Weird and Wonderful Wildlife: Visit Unusual Animals in their New Habitats

June 1, 2016

Animal lovers rejoice. We've rounded up five places to put on your bucket list where you'll see wild animals in unusual habitats.

Summer’s fast approaching and we’re in need of some off-the-wall ideas for places to visit. If you’re an animal lover like we are, what could be better than seeing wild creatures in new found habitats? Some are even in Europe. Score. From swimming pigs in the Caribbean to wallabies on the Isle of Man, discover our top five places to see weird and wonderful wildlife.

1. Catch a Glimpse of a Wallaby on the Isle of Man

Wallabies in the Isle of Man.

Escapees from a wildlife park, the wallaby population of the Isle of Man is increasing year upon year. Establishing themselves on the island has been easy with the expansive fields of lush grasslands, foraging for willow and yummy shrubs. And with no predators or competitors to contend with, it’s a win-win. Rent a car with Easycar and head on a guided nature walk for optimum chance of spotting them hop about. 

2. Swim with Pigs in the Bahamas

Pigs swimming in the sea in The Bahamas.

Off the archipelago of Exuma, Big Major Cay is home to little hairy pigs who were originally captured by sailors a long, long time ago and left behind to fend for themselves. They adapted to island life pretty quickly (who wouldn’t?), where they roam freely on land and swim happily in the sea. Sounds like bliss to us. If you fancy staying on their island, check out Booking.com for a range of properties, from hotels to holiday homes in Exuma

3. Run from Wild Boar in East Sussex

Wild boar in the woodlands of East Sussex.

A sounder of wild boar are roaming the countryside of East Sussex. Wild Boar were hunted to extinction many centuries ago but then these hairy pigs escaped from a local farm, seeking a better life. They are recolonising themselves in the areas they vanished from. Locals aren’t that happy though, as they can cause quite a mess in gardens and can get aggressive when faced with a walker rambling off the beaten trail. Scary. Their striped piglets rate very highly on the cute scale though. Just take note to keep a reasonable distance.

We'd recommend staying in Washington Corner Cottage and head out on a walk in local woodlands to catch a sighting.  

4. Admire the Parrots and Parakeets in Barcelona

Beautiful parrots in Barcelona.

Beloved family pets who’ve flown the coop are causing a stir in picturesque Barcelona. As common as its pigeons but a lot prettier, the city's colourful wild parrots and parakeets love to eat out of the palm of your hand but they drive locals mad with their incessant noise. Becoming a little aggressive, they eat flowers, grass, dates, juniper berries, fruit, eucalyptus bark and bread thrown to them by animal enthusiasts like us who encourage their behaviour. Sorry, Barcelona but they are just too darn lovely. Fly over to see them for yourself with flights to Barcelona from London from £90 return. 

5. Hop over to Rabbit Island in Japan

Two rabbits from Rabbit Island in Japan.

The Japanese island of Okunoshima’s main attraction is its fluffy, long-eared wild bunnies. Home to 700, these little critters roam freely in numbers – furry gangs if you will – and are happy to get up, close and personal with people. 

Okunoshima Island accommodation can be found on Expedia so you don't have to slum it with the rabbits. 

Have any sightings to add to the list? Tweet us @Travioor or post on our Facebook

Jenny McFarlane
Born in Belfast, Jenny’s lived in Albania and Washington DC. Now in London, she loves to plan trips away with friends and travels as often as she can. From joining a motley crew on a yacht in Croatia to walking on the wild side in Borneo, she's always up for new adventures. Follow her on Twitter @jennykmac