Wildlife Photography Gone Wrong

By Abigail T

Let’s face it, not all of us are professional nature photographers with work featured on National Geographic or David Attenborough documentaries. Most of us only have our phones on hand when we come across wildlife. Even if we’re equipped with proper camera gear, sometimes animals just do the unexpected that renders us unprepared. Unless we’re in possession of the latest iPhone model or are particularly skilled at capturing the right moments, most of these shots will end up pretty lousy. Although let’s face it, they can be really funny, too. From upturned ducklings to accidental close-ups of penguin feet, terrified egrets, to ferocious felines, the rest of this article is dedicated to wildlife photos that are so bad it’s hilarious.  

Skunk Battalion

Did you know there’s a Facebook group dedicated to crappy wildlife photography? This eerie shot is just one of the many posts on there. This person’s cat Bailey ran away from home, so naturally, the thing to do is to set up a trail cam.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Joie Mattioli

This shot looks like it was taken on a freaky night safari. They finally found Bailey hanging out with a group of skunks. From this angle, it looks like Bailey is riding on the backs of these skunks into battle. Better be careful retrieving Bailey from the group! Wouldn’t want to get sprayed with skunk stink.

Giant Bird

Here’s what happens if you shoot with your camera at f/16. It creates lots of depth of field, making your object the main focus of the photo. We can assure you this bird is regular-sized. It just so happened to be parked on the hood of the photographer’s car.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/AP Hovasse

Because the bird was so close to the camera, and the camera was set to f/16, it ended up looking like a giant compared to the humans walking behind it. It does look like a King Kong situation. Better hope it doesn’t pluck you up and take you away with it!

Fri-deer Kahlo

This deer just got caught eating out of the bird feeder, but that’s not why we’re laughing! Look at the thick brows that he is sporting. The unibrow is reminiscent of the famous painter Frida Kahlo, don’t you think?

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Michelle Evans

Are we the only ones who think the unibrow is shaped like a W? Looks like that W stands for win, because this deer has truly won. He seems very satisfied with himself and the fact that he managed to steal some grub from the birds.

Hitching a Ride

This is why you should be careful when camping or traveling to an area with wildlife around. Pro tip: don’t forget to double-check that all doors are closed shut before leaving your car. Otherwise, you may end up with a bear in the boot waiting to hitch a ride with you back to the city.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Courtney Van Velse

Hopefully, they managed to call the park ranger and lure the bear out. We wonder what the bear was looking for in the boot in the first place. Maybe just a place with shade to chill on a hot day?

A 2021 Mood

If 2020 got the best of you, then this is probably what you look like coming into the new year. With a global pandemic and recession raging, we don’t blame you. This elephant seal feels the same way that we all do.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Amy Adair-Behr

A couple of travelers were out on the beach trying to spot some elephant seals. When their attempts brought no success, they decided to head back home, when one of them nearly bumped into a hibernating seal, thinking it was a blubbery rock. Imagine the shock!

Penguin Nuptials

People visit Antarctica for a number of different reasons, studing the penguins being one of them. But no one can ever expect to witness the joining of two penguins in holy matrimony next to the waters of the Antarctic.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Shelley Sandusky

With its back facing the camera, the penguin looks to be the minister performing the ceremony, and the happy couple even seems to be holding hands. This can either be a wedding or a gossipy chat session between bipeds.

Balancing Act

We’ve heard of mountain goats that are able to scale the sides of steep mountains. But have you ever heard of tiny deer that can balance on the top of a fence? Well, you’re in luck because we have photographic proof of them here.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/George Silvaney

Just kidding, they’re not actually walking on the fence. They’re not exactly tiny either. They are your average deer friends. This is just the result of the exact distance and angle of the camera. Had you fooled there, didn’t we?

A Majestic Moment?

It’s annoying that the quality of this photo is impeccable. And yet, it is essentially a photo of an eagle relieving itself. It looks like it is very proud of itself for doing it on the ground and not overhead.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Autumn Schrock

At least it pooped in front of the photographer and not on her. You take the little wins with wildlife photography because you’ll never know what the animals around you will do. We do wonder why out of all the possible shots the photographer could have possibly taken, why this one?

