Travelers Aren’t Immune To Danger: Don’t Pet the Monkeys!

immune to dangerYou’re not immune to danger when you travel.

Sometimes travelers need to hear the obvious.

Do you ever look at other travelers and wonder what they are thinking.  Here is a general rule that works for us: if it’s not safe or smart at home, it probably didn’t improve when we went into a third world country.

“But mom, that guy is feeding the wild monkeys.”

Let’s review a few of the things we have seen as we traveled:

Wild monkeys bite. If you think otherwise, you might be in for an unplanned side trip to the hospital (at least that’s what our guide told us). In Malaysia we actually watched a tourist tease a wild monkey with some food.  We didn’t really want to see the aftermath, and we generally don’t hang out with stupid people so we left.

immune to danger

Wild monkeys are all over Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the advice to tourists to leave them alone is often ignored.

In Belize an Ocelot walked into the open air restaurant where were eating.  (We learned later that it had been hand reared and returned to the wild.) I took my cue from the staff who kept a barrier between the ocelot and themselves as they pushed it away.

The man at the next table, a future Darwin award candidate no doubt, decided this was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.  He actually tried to hold the wild cat as his wife took a photo.  We saw him the next day with his arm bandaged up covering his new stitches.  Clearly he was not immune to danger.


Image Credit: Public Domain

If you are going to leap from a cliff, be smart like my niece and ask the people about to jump if they are locals before you take the plunge.  Our personal family logic is that locals generally know the safe places.

jumping into haruru falls

We stumbled upon another New Zealand danger near Rotorua.  The graffiti covered sign reads: Do not put head in water – amoebic meningitis is fatal and caused by water entering the nasal passages.  Would you enter the water?  These people did:

funny sign   immune to danger

In Morocco, more monkeys, this time with parents allowing kids to feed them.

immune to danger

A moment of serious thought to those who think it is is okay to feed wild animals. When you feed the monkeys, the squirrels and the wild cats, the animal learns that humans feed them.  You may not be the one who gets bit, but it might be the next person without food to come upon the animal  (often a child as they are small and less threatening to the animal) that gets bit.

In saying that, I think most of us think we are immune to danger at some point in our lives.  What is the most dangerous thing you have done, that you now roll your eyes at and wonder why you thought you were immune to danger?

Except where noted, all photos ©Rhonda Albom 2011-2012.  All rights Reserved.

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  1. says

    I rolled down my window at a wildlife safari and took a shot of an ostrich over the roof of the car – and then had to duck inside as he came running around the vehicle and pounded at the window I barely rolled up in time. (That was here in the states, too!) In my defense, I was a stupid teenager.

    However, I watched the Dirty Jobs episode with the monkeys – not a chance I’d go near one.

  2. Lisa says

    Who says you need to travel to enjoy danger? Most people would say skydiving and scuba diving (both of which I’ve done) are dangerous, but they’re also fun!

    The most dangerous thing I’ve done while traveling was much more mundane than either of those activities. I went sightseeing with a taxi driver I didn’t know well. Another woman had recommended him, but as we were walking up to a deserted landmark in India, I realized that I was all alone with a stranger. I was young and foolish. Fortunately, everything turned out fine. 🙂

  3. JccKeith says

    The dumbest thing I did, that I still realize was overly stupid was I carried my hotel key, money and the kids snacks, etc. in a small backpack as we were at a zoo. The backpack was cutting into my shoulders so I took it off when we reached a bench in an enclosed area. The kids are very distracting and took off quickly so we left the enclosed area quickly and I left the backpack on the bench. It had a few hundred dollars in cash in it and my ID. Fortunately, two older women who had been just behind us found the backpack, complete with cash and ID. They approached us and recognized me from the ID and returned the backpack complete with cash and all. Stupid yes, lucky – very much so!

  4. Julie You Jest says

    …”future Darwin Award candidate.” No kidding. That’s some crazy stuff. On a side note – I just posted award nominees for ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’. You’re so on the list!
    Julie You Jest recently posted…Very inspiring…Who? Me!?

  5. says

    I don’t know why, but I seem to take far more dangerous risk when I travel than I ever would at home. It should be the other way around. I love the photos and your stories. I am a new follower from the challenge and I am delighted that I found your awesome blog.

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