Zookeepers Share The Craziest Thing They've Ever Seen Happen At Work
Okay so normally this is the part of the article where I have some relevant story to tell about what you're about to read. Not this time. I've never been a zookeeper, though I did really want to be when I was younger. The closest I got was working at an exotic animal vet's office - and mostly that just involved a lot of rabbit poop.
Reddit user @lukavwolf asked:
Zookeepers of Reddit, what is the craziest thing you've ever seen happen while at work?
Yeah, these stories are WAY better than any of the ones I have to tell. I mean, do you really want to hear about the time I got felt up by a skunk when you can read stories about people slipping drugs to monkeys by slipping them into a wine cooler? Monkeys drink wine coolers?!?!
Psh, yeah they do... read on, my friends.
My teacher in high school was a zookeeper. He told us a story once about when he was cleaning the penguin enclosure. Apparently male penguins will build up piles of rocks and whoever has the biggest pile is the most wanted penguin for the females to mate with. So one day my teacher was cleaning the enclosure and this one penguin used to always try to bite him and he bit him pretty hard that day so my teacher just kicked his pile down.
He said that everything after that happened in slow motions, he looked at the penguin, the penguin looked at him, all of the other penguins were staring at the rocks on the ground and then all of a sudden they all lunged for the rocks and the original penguin didn't have any more rocks.
Not a "zoo keeper", but was a primary zoologist for an "environmental learning center"
I had some nature items on display on a table while I was holding a barn owl, giving a talk about it. A couple of the objects are fairly valuable in that they are difficult or illegal to acquire; like a gopher turtle shell, drained vulture egg shell, fox skull, etc.. Some kid decides he wants to take some nature home so he slips a porcupine quill in his pocket, pointy end down, with the rest of it tucked under his shirt.
Now, if you don't know anything about porcupine quills you might think of them as just long points. This is not true. At the pointy end of a porcupine quill is a point - but there are also barbs. The barbs hook into the skin and make them difficult and painful to remove. Most animals need to be totally sedated to have it done, it's that painful.
Back to our young and hapless thief. When he goes to sit down, the quill he stole stabs him in the penis through the inside of his pocket. I remember the squealing like it was yesterday.
I volunteered at a petting zoo once, and I will never forget it. This little girl wanted to hold one of the ducklings we had, and we do let guests hold the small animals so long as they're sitting and gentle. So I bring the the duckling and being gentle with it.
Suddenly a little boy (likely her brother) runs up and appears to grab and bite the head off the duckling, and I was completely unable to react (how are you supposed to react to that?!) I was about the faint when he yells, "HA GOT YOU" and pull a glob of feathers covered in what I can assume was ketchup out of his mouth... the duckling was still in the girls arms, and she was laughing. I never volunteered at a petting zoo again.
"We Don't Eat That"
I worked Visitor Education at the New England Aquarium in Boston for a few years, so close enough.
So we had a touch tank called "Edge of the Sea" like most aquariums. It's full of tide pool animals; crustaceans, a few small flounder, and seastars (not starfish, they aren't fish but echinoderms!)
One day, this little kid took a sea star out of the tank, and put it in his pocket. Then he ran away. I was working the exhibit alone. A field trip came right up after the sea star was taken. I quickly grabbed the microphone and told everyone not to touch anything for a moment.
I ran to the next exhibit and greeted the kids mother. I told her what happened and she asked him to give back the animal. Out of nowhere, the kid takes a bite out of the sea star, spits it out and says "yuck" and then whips the rest of the animal against the wall. Mom? She just kind of weakly went "noooooo we don't eat that" to the kid.
I grabbed the body and leg. Sea Stars grow back from both. They survived.
Covered In Animal Blood
One time I was working at a museum with a live animal exhibit and a protester covered herself in animal blood. She tried to run into the building and got clothes-lined by a security guard.
Put The Tortoise Down
Had a guy try to pick up our African Spurred Tortoise (about 100lbs) that we let roam freely to show his kid he could do it, and got pissed when I told him to put the tortoise down.
Oh, and he called back later complaining that picking up the tortoise injured his back.
Valium In A Wine CoolerGiphy
I was a keeper and tour guide at a small zoo in Oklahoma and one day when I was cleaning up the barnyard I looked up and out towards the monkey enclosures and thought..."huh, that looks like a monkey walking along that fence...." and almost immediately realized who it was and what was going on. Got on the radio and alerted the entire place to the fact that one of our more dangerous capuchins was out and wondering the facility.
Moses, as the story goes, was rescued from a travelling circus after he had witnessed his owner being bludgeoned to death. We had to be very, very careful around him. He was violent and aggressive and it was instant chaos. Capuchins may be small but they are absolutely capable of maiming someone.
We escorted all the guests off property and after several hours of him approaching us and looking in the pockets of petrified zookeepers for treats, he was finally captured and put back into his enclosure.
It only took a couple of Valium in a wine cooler to make it happen, but that was by far one of the more frightening experiences I had there.
Used to work at a zoo teaching summer camps. Many of the chimps were rescues from shows and weren't very wild or shy, so would sit close to the edge of the enclosure near visitors. A couple teens were tossing rocks at them, and one chimp scooped one up that landed close by and just whipped it back. Guess what animal has better aim and can throw a hell of a lot harder than a 14 year old? Yep.
Thankfully this was in the early 90's before people sued for everything.
Out Of Funding
Worked at a zoo during one of the government shutdowns. A lady became convinced that we had run out of funding to feed the animals. She bought a bunch of meat from the grocery store and threw it, still wrapped in plastic and Styrofoam, into the lion enclosure. She got arrested and we had to quarantine the lion who ate the meat for a while.
Not really crazy, more amusing. Volunteered at a zoo, preparing the monkeys' and small apes' diets—chopping up mostly fruits, veggies, canned primate diet and insects/mealworms. I was alone in the monkey house one day, chopping away, when I got that feeling that I was being watched. We had a pair of white cheeked gibbons (found in SE Asia), and I looked up to find the female hanging from her branches, with her legs spread in what looked like a cheerleader's split and the male behind her as they mated. He was busy with the task at hand, but she was staring at me intently (probably because I was making her breakfast). She just kept staring without blinking. She didn't even seem to notice when her boyfriend was finished, she just kept staring. I went back to my chopping, and she eventually lost interest. koookoookachoo
I used to work at Sea World at the Sea Lion and Otter show. One of the young Walruses was named Kabuto and he liked to climb over the edge and waddle into the walkway in front of the crowds.
The early morning Flamingo chase was always fun because the Flamingos would always escape their enclosures. JCarnacki
Not a zookeeper, an animal rescuer who used to run a shelter. It was a poorer country and those of us with shelters tended to know/visit each other. Because of the poverty, conditions were bad, and crowding was a real issue. Probably the craziest was also the woman who had been at it longest (which made perfect sense to anyone who understood the conditions). She had over 400 dogs crowded into a space that was about the size of a US suburban back yard. Yes, it was crowded, but every one of those dogs had a name, loved that woman, and, eventually, got rehomed in a richer country through the good offices of another woman who had connections. Katya, I will never forget the amazing job you did, and Christine, you are a truly wonderful woman.
All Hail Katya!
Not a zookeeper, an animal rescuer who used to run a shelter. It was a poorer country and those of us with shelters tended to know/visit each other. Because of the poverty, conditions were bad, and crowding was a real issue. Probably the craziest was also the woman who had been at it longest (which made perfect sense to anyone who understood the conditions). She had over 400 dogs crowded into a space that was about the size of a US suburban back yard. Yes, it was crowded, but every one of those dogs had a name, loved that woman, and, eventually, got re-homed in a richer country through the good offices of another woman who had connections. Katya, I will never forget the amazing job you did, and Christine, you are a truly wonderful woman. BoredBeforeMyTime
Volunteered at a small nature exhibit, showcasing local animals. Mostly reptiles and insects, because they're easiest to house and clean up after. One exhibit had a few rattlesnakes, because they help attract visitors. Was told about how one of the volunteers would give impromptu bare-handed snake handling demonstrations with the rattlesnakes, grabbing one and bringing it out of the cage, even though there are well-posted rules against it. (Staff was in very short supply, so nobody else noticed, and this went on for a couple of weeks.) He thought he knew how to handle the snakes so he wouldn't get bit. Well, you know what happened... Luckily, the snake wasn't going for a kill bite, but just a little "hands off, buster" nip. He was able to get the snake back into the exhibit and the lock on, before having a buddy rush him to the hospital. He was still in great pain for a few days and lost just a couple of tablespoons of arm. twfeline
Little red Riding Hood you are NOT!
I work at an ecology center, so similar to a zoo and I once saw three grown men try to feed the black bears honey (one of them is named Pooh). Now, the bears were clearly hibernating, so I don't know what their goal was. All they did was get honey all over their hands and got kicked out. CStarling4
Went to Costa Rica for an ecology program, was studying sea turtles and marking where they laid their eggs. I spotted a turtle and my group went over to watch and measure and tag her. When we got close we saw that she had a fin growing out of her left back fin. It was really weird. lilchey99
I once volunteered alongside zookeepers at one of the best rated zoos in the U.S. My favorite part was that there was a kangaroo escape plan hanging up behind part of the children's zoo. There was a HUGE net and some other supplies along with detailed instructions. Apparently the kangaroos had escaped at one point and getting them back was complete hell. INeverKnowTheLyrics
Not quite a zookeeper, but I train animals at an educational facility. The craziest thing I see on the regular is this really interesting phenomenon where completely literate adults suddenly forget how to read. The sign says "please stay on the path?" Surely that doesn't apply to me. The sign says "please do not put hands inside the enclosures or harass the ambassadors?" Better stick my hand in, yell, and wave! Immediately followed by "why does that bird look so scared?" Ummm, it's because you're harassing her. /rant. tendencytodream
Please Don't Shoot!
Not a zookeeper but used to work with primates. Our alpha male primates got very attached to their female handlers/caretakers. Onsite veterinarian didn't believe me when I said that they started to furiously masturbate any time female handlers walked into their habitat.
When I finally got him to come observe morning feedings, he referred to it as "a shooting gallery." retroverted_uterus
People Break Down 'The Incident' That Happened At Their High School
A deleted Reddit user asked: 'What was “the incident” at your high school?'
Nothing has more impact on our lives than the moments of adolescence.
Everything seems to be high stakes–especially in high school–where short-term goals like being popular and voted best-looking are the coveted status.
And when teens fall short of expectations, struggle with academics, and feel like breakups are the end of the world, they don't have the wisdom yet to know things eventually get better.
It's no wonder many successful TV series like 90210 feature teens. There's plenty of drama to entertain audiences who've either been there or are going through it themselves and find many of the plotlines are relatable.
But sometimes, there are plenty of unimaginable and horrific incidents that take place and are forever ingrained as part of the high school experience.
Curious to hear from strangers online about their teenage years, an anonymous Redditor asked:
"What was 'the incident' at your high school?"
Major school incidences ranged from the bizarre to tragedy.
Prank Gone Wrong
"Senior prank, someone dumped a few hundred pounds of flour and yeast into the school indoor pool, in hopes of turning it into a giant glob of dough (I guess). It didn’t work, just caused about 100K damage to plumbing, pumps, filters, etc. Prankster never caught."
"In high school Two kids both named Logan. Both last names were very similar. One was popular and the other was not. Unpopular Logan was drunk and ran across a road in the middle of the night and was killed by a semi-truck."
"The next day the principal announced that popular Logan had died. Popular Logan was late for school."
"Everyone was very sad. Then popular Logan showed up and all school rejoiced that unpopular Logan was the one who died. Was f'ked up."
"A sophomore (my classmate) dropped unconscious in gym class and was rushed to the hospital. 3 days later they took him off life support and he died from a brain aneurysm."
"Edit to add: his funeral was held in the high school gym and damn near everyone went. Never in my life did I think I’d attend a funeral AT school."
In The Nick Of Time
"A friend of mine in high school had a brain aneurysm, also as a sophomore. He'd been complaining for a few days about sudden, brief, very intense headaches. He was on the JV football team and went to play a game. Took a hard tackle and the aneurysm ruptured."
"That actually turned out to be the luckiest possible time for it to happen, because the school always had an ambulance on call at the side of the field during football games, so he was in the hands of EMTs within a minute of people realizing something was wrong. He was rushed to the hospital, they removed part of his skull to reduce the pressure on his brain and he spent a week or two in an induced coma. But in an absolute damn miracle, he made about as complete of a recovery as one can from that kind of injury; the only long-term effect was some very minor loss of muscle control in the left side of his face, so his smile was a little crooked."
"That was back in 2000."
"He just died three weeks ago from an accidental drug overdose."
"A kid came to school with a machete and tree saw and slashed 7 students the day before Thanksgiving break."
"And a girl fell through the gym’s acoustic ceiling tiles and had to wear a halo."
Incidences were not limited to just the students.
"A science teacher was beaten, chased and fatally set on fire by her husband who then shot himself."
"A teacher at the school I attended was being chased by her abusive husband. She drove to a police station with him following and tried to go inside but the doors were locked (it was some holiday). He shot her dead there and drove off. After that they made a rule to always have someone on staff and the doors unlocked."
There's no avoiding the brutal shaming that accompanies the high school experience.
Special Gym Class
"We had so many pregnant teen girls that they had their own gym class."
"A friend of mine who had a fake leg— he had a solid metal rod from mid thigh to mid calf from childhood leukemia so he couldn’t bend at the knee, was in the same class. Just this one poor guy and 30 pregnant 16 year olds."
"I was a teenager in the late 90s and grew up in the southeastern United States. It was a suburban area where a ton of people (still) identify as Evangelical Christians, it’s also called the Bible Belt. The required sex education classes didn’t teach anything but 'Just Say No' so there were girls who thought jumping up and down would prevent pregnancy. Not kidding. These were really sheltered girls who would attend Purity Dances, so it was quite a scandal that so many were pregnant at the same time. Most of the baby daddies were just dumb teenage boys who didn’t know the facts of life."
"Remember that there was no internet at this point so it’s not like teens could get information on their own especially if they were from a super religious background. A girl on my street was 'sent away' to live with an aunt when she got pregnant."
"Also, the pregnant girl gym class was technically for the physically disabled kids, hence why my friend was the lone guy in the class."
"His leg, from what he explained to me, had cancer in the bones of his knee. They didn’t want to amputate his whole leg so they removed the knee and grafted a rod in place— this would have been back in the late 80s so I’m sure they do stuff differently now."
Students Can Be So Mean
"a girl had an epilepsy attack and she lost control of her bowels. Not a pretty sight."
"Mean girls type made fun of her, and she transferred to another high school."
Teenagers deserve more credit than they're given.
These days, they are forced to grow up fast and learn important life lessons earlier than their parents like for them to experience due to various circumstances unfolding on campus.
If they can survive high school, they can survive almost anything in life past graduation.
One would think we're in a place in time where all conversations should be easy.
But that is not the case.
So much is still too "taboo" to be truthful about.
It is so frustrating.
There is so much to discuss.
Being shy is understandable, but it's something that we can all get over.
Redditor No_One_Special34 wanted to breakdown some barriers with a few simple conversations, so they asked:
"What is a taboo subject that should be talked about more?"
"Child/infant death. When my daughter died a bunch of people just... stopped talking to me altogether."
"I'm sorry to hear about your child."
"A 7-year-old was hit by a truck last week near my son's kg. I've never met the boy but I have had nightmares about it. I can't imagine what the parents are going thru right now. I can't imagine what you are going through."
"This happened to my mom when my brother died. Nobody knew what to say so few people said anything, and then it was treated like it didn’t happen."
The Aging Process
"We are a disgustingly ageist society. No wonder people pay BILLIONS for plastic surgery, hair color, and fitness, etc to stay relevant and not be thought of as useless or 'other.' It’s so very hateful. I think our society fears old age and death. It’s a f**king pathos."
"THANK YOU! I'm a 20-year paramedic. One of the things that I really hoped COVID would shed a light on is the absolutely abhorrent treatment of our elderly and infirmed. The 'treatment' in far too many nursing homes is negligent to a criminal level."
"Household budgets and finance - how much your parents make, how much is the mortgage, car insurance, car payment, and so on."
"That's easy. House, two cars, three kids, stay-at-home wife, pets, college tuition for everyone in the bank, a summer cottage home by the lake, and a hobby like golf should all do if you're a hardworking drug dealer nowadays."
"Agreed! We have gone into detail about our finances with our kids. We have them pick jobs on LinkedIn and a home on Zillow and budget so expenses and have them watch as they realize they can't afford expensive stuff on a crap salary. It's been really great."
Look for the Signs...
"Many people tend to assume that abusive people look creepy/scary and behave badly in general, but they don't seem to get that anyone can be abusive, regardless of appearance or demeanor. An abusive person can easily be charming, attractive, funny, witty, etc."
"Just because you think someone has a few positive qualities does not mean they're incapable of abuse."
"If someone's child 'seems' happy and well behaved, it does not mean that they are automatically OK or safe. There are many signs of abuse, and I wish that more people educated themselves on this issue. We can literally save lives by doing so."
The Girl Truth
"Girls need to know everything there is to know about menstruation before they experience it. At my school we were only given a quick 'every month you will bleed out your vagina, you can use pads or tampons to absorb it.' Nothing about any of the other mental or physical effects, nothing about how to deal with them, and nothing else reassuring."
Why are girls not taught more sooner?
Like what year are we living in?
"Number one for me, especially out-of-order deaths (young deaths). My husband died when I was 33 and he was 38. It's been almost 3 years and people still struggle with how to talk to me. We need to talk about death more as a society."
Only Legal One
"Alcoholism, especially in older generations."
"The biggest drug in the world, the most dangerous, only legal one. Alcohol has been disguised to make society believe it isn't even a drug. Now we're all hooked and can't go a week without a drink, funny because the cravings come back within a week."
"I quit drinking 18 months ago and it kinda sucks because if you want to go meet new ppl or go on a date it usually involves alcohol."
"Comprehensive sex ed. My mother never had sex ed and was convinced that vaginal discharge wasn't normal and that your crotch didn't sweat."
"My mother had a condition that requires her to use a catheter. She was shocked to learn that she doesn't urinate from her vagina, and that the opening to her urethra is actually slightly above it. She's 75. I'm a dude, and I've known that since I was 14."
"She was raised Catholic, and her mother taught her nothing. Not even what her period was. She was convinced she was dying."
Follow the Money
"Financial debt. In my line of work, I see people's bank accounts and credit reports every day and it is very rare that someone has zero debt. Excluding mortgages (which is a given) the vast majority have car finance, personal loans, and credit card balances. Mostly it's manageable, credit is mostly a convenience for which a person pays interest."
"But debt can also destroy a person. It can keep you up at night feeling like you're literally suffocating. It can lead to suicide. I know because I was close at one point. I don't know if I would have actually gone through with it but I had planned it to the point of measuring rope from the timbers in my attic to my neck and to ensure my feet wouldn't touch the ground."
"If you are in debt you are not alone, you're in the majority. If it's a struggle, notify the lenders/creditors; they're legally obligated to offer options to help you. It might reduce your credit score a bit but please don't ever reduce your life instead."
"Life is precious and money isn't. If you're struggling financially please speak to someone. There is no shame in it, pretty much everyone is struggling financially so someone will understand but please don't let a credit card balance be the reason your life ends."
"Pooping and poop problems. Colon cancer is so common and relatively treatable, but like all cancers, it's so much better to catch it early - yet so many people are too embarrassed to talk about poop problems, and they don't bring it up with their doctor until it's too late."
"I have ulcerative colitis and make sure all my friends know I'm totally comfortable talking about poop if they ever have any questions about whether something happening to them is normal or concerning."
Speak more. Speak louder. We've all been quiet too long.
The Thing People Would Look For First If Given A Box Of Everything They Ever Lost
As much as we might try to take care of our things, there are going to be instances where we lose things that we love.
Ironically, those lost things might be some of the most meaningful things we have in our lives.
Redditor baba_yaga_777 asked:
"If someone offered you a box of everything you ever lost, what would you look for first?"
A Mother's Brooch
"The brooch I bought for my mom's birthday when I was five years old (60 years ago)."
"I took all my money out of my bank and walked to the local Hallmark store. The nice lady took my money (probably less than $2) and wrapped up the gift."
"When my mom opened her gift, we walked back to the store 'to thank the lady for wrapping it so nicely.' It was actually so my mom could offer to pay the rest of the cost of that beautiful brooch. The lady wouldn't accept any more money, though."
"And here we are, 60 years later, and I still remember the incredible kindness of that lady."
"I don't have the brooch or my mom, but I do have this memory."
"When we left Yemen during the civil war in 1994, it was rushed and we lost a handbag that had all family photos from 15 to 20 years prior. It sucks not to have pictures of me when I was younger."
The Perfect Fit
"My swim trunks for this summer. I just got them last year and they fit me perfectly, and now I can't find them for the life of me. It p**ses me off thinking about it."
All Progress Saved
"The 'Pokémon Crystal' game that I had leveled all of my favorite characters up to Level 80. The housecleaner swiped it and my parents wouldn’t believe me. F**k you, Julie."
Lost Loved Ones
"My daughter. She was gone way too quick."
A Beloved Baby Blanket
"My childhood blankie. I have no idea what happened to it!"
"I somehow managed not to lose or destroy mine and gave it to my firstborn child. He still keeps it in his bed and turns seven soon. I think I’d ask for that too if it was lost."
Former Best Friends
"My best friend from my formative years."
"Oof, same. She was like a sister to me. She lives on the other side of the country now and, even though we grew apart, I miss how I felt when I spent time with her."
"The stuffed platypus I had when I was in elementary. Every time my mom mentions finding stuff in my grandpa's house, I ask about it."
In Exchange for Toxic Relationships
"The self-esteem that I allowed others to destroy during a phase of illness."
"High school sketchbook full of emo edgy drawings."
The Family Ring
"My mum's ring she'd been given by her Grandma that I pawned (my mum agreed at the time but always regretted it afterwards)."
"I got way, way less than its worth, since the guy took advantage of my age and desperation. The worst thing is, I can't even remember the design so can't ever have it replicated and can't ask my mum because she passed away earlier this year."
"Sure, I still love holidays but… as a kid, it was like, 'Holy mother of everliving f**k, Halloween is in THREE WEEKS? That is entirely too long. I will never be able to wait. Holy d**n.' And when it finally arrived, I'd have the night of my life."
"Now it’s like, 'Oh no. Halloween is in two days. Uh... Oh well...'"
The Sea of Lost Picks
"As a guitarist, all of my f**king picks."
Junk Drawers and Boxes
"The box I lost that had everything in it."
Quite the Conundrum
"The issue is that I can't recall what I've lost."
We've all lost things in our lives, some more important than others.
It's especially telling that at least most of us know exactly what we would seek first, before anything else that might possibly be in that box.
People Share What Their Reaction Would Be To Meeting A Naked Hiker On The Trail
There are several things that are appealing to hikers.
Being out in nature and taking in some fresh air is a huge motivation for people to get out of the house.
Getting exercise is also a factor to maintain a healthy heart.
But there could be one unexpected element to a hike that can happen hypothetically, and it's sure to raise your heartbeat.
Specifically, seeing something shocking along the hiking trail, like, say, a naked person could make for an exciting–or disturbing–hiking outing. It certainly doesn't get any more au natural than that.
Curious to hear from strangers, Redditor spenf asked:
"What would be your reaction if you encountered a nude hiker?"
