to the zoo with his family. The bear that looks like it definitely wants to eat him was the highlight of the day, but the laughing dolphins were a close second.
Instagram ID: chrisogbonnaya
Caption: Thuggin w flipper
Of the many photos of athletes hanging with dolphins on this list, none even comes close to the amazingness of Cleveland Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya.
Have you ever seen an animal and a human more delighted to be in each other’s presence? No. No you have not.