Wendigo Haunting

Warning: the following photo has the ability to haunt you in your dreams. We’re not responsible for the nightmares you will get after you see this. This is what a woman found in front of her door one night after hearing a noise and thinking it was the friendly raccoon that had been rummaging in her trash cans for a while.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Lulis Leal

She was not expecting to be greeted by a Wendigo when she opened the door. Wendigos are mythological creatures originating from Canadian folklore. This may just be a stray deer, but it may also be the first Wendigo spotting with a pretty clear photograph to show for!

Terrified Terry

This is Terry, an egret from Egypt. We don’t know what has Terry in such a state, but whatever it is, we trust that it’s horrifying. Maybe Terry is looking down at the year 2020 and thinking, “What a disaster!”

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Doaa belal Abdelhamed

Or maybe Terry is foreseeing the future of 2021 and thinking, “It’s even worse than before!” God, we hope not. Fly away, Terry. Fly away, ideally somewhere you won’t see anything that scars you for life! If there ever were a photo to sum up this period in time, this would be it.

Tripped On a Pipe

Arguments happen in any marriage, and the couple who own this house is no different. Today, they were arguing about who left the pipe in the middle of the path to the front door. Except maybe it wasn’t a pipe after all…

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Cindy Lane

After tripping in the dark, the wife complained that her husband had left the pipe lying around. The outside lights weren’t on, and she couldn’t see where she was going. When her husband adamantly said he had properly stored the pipe away, the wife went to prove him wrong, when lo and behold, they discovered it was actually a snake.

One Last Shot

Wildlife photography is an art form that truly takes patience. It’s even more testing when you’re using an analog camera, and you have one last shot on your roll of film. This photographer used up his last shot on a burping deer.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Sebastian Stern

The photographer spent almost 30 minutes on his stomach on a cold winter morning. He was crawling in frozen mud, trying not to make any sudden moves that would alert this deer. When he finally had his opportunity, the deer looked straight at him and burped just as he pressed down on the shutter.

Warning Sign

Whenever you see a warning sign about animals, be it about the scary dog behind the gate or the instruction to not feed the ducks, it’s best practice to heed it. This sign about the geese is no exception. You just have to keep walking.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Ki Choi

This photo proves that there’s no such thing as a “silly goose.” They’re very aggressive animals, and this one, in particular, seems to have something against this man’s backpack. He’s right to keep walking though, because who knows what could have happened if he had fought back?

Catch Gone Wrong

Sometimes when you play a game of catch, the ball gets thrown a little too far, and you have to look around to find it. Imagine finding your ball stuck, not in a gutter, not on somebody’s roof, but on the antlers of a blacktail deer.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Taylor Borth

Two things. First, that’s a pretty sturdy ball to not pop in between the deer’s antlers. Second, don’t worry about the deer. They lose their antlers every year, and they will naturally regrow, so this guy won’t have to carry the ball for too long.

Lady and the Tramp, Swamp Edition

Yes, yes, we know Lady and the Tramp didn’t take place in the swamp. But this wildlife photo may very well be a recreation of the infamous spaghetti scene, although it involves two animals from a totally different species.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Katrina Page

We have to wonder, who could have possibly dropped spaghetti in a swamp? Who thought it would be a good idea to have a picnic near crocodile-infested waters? Either way, we’ll forgive them because it does make for this hilarious moment between the croc and the turtle.

Somebody Needs a Sweater

You don’t normally associate Canada with exotic animals, but this squirrel roaming around the Northern Bruce Peninsula looks as exotic as they come. You’ve seen hairless cats, but have you ever seen hairless squirrels? Somebody get this little guy a sweater!

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Katrina Page

Fortunately for him, though, he doesn’t have to deal with the mange that comes with having fur. Possibly our favorite part about this squirrel is the fact that it’s completely hairless except for its tail, which is still completely bushy.

Brunch Guest

Having a nice patio near the woods has its perks. It makes you feel like you’re right there in nature. It’s the perfect spot to chill, eat, and rest. It seems like the owner of this patio isn’t the only one to think so.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Paola Parigi

This fox just wandered in one morning and plopped right down on the sofa as if it was meant to be there all along. It’s looking over its shoulder at the human that just walked in as if it’s saying, “Sorry to barge in, darling, but I will be joining you for brunch.”

Torpedo Bird

Did anyone else know that birds have the ability to spin their heads at high speed, as seen below? The camera couldn’t even capture its face, and it ended up looking like it has a torpedo attachment on it.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Ann Marie Jacobson

Birds spin their head to improve their sight. They can rotate their heads up to an impressive 2,700 per second, which is what you are seeing here. This act makes this bird look like it only has one giant eyeball, which is pretty creepy.

Just One For the ‘Gram

You would think that most teenagers on vacation would be snapping hundreds of photos for the gram. This Facebook user thought the same about his son, but apparently, she thought wrong. Instead of showing her many photos from the trip, he just showed her this one.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Rachel Heffington Pross

Out of everything he could have taken a photo of on the coast, he decided the footprints of a sea bird on the sand would be the one to represent the trip best. To each their own, I guess! We just hope he doesn’t actually post this on Instagram.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Ten points go to anyone who can guess what animal this is correctly. We definitely won’t get it right. Is it a cat? Is it a raccoon? Or maybe a small dog? Either way, we wonder what was so precious that it was worth sticking its head inside a trash can.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Nino Mskhiladze

We hope this creature manages to retrieve whatever it is it was looking for. But more importantly, we hope its paws and tail are strong enough to support them while they dangle down the bin. Wouldn’t want it to fall into the trash completely!


It looks like there’s a Peeping Tom at the window. Somebody is curious to see what goes on in the day-to-day life of a working woman. In fact, he is so curious that he didn’t mind dangling off a ledge.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Cheyenne Wright-Austin

Maybe he was following the turkey sandwich this woman had packed for lunch and was just trying to see if he could have a bite. Or maybe he simply wanted shelter from the heat. If that’s the case, somebody let him in!

“Can We Keep Him?”

Imagine a goose walking up to you with a seagull in its mouth. He’s carrying the bird by the tail, and the seagull is helpless, but the goose refuses to let it go. It’s the equivalent of your kid looking at you with pleading eyes at the pet store.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Emma George

“Mom, can we keep him?” This goose doesn’t look like he’s about to give up. He’ll keep his hold on the poor seagull until someone tells him that yes, sweetheart, we can bring him home. Animals can be so ridiculous sometimes!

King of The Trees

This squirrel is the equivalent of the stereotypical grumpy old man, telling the kids and neighbors to get off his lawn and leave him alone. He’s the fattest squirrel in the yard, and he is very protective over his tree and territory.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Liz Fischer

He eats from this house and the neighbors, and he chases away any other creature that comes to take his food or his spot. No wonder he’s fat! It may be a lonely existence, but at least he’s nutritionally satisfied.

Bobcat Sighting

Animals may have night vision, but phone cameras haven’t reached that ability yet. The photo below is the result of trying to capture a creature, possibly a bobcat, using only a phone camera. Do you see it staring back at you?

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Chris Altis

If you turn your screen’s brightness to maximum, you can somehow make out an outline of a creature. But all you can really see are its two glowing eyes. It is both freaky and hilarious, as anyone looking at this picture without context would be really confused!


A couple of coworkers were on a regular winter’s day at work. The task at hand was to check on wood duck boxes. They thought it would be a one and done job, but they weren’t prepared for what would jump out at them when they opened the boxes.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Shasta Slade

Mice! They nest in the duck boxes for the winter time, which is very smart of them to do. They weren’t too happy that their rest was disturbed, though. Look at this particular one biting into this guy’s trousers.