These Redditors assessed the situation and saw no harm.
"I have passed two nude hikers in my 35 years of hiking. One male, one female, years and thousands of miles apart. Both said 'hello'. I said 'hello.' One mentioned the trail was washed out ahead but a second trail has been cut. I thanked them for the heads-up. Some people like the wind and sun on their skin. Both had on hiking boots. To each their own."
Sign Of Good Character
"I have. Three times! I'm an avid backpacker and you can usually find me in Yosemite, SeKi, Emigrant or Carson-Iceberg in California on any random summer weekend."
"My standard line: 'Afternoon, I didn't realize it was so cold out today!'"
"One of them didn't get the joke. The other two laughed their nude a**es off."
"Here's my reasoning. If you're naked and can laugh at a joke, you're probably not a threat."
"Depends. A hiker with hiking boots/shoes and a backpack, but otherwise nude, or a completely nude person on a hiking trail?"
"Scenario 1: I give a friendly wave and hike on."
"Scenario 2: I give a more tentative wave and hike on, maintaining a heightened awareness of my surroundings."
"I met one once. A middle aged man in ok shape. Had nice hiking boots, thick wool socks, fancy framed backpack, two walking poles, hat, sunglasses, and nothing else on."
"I said hi in a neutral voice, he replied hi in an equally neutral voice. We passed, I did not look back."
Some hikers are suspect.
"While backpacking out of Rocky Mountain National Park we encountered a dude wearing nothing but shoes and some very small shorts. He was off trail about 100' at the edge of a meadow, walking and swinging a machete. I...did not approach. He was probably a mile in from the trail head. I'm guessing drugs."
Beware Of Black Magic
"Ha! There are a lot of superstitious rumors/stories circulating around scenario 2 in India. Apparently, people who practice black magic with the sole intent of harming someone are often seen walking naked in places you don't expect people, carrying weird items."
"Either you interrupt them by disturbing them (no clue what happens next) or you run in the opposite direction."
You may want to take note.
"I live in the Bay Area and naked hikers are not uncommon."
"Good naked hiker: has appropriate shoes, a backpack or fanny pack, is hiking with intention and looks tanned and fit and like he does this regularly. Good naked hikers will give you room so you don't have to interact unless you really want to."
"Bad naked hiker: shoeless, visible sores, scrapes, or burns, moving erratically (i.e. really slow or in a zig-zag). Might be a drugged out person. Out-of-shape or pale are indications this is not normal for them and they may not have intended for this to happen."
"Exhibitionist: makes a point to make eye contact, smile at you, wave, try to involve you. Good naked hikers are usually on long, deep trails where they're less likely to encounter others, and they tend to give clothed hikers a wide breath out of a sense of respect and consent. Exhibitionists get chummy; it excites them to be seen naked."
"Also depends on the area. A deep woods area with long trails is ideal for naked hiking. Shorter and more accessible trails are less okay because there's a higher likelihood of encountering families with children."
"Also depends on if they're with friends or not. A group of naked hikers is less concerning than an individual."
"All this boils down to:"
"If you see a naked hiker, mind your own business. A good naked hiker isn't trying to bother you. A bad naked hiker is potentially dangerous. An exhibitionist wants attention so any attention paid to them will fuel them. Best thing to do is nod as you pass and carry on like you haven't even noticed."
"Edit: There are actually areas in the Bay Area where it's permitted to hike naked. Regionally, some places allow nudity. Also some places allow women to be topless so a topless female hiker might just be evening out her tan. It's best not to assume and to know the local laws before passing judgement on a person getting their nature on."
Guilty as charged.
The Name Is A Dead Giveaway
"No reaction at all, since I would be nude myself."
"Stare in disbelief. That's just very strange and coincidental for two nude hikers to run into each other."
"I guess make sure they have sunscreen also."
To each their own, but if hiking in the nude is your thing, you do you.
And just a heads up: If you're walking around in the buff and happen to be wielding a machete, you're going to make people very jittery. So maybe drop the prop.
Also, wear plenty of sunscreen.