Animals, or Lack Thereof: Theme Thursday

There are no animals in Korea.  (Uh, wait.  That seems hyperbolic, even for me.)

There are no wild animals in Korea. (Still not right.)

There are very few wild animals in Korea and next to none in Daegu.  (There, I believe that’s an accurate statement.)  I could have taken picture of poodles in strollers, but er, um, no.  Oh!  Once I saw a kid bring a hedgehog to the playground!  And it was really cool until all the other excited kids scared it under the pirate ship play structure and as far as I know it was never heard from again.  Sad.

Something interesting: the cultural significance of the tiger in Korean folklore.  We have borrowed this book from the library, Korean Children’s Favorite Stories, many times and love it.  Tigers feature heavily among the old tales.

In the Public Domain

Have I mentioned we went to the Philippines a few weeks back?  I did?  Are you sure?  Hmm, I hardly remember mentioning that.  Anyway, when we went to the Philippines, we landed at a semi-rural airport, hopped into a van taxi, and drove along rural dirt roads until we came to our seaside resort.  In that 45 minute trip, we saw more animals that we have seen in the entirety of our life here in Korea.
Water buffalo topped the list, but also turkeys, chickens (roaming free), sheep, goats, cows, (tethered, rather than fenced), and then we we arrived at our hotel: dogs, geckos, lizards, birds, and frogs.  So many frogs that if you walked around at twilight you were likely to be startled by one or two jumping away from you.  Or in my unlucky sister-in-law’s case, directly at you as you try to escape them.

Some highlights:

f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

After Tuesday’s post, are you really that surprised?  And yes, I am the kind of mom that needs to take a picture before taking him down.

Oh, Ezekiel.
f/4, 1/250, ISO 1250

And because… well, just because.  Someone had to document it, so here you go.  This was taken at an indoor playground in a mall in Iloilo, PI.

The Pet Store
f/4, 1/160, ISO 1600  (Auto mode, I believe.)

Bet you $100 I’m on PETA’s watch-and-boycott list now…

Love animals?  Well then, head on over to Clan Donaldson for more animals, with (hopefully) less animal cruelty!


  1. Those pufferfish are both horrifying and fascinating. Were they dead?

  2. I think Ezekiel counts as a wild animal in Korea 😉

  3. yes..more info on the poor puffers. Are they dirty and dead?

  4. I love the picture of your little boys climbing the fence to get to the cow. Just adorable! Such a boy thing to do as well. Just love it.

  5. So, I’m trying to understand that pet shop picture. Are those slabs of meat hanging on the wall? Why? Do they keep a tiger in there or something. Does a tiger count as a cuddly pet?

    • Hmm, that’s one idea. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I just thought of it as a grotesque combo of pet store/butcher. In Korea, if you go deep enough into the old markets, you can find vendors that see more… Exotic meats. 🙁 But this was taken in the Philippines, so maybe you’re right.

  6. Wow! The pufferfish photo is extreme, what an experience! And I just love Ezekiel, he would fit right in at our house.

  7. The puffer fish photo is cool. Makes me want to watch Finding Nemo with the boys. I could not stop laughing at the fence photo. My mom is always getting upset that I am snapping photos before rescuing my kids. LOL.

    • To my credit, I DID put out the fire before taking the smoking-oven-timer photo the other day. That has to count for something, right?

  8. Apparently I’m the only one cracking up at the pet store filled with pork chops ans such. That is hysterical!

  9. The puffer fish photo is horrifying and beautiful at the same time. And to the post above me, nope, first thought was “Who even…?”

  10. Hey I just came across your blog from Googling “why are there no wild animals in Korea.” I am also from California and am in Korea working right now. Do you know why there are no wild animals? Just too many people and the Korean war? I can’t figure it out. Also great blog!

    • Ha! Julie, I still don’t quite know. Probably because it’s so densely populated, and I bet the war had something to do with it, too. My blog post about visiting the DMZ (posted in June) talks about how there are a lot of wild animals up there, because it’s a protected area and very few people live there. Still, it’s really strange, right?

      Thanks for visiting! We’re back in Cali now, but we miss Korea a lot. 🙂