Grim Reaper Duo

Vultures are ominous creatures no matter where you see them. They’re usually circling overhead around a carcass or digging into one. They are generally bad omens, and so when you see them in a hospital courtyard, you would be a little worried.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Hami Sayyadioskoie

These two may just be hanging out or stopping by after a good meal. You know, finding somewhere to chill and nap. We’re sure that it’s just coincidental and that they mean no harm visiting the one place that witnesses death daily…

Possum Signal

Batman has no place in this neighborhood. No, no. We trust the Possum here, and in times of trouble, we blast the Possum Signal on the trees. Whether it’s a garbage emergency or just a child in need of entertainment, the Possum will save the day.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Amy Fisher Rosaaen-McDonald

Some people are skeptical, though. They believe the occasional possum-shaped shadow that appears every night is actually someone’s Patronus. We’re not sure if there even are possum Patronuses, but we won’t deny the possibility.


When you’re a delivery guy, dropping off parcels at people’s homes can come with surprises. Sometimes the owners can be out, but you can see a pet peeking through the window behind a curtain. Or you can come across this little guy.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Freya Hogan

The sound of the delivery van probably scared this bunny away. We give it an A for effort as it tried to hide behind this tiny tree. Don’t worry, little guy, your camouflage is working, and nobody’s going to hurt you!

“Can I Help You?”

Sometimes you want to go on an undisturbed photo walk in nature. Sometimes you just want a photo of the ground on a soggy autumn day. Other times, a bird gets in your shot and refuses to move until you take its photo.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Jonica Palmer

It’s comical the way this bird’s head is in the shot. It probably noticed there was an intruder on its turf and came out to confront him. “Excuse me, can I help you?” it said, staring into the abyss of the camera lens.

Upturned Girl

She’s been living in an upturned world! This poor duck woke up thinking it was going to be her regular day at the pond, but the stream had other plans. We hope she hasn’t been upturned like this for too long!

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Ellen Hickey

We do appreciate the person who took this photo for providing us with content that makes us laugh. But we do also hope they quickly put the phone away and helped this duck get back to being the right side up.


Here’s an inside look of a pelican’s mouth, from the tip of its beak all the way to its tonsils. Our guess is this pelican was hungry when it saw the photographer’s lens. “Squawk!” it said, “is that food I see?”

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Emma McAleese

The way it looks from the shot, the pelican managed to get a portion of the camera lens in its beak somehow. Pretty impressive, eh? We hope it found some other sustenance after this attempt at munching down an inanimate object.

Wrong Object

Bird watching groups can be a little snobby, can’t they? Their knowledge of avifauna is impressive, and they’re able to tell different varieties of birds apart. But when this rather incredible photo was posted to a Facebook group, nobody batted an eye or gave the photo a like.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Rachel Balding

Okay, maybe you can’t actually see the birds at first glance, or even at a closer look. But surely you can appreciate the quality of the shot? It is objectively a good photo, and you can actually see the two birds perched at the top of the tree.


This photo is the embodiment of the stereotypical raccoon rummaging around in public trash bins. We wonder what these little guys are trying to find when they dig around in the trash. Leftover burgers? An unfinished can of Sprite?

Photo courtesy of Facebook

This raccoon, in particular, looks a little bit lost, if you ask us. Maybe he’s realized that there’s nothing he can eat in there. Can somebody give him a hand so he can continue scouring for food somewhere else?

Raccoon on Stilts

Here’s another piece of raccoon content for you. In the day, they dig through your trash bins, but nobody quite knows what they get up to in the evenings. Until, of course, you take a picture of the trees with the flash on.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Lindsay Sletten

This raccoon may be balancing itself in between two trees, but it looks more like it’s walking on stilts. Imagine seeing the stuff of big top circuses in your own back yard. Unfortunately, its ominous glowing eyes also makes it look like it’s about to attack. Run for cover!

2020 Tree Topper

It’s 2021, and the tree doesn’t have to be topped with a star anymore. You can go with this more natural option of a stick bug instead. It’s lean, barely visible from afar, and actually moves around. It’s objectively a better choice.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Brandi Rose

Just kidding. This stick bug might have come with the tree and decided to stick around wink wink. It looks like it’s wearing a suit with a tail, and the way its arms are outstretched has us thinking that it may be conducting an orchestra playing Christmas music.

Badger Attack

Sure, this little guy may look calm and innocent. But the woman who took this photo quickly learned not to cross him. This was the last photo she managed to take before the badger chased her madly up a hill.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Rachel Heffington Pross

This woman had wanted to take a photo of a hawk nearby, not realizing that this badger was close to her. When it started chasing, she barreled towards her husband, who was in the car. But her husband thought she was being chased by hornets or bees, and he drove away!

“Hello, Humans”

Care to guess what kind of creature this is? It’s not a penguin or a dog, although we see a vague resemblance. It’s actually a curious elephant seal pup, peaking through a fence and at the fascinated humans behind the camera.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Alana-Jayne Moore

We aren’t sure why this little guy isn’t near the water, and another question that you’re probably wondering is why they’re called elephant seals. That’s because you can’t see its nose in this picture. Elephant seals actually have trunk-like noses resembling that of an elephant. Isn’t that intriguing?

Bug Photobomb

Nature does have a way of taking you by surprise. This was meant to be a shot of a lone peony bud waiting to bloom. It’s a gorgeous magenta and will soon become a beautiful flower. But this bug wanted to join the party.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Ayn Generes

Can’t let the fauna take all the fame! The bug flew in as the photographer pressed down on the shutter. The photo now looks like this bug is here admiring the peony bud. Honestly, same. It is very pretty indeed.

A Happy Camper

All animals really want in life is food and shelter. This big bird has a spring in his step after having been fed by the photographer. You may not be able to see his face, but you can just tell that he’s a happy camper.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Blujay Emnott

As tempting as it is to feed birds, you should also be careful. Some of them can be really aggressive. You may mean well, but they may end up attacking you! This is just one of the rarer occasions of a tame and thankful birdie.

Moose Caboose

Lesson learned for this photographer: never try to photograph an animal from behind. It may bend down and reveal a lot more than you care for. This moose may have looked majestic from the front, but once it bent down to have a drink, there’s nothing graceful about it.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Dusty Repaskey

Let’s try to find something positive from this experience. It is still a good quality photo, no matter what is on display. Also, at least now we know this is a male moose? Either way, this is only one of many shots of a moose’s caboose.

A Bit Sus

At a glance, this may look like a photo of an innocent eagle. But the more you look at it, the more you realize it looks like it knows something we don’t. In all seriousness, this eagle looks a little sus to us.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/David Chang

He looks like that one uncle who’s always drunk at family gatherings, sitting in the corner of the room. What does he see through that piercing gaze? Do you think it knows that 2021 won’t be much better than 2020? If so, it’s reason to be a little bit worried.


What are we supposed to be looking at here? It can be difficult to tell at first. There’s a lone bird feeder hanging in mid-air. And then there’s a squirrel that isn’t the flying kind but seems to be flying.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Leslie A. Sarazan

We’re guessing what happened was that the photographer wanted to take a photo of the squirrel happily munching on the bird feeder. But the sound of shoes on the grass or the shutter clicking shocked the squirrel, and it jumped away to safety.

A Bit of Light Reading

We were confused as to what creature this is. But thanks to the smart people in the comments, we can now tell you exactly what it is. It’s called a kinkajou, a rainforest mammal, also known as a “honey bear.”

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Emma Atticus Harper

Little kinkajou here fancied a bit of light reading before he went back up his tree and tucked himself into bed. Not many people read physical books before bed nowadays, opting to be on their phones instead. We should all follow the kinkajou’s example.


What’s funny about this photo isn’t so much the squirrel as it is the story behind it. This Facebook user’s father has dementia and has trouble remembering that squirrels are called squirrels, so he calls them by his own nickname for them.

Photo courtesy of Facebook/MacKenzie Ferguson

Funnily enough, his nickname for them is A-hole. Honestly, dad’s not entirely wrong. While they can be cute and adorable at times, squirrels can indeed be a-holes, stealing food, following you around, and even attacking you for no apparent reason!