The last few weeks I have been obsessed by sharks. Not unhealthily obsessed, just the normal amount. Or rather, the amount needed to write an article on shark safety for TAFE. I’m on holidays now, but as of this week, I’ll have to start thinking about sharks again.
Anyway, I think it was in light of this fact, that Boatman informed me that more people die from taking selfies, than shark attacks every year. Taylah looked at him strangely when he said that. ‘How can people die from selfies?’ She asked. So we talked about the stupidity of dangerous selfie taking behaviour, and I promptly jumped in with, ‘but I don’t do that.’ Because it’s important to be a good role model to your children and all.
Of course, the day after that conversation, I took the kids to our local animal park, and decided — when surrounded by kangaroos that wanted to know how much food I had — to get a selfie with every animal that I could get one with. Arguably this would be promoting fun, safe selfie taking because there were no sharks to pose with, nor any high pinnacles to balance on.
Well, it turns out, that maybe all selfie behaviour is somewhat dangerous, (and possibly narcissistic), as evidenced by the following images.
It started off easily and gently. A peacock in the background that didn’t want to play along, but is now famous anyway, as promised. (When you’re trying to get animals to take photos, you resort to promising weird things. Like cabbage leaves. And fame.)
And then there was this harmless sheep, who really just wanted someone to love him.
And of course, baby animals pose no significant threat and are perfect selfie material.
But then… well, things started to get interesting.
It began with the kangaroo who tried to eat my phone.
Which was marginally better than the emus that were just too rude to even pose for a photo, despite me running up and down the fence line with them.
And the alpaca who moments after greeting me at the fence, tried to sneeze on me.
There was also this guy. A shaggy kind of cow with some charm, apart from the fact that he has an abnormally long tongue, and could crush me with one paw.
He did pose for a selfie, although not without trying to get to first base.
Having narrowly avoided being accosted by the cow, I was slightly more cautious when I approached this rooster, who was quite intent on promoting his dominance through excessive crowing. I attempted to assert my coolness through photo taking, but he left me hanging with his nonchalance.
His donkey friend was not much better and was clearly quite disappointed that I was not the bearer of food buckets. He didn’t do anything to voice his displeasure, but if looks could chastise…
Grumpy Donkey’s complete indifference to my existence was nothing compared to how little the nearby pigs cared about my arrival. I don’t think they even raised their head and snorted in my direction. It was a little disheartening, but all was soon redeemed by the show pony of the animal park.
Enter the Ostrich.
Have you ever seen an Ostrich? They are ridiculously cool and terrifying at the same time. They’ve got this whole ‘I’m a giant bird so fear me,’ vibe happening, which they intersperse with funky feathered dance moves. I’m not going to lie; I have attempted to dance like an Ostrich more than once.
This day he had no interest in showing me how to whip or nae nae, however. Instead, it was all about inspiring the fear.
And inspire it, he did.
I survived this encounter, and it was off to feed the camels, who were exceedingly lovely. This one even deigned to pose for two photos. Although pose may mean something different to a camel than it does to a human.
We got it right the next time.
The camel was so chill, that I was almost complacent; I feared nothing, and on our way to the final enclosures, I was sure that I had passed my own challenge: safe selfie taking in an animal park. There was just one, slightly fearsome creature in the way:
The water buffalo.
Have you seen one of these things? They have massive horns on the side of their head that come out to here: *holds hands a large distance away from each other.* Getting in the picture without getting skewered in the side of the head, is not the easiest thing in the world, and definitely not the definition of safe selfie practice. Don’t try this one at home kids.
Having survived that, I was more or less home and hosed, having increased the size of my iPhone selfie album exponentially. There was only the aviary to go, and that, of course, would be totally safe. What could possibly go wrong there?
I’ll leave you with this:
The moral of this story is clear: #practicesafeselfies
Have you ever set yourself a selfie challenge?
Do you #practicesafeselfies?
Have you ever done an Ostrich dance?
Seriously though, I was very cautious of all animal behaviour and took care when approaching them, even stopping at times when I thought it prudent to. I’m all about setting the good examples while having fun.