Top 10 Craziest Wildlife Encounters on Private Lands | askBAMLand

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Imagine finding a bear lounging in your hot tub!

You're not alone in experiencing the unexpected thrill of wildlife on private property.

Wildlife encounters can range from the startling to the surreal, especially when animals venture into human spaces.

Whether it's a deer in the living room or a python in the toilet, these stories are testament to the unexpected nature of wildlife behavior.

We have gathered insights from across the country to bring you reliable and fascinating accounts of human-animal interactions.

Trust us to guide you through some of the most jaw-dropping encounters that have occurred on private lands, ensuring you're well-informed about the wild side of home life.

Key Takeaways

  • Wildlife encounters on private property can be surprising and memorable.
  • These experiences highlight the adaptability and unpredictability of animals.
  • Understanding these encounters enhances our awareness and coexistence with nature.

Table of Contents

Mountain Lion in the Backyard (California)

Ever imagined sipping your morning coffee, only to find a wild mountain lion chilling on your patio chair?

Well, for some California residents, this isn't just a wild fantasy—it's a reality!

Homeowners in areas such as Agoura Hills and La Verne have reported sightings of these majestic cats right in their backyards.

Picture this: you’re peering out your window and there it is, a cougar, just taking a leisurely nap on your outdoor furniture.

Surprising, right?

These encounters might sound exceptional, but with wildlife crossings planned for the future, like the Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, they're becoming more and more frequent.

If you're living near mountain lion territory, being vigilant is part of your daily routine, especially if there have been sightings in your area.

There’s a real need for peaceful coexistence as these natural habitats overlap with human settlements.

Here's a quick run-down:

  • Location: Private lands in California (Agoura Hills, La Verne, and others).
  • Visitors: Uninvited but awe-inspiring mountain lions.
  • Activities: Lounging and, believe it or not, taking naps in backyards.

Keep your pets close, and who knows, maybe you'll have your own story to share about the day a mountain lion decided to crash your backyard barbecue.

Stay safe out there, and enjoy the wilder side of Californian living!

Bear in the Hot Tub (Colorado)

Ever imagined stepping into your backyard and finding a fuzzy uninvited guest having a spa day?

That's exactly what happened to one homeowner in Colorado!

Picture this: a black bear, seemingly unbothered by the human world, makes itself right at home in a hot tub.

What do you do?

Grab your camera, because this is a sight to tell your friends about!

Now, in the cozy mountainous terrains of Colorado:

  • Black bears are not too shy.
  • They number between an estimated 17,000 to 20,000.
  • Encounters, while rare, can be quite the anecdote.

On this particular day, the bear must've thought, "Why not enjoy some of the finer things in life?" And rightly so!

It probably went like this:

  1. Saunter up to the tub.
  2. Do a little bear assessment, perhaps a sniff or two.
  3. Decide it's the perfect spot to relax.

You'd think a bear's natural habitat is the wild, but apparently, a warm soak is universal creature comfort.

Here's the surprising part: black bears are actually quite common in Colorado, and while they usually stick to forests and less populated areas, sometimes curiosity (or is it the search for relaxation?) leads them to explore human territory.

Don't worry, the hot tub bear visit ended well.

After a good soak, this chilled-out bear returned to the forest, likely refreshed and ready to take on the bear world.

Remember, if you're ever in a similar "bear-y" surprising situation, keep your distance and let nature's unexpected guests enjoy their moment—just maybe from behind a window.

Alligator in the Swimming Pool (Florida)

Imagine waking up to find an 11-foot long, 550-pound houseguest splashing in your backyard pool—and it's not your Uncle Bob!

In Florida, this scenario isn't as outlandish as it sounds.

Home to over 1.3 million gators, these prehistoric neighbors sometimes forget their boundaries and decide on a pool day at your expense.

Have you ever considered your pool as a cool oasis perfect for gators?

Well, a soaked and startled Florida family did when they found an enormous gator leisurely backstroking where they usually float on their unicorn raft!

It seems even alligators can’t resist a refreshing dip in Florida’s heat.

Here’s what happened:

  • A Florida family awoke to the sound of loud splashing.
  • They discovered an 11-foot alligator taking over their swimming pool.
  • Wildlife officials were promptly called to handle the situation.

This incident shines a light on the wild side of Floridian life, where coming face-to-face with native wildlife is just another Tuesday.

Picture the sight: a gigantic alligator doing laps in the shimmering blue waters of a family’s pool.

While it’s a sight to behold, remember safety comes first.

If you find yourself hosting such an unexpected pool party, it’s best to let the pros handle the guest list.

  • Location: Florida, USA
  • Wildlife Encounter: Alligator in a residential swimming pool
  • Alligator Size: 11 feet, 550 pounds

Fun Fact: Did you know that alligators prefer freshwater environments like swamps and marshes?

But hey, when in Florida, a private pool will do just fine!

So, if you live in the Sunshine State, perhaps keep an extra eye on your pool.

You never know who might decide to dive in uninvited!

Elk Crashing Through Windows (Montana)

Have you ever had unexpected guests?

Well, imagine the surprise of a Montana homeowner when an actual elk decided to RSVP by crashing through their living room window!

What a pane, right?

Luckily, the story doesn’t end with a hoof-shaped imprint on the sofa.

This bewildered four-legged visitor was safely ushered back to the wild by local wildlife officials.

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Montana, where elk populations are prominent.
  • Encounter: A displaced elk broke into a home through a window.
  • Resolution: Wildlife authorities guided the elk outside, unharmed.

Let's look at the numbers.

Montana's vast wilderness is home to a hefty elk population.

In some areas, such as the Crazy Mountains, the elk numbers have grown significantly.

With more than 4,100 head recorded in 2019 in certain districts, it's no real shocker that these wildlife interactions are on the rise—even if they're taking a leap into our personal space!

What to do if you're in a similar scenario?

  1. Stay calm and don't approach the animal.
  2. Contact local wildlife officials immediately.
  3. Keep a safe distance until help arrives.

Remember, these majestic creatures aren't trying to redecorate your living space.

More often than not, incidents like these stem from disorientation or the search for habitat.

So, next time you hear a crash, it might just be one of Montana's finest, making an unconventional entrance!

Can you blame them for wanting to see how the other half lives?

Moose in the Basement (Alaska)

Ever had unexpected company drop in?

Well, imagine your surprise if that guest was a moose!

That's exactly what happened to an Alaskan homeowner when a young moose took a tumble through their basement window.

Talk about an oversized houseguest!

Here's the scoop: this furry intruder wasn't seeking shelter or a warm place to crash.

It was a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Wildlife officials stepped in for what you might call a 'moose rescue mission.' They tranquilized our confused friend, ensuring its safety and the homeowners'.

It isn't every day you find wildlife mingling in your man cave or mooching off your minibar.

But in Alaska, where moose roam, sometimes the wild comes knocking—or in this case, crashing!

Could you imagine calling in this scenario?

  • Caller: "Hi, there's a moose in my basement."
  • Operator: "A... what now?"

Thankfully, the moose tale has a happy ending.

Teams of firefighters, wildlife troopers, and Fish and Game biologists banded together for the rescue.

And you thought your house parties had wild guests!

So, what can you take away from this?

If you’re in Alaska, always expect the unexpected, and maybe reinforce those basement windows.

Just in case a moose mistakes them for an open invitation.

Coyote in the Kitchen (Illinois)

Picture this: You're cooking dinner, the aroma fills the kitchen, and suddenly you have an unexpected guest—not of the human kind, a coyote!

Sounds crazy, right?

Well, in a suburban neighborhood in Chicago, a homeowner had a real-life "coyote in the kitchen" experience.

It seems that these clever canines are not only adept at roaming our streets and parks but can also find their way into our homes.

Here's the scoop on what went down:

  • The coyote, likely on the prowl for something to snack on, managed to sneak into the home.
  • The quick-thinking homeowner didn't try to play hero but instead contained the wild visitor in the kitchen. Smart move!
  • The authorities were called in, and they safely captured the startled coyote.
  • With a successful catch and release, the coyote was returned to the wild, far from any other home kitchens.

Fun Coyote Facts:

  • Coyotes in Illinois eat small rodents (41.8% occurrence), fruits (22.7%), and even deer (22.0%).
  • They adapt to urban environments, sometimes too well, as our kitchen tale proves.
  • Coyotes can be recognized by their gray or red-gray fur, often with a black stripe, and a black-tipped fluffy tail.

So, if you live in coyote country, keep an eye out.

You don't want your home turned into a wildlife diner.

Remember to secure your doors and maybe give your furry neighbors a respectful distance—for safety and to avoid any surprise kitchen meet-ups.

After all, they might not be after your cooking—they've got their own menu in mind!

Deer in the Living Room (Michigan)

Have you ever had an uninvited guest?

How about one with hooves?

In a surprising twist, Michigan residents found themselves hosting a deer in their living room!

Imagine sitting back to relax and suddenly a deer comes crashing through the window.

The Incident:

  • Location: A cozy living room in Michigan
  • Unexpected Visitor: One confused deer

What Happened?

  • A deer, likely disoriented, broke through a window.
  • The living room became an impromptu forest for the startled deer.
  • Before anyone could say "Oh deer!", the place was turned topsy-turvy.


  • Furniture knocked over
  • Belongings scattered

Happy Ending:

  • Wildlife officials arrived on scene.
  • Safely removed the deer with minimum fuss.
  • No animals or people were harmed

Did You Know?

Deer are powerful creatures and can easily jump high fences.

While encounters like these are rare, they remind us that wild nature can sometimes leap right into our domestic lives—literally!

Make sure to secure your home and maybe keep an eye out for those unexpected wildlife encounters.

Would you know what to do if a deer dropped in for tea?

Bobcat in the Garage (Arizona)

Ever walked into your garage expecting to find just your car and some old boxes, but instead, you're greeted by a pair of curious eyes glinting in the dim light?

Well, that's exactly what happened to one Arizona resident when they found a bobcat cozied up among their rarely used tools.

Now, let's talk safety, shall we?

Bobcats are generally reclusive creatures, but just imagine the startle of stumbling upon one where you least expect it.

The resident did the right thing — no touchy the wild kitty, folks!

They called the wildlife officials, who skillfully captured the bobcat and released it back into its natural habitat.

A win for everyone!

Bobcats, like the one whisked away from domestic life, are native to Arizona and known for their adaptability.

But ending up in a human's garage?

That's not quite their usual hangout spot.

It just goes to show, wildlife encounters on private lands can be as surprising as they are memorable.

Just picture the scene:

  • Location: Your ordinary garage in Arizona.
  • Unexpected Guest: One bobcat, looking quite at home.
  • Action Taken: Speed dial wildlife officials.
  • Happy Ending: Bobcat back in the wild!

Remember, if you're ever the host of such a wild encounter, keep your distance and call the pros.

Keep it safe, keep it wild, and hey, maybe do a quick garage check before you head in.

Who knows what other wild guests could be looking for a little shelter – though hopefully, not in your shoe rack!

Python in the Toilet (Florida)

Hey there!

Imagine this: You're half-awake, stumble into your bathroom, and there it is—a snake slithering in your toilet bowl!

Sounds like something out of a movie, right?

But for one Florida homeowner, this was a real-life encounter with a large python taking up residence in their porcelain throne.

Have you ever had an unexpected houseguest?

Well, pythons are known escape artists, and this one likely made its way into someone’s toilet as an uninvited surprise.

I bet they never anticipated needing a snake handler for a bathroom break!

What do you do in such a situation?

  • Stay calm: Seriously, it's important!
  • Don't try to handle the snake yourself: These critters can be feisty.
  • Call a professional: They have the tools and the know-how to safely remove the reptile.

Imagine the tales you would tell after this encounter!

Hosting a snake in your toilet isn’t just wild; it’s a crash course in unexpected wildlife management.

Florida surely does have its share of wildlife surprises, doesn't it?

The python, which was safely removed by a professional snake handler, reminds us that our scaly friends can pop up in the most shocking places.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the bathroom!

Keep your eyes peeled and maybe give the bowl a quick check next time—you never know what adventure awaits in sunny Florida.

Bear Breaking into Car (Colorado)

Have you ever locked yourself out of your car?

Well, you're not alone.

Imagine a black bear in Colorado doing just the same—except it got inside the car first and then got trapped!

Picture this: a curious bear sniffing around a car, and suddenly, snap, the door shuts, and it's locked in.

The state of Colorado is no stranger to wildlife encounters.

With 17,000 to 20,000 black bears roaming freely, it's no wonder they cross paths with human territories.

Here's what you might wonder, how on earth does a bear open a car door?


Bears are remarkably intelligent, and with their strong sense of smell, they're often lured by the faintest scent of snacks, leading them to become unintended burglars.

Imagine the scene:

  • A sunny Colorado day.
  • A car parked innocently by the side of the road.
  • A bear approaches, intrigued by the smell.

Now, you might chuckle at the thought of a bear turning into a 'car thief', but the reality is a bit less amusing.

After the bear locked itself inside a vehicle, the situation likely escalated from amusing to distressing—for the bear.

It's reported the animal caused significant damage to the interior before wildlife officials came to the rescue.

What can you take away from this hairy-tale?

Never leave food in your car in bear country, lest you want a furry intruder leaving a pawprint on your vehicle’s upholstery!


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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