20 More of My Favorite Animal Crossing Signs in the World
It’s back! 20 more of my favorite animal crossing signs in the whole wide world! There are more than just deer crossing signs out there my friends, and my goal is to collect them all (photographically, that is). When I began traveling the back roads of Earth’s wild places I discovered a crazy menagerie of animals on road crossing signs around the world. This edition focuses on the amazing creatures of the Americas (North, Central, and South) with a couple other continents thrown in for good measure. Please enjoy this 2nd installment of my favorite animal crossing signs in the world! (And don’t forget to check out my first 20 Favorite Animal Crossing Signs if you haven’t seen it yet!)
1) Badger Crossing Sign, Canada
Badgers are some of the coolest creatures in the world but it’s extremely rare to spot an American Badger in the wild (Taxidea taxus). In fact, I’ve been trying for years and have still never seen one. This awesome badger crossing sign will just have to do for now. Photographed on Route 97 near Green Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada.
2) Bighorn Sheep Crossing Sign, Utah (United States)
This animal crossing sign features a pretty sweet silhouette of a Bighorn Sheep ram. Add to that an amazing backdrop like Arches National Park in Utah, and you’ve got one of my all-time favorite animal crossing signs. Based on the location, I would guess this sign is referring to the Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) found in the neighborhood. I’ve seen another nice variation of this sign right in the residential neighborhoods of Boulder City Nevada.
3) Caiman Crossing Sign, Brazil
This is not just a fun sign to scare the tourists. Odds are pretty good that you’ll actually see a giant reptile lounging in the middle of the road when you’re driving across the Transpantaneira highway in the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil. While there are several species of crocodilians present in the Pantanal, the one I saw most frequently was the Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare), as seen in the photo below causing an imposing road block. Please take your time sir. I can wait.
4) Caribou Crossing Sign, Alaska (United States)
In some ways, this photo gallery is a collection of the most spectacular headgear in the animal kingdom. But there’s something else that’s cool about the antlers found on a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) beside their immense size. When it comes to deer species, it’s usually just the males who grow antlers, but with Caribou, both males and females grow them! P.S. Did you know that caribou and reindeer are the same species? Photographed on Highway 3 just south of Denali National Park in Alaska, USA.
5) Chilla Crossing Sign, Chile
While there are two different species of canids in southern Patagonia (the Culpeo Fox and the South American Grey Fox) I feel pretty sure this animal crossing sign is referring to the South American Gray Fox (Lycalopex griseus), also known as the Chilla. That’s because I saw at least six different individuals along the road while driving around Tierra del Fuego in Chile! The words on the sign roughly translate as “Fox: Respect Them Mr. Driver.” Photographed north of Punta Arenas in Southern Patagonia, Chile.
6) Gopher Tortoise Crossing Sign, Florida (United States)
When we were planning our ultimate Florida wildlife road trip we knew that the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) had to be one of our target species. This tortoise is classified as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Redlist and is only found in the southeastern United States. Road fatalities are one of the main threats to this species so if you see one of these signs, slow down and keep your eyes peeled! As their name implies, these tortoise dig long, deep burrows with their powerful legs. As many as 360 other species also take refuge in Gopher Tortoise burrows, which makes them very important members of their ecosystem. There are some tips about how to help the Gopher Tortoise on this great flyer from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
7) Wild Boar Crossing Sign, California (United States)
This one took me by surprise. I was driving along the coast of California heading north on Highway 1 toward Monterey when I encountered this strange animal crossing sign just south of Carmel-By-The-Sea. The distinctive shape could only be a wild boar (followed by a cute wild boar piglet). These large pigs are not native to the United States (they originate in Europe and Southern Asia) but were introduced here by human hunters more than a hundred years ago. But it was only in the last 15 years, as land usage patterns began to change from agriculture to natural preserves, that they became a dangerous problem along this stretch of road. According to this interesting article, these one-of-a-kind signs were created to protect locals and swine alike from the many traffic accidents popping up in the neighborhood.
8) Ocellated Turkey Crossing Sign, Guatemala
The road to Tikal is back! This long jungle road that leads to the Maya ruins of Tikal in Eastern Guatemala is a treasure trove of awesome animal crossing signs and here is another one of my favorites: turkey crossing! But this is no ordinary turkey. There are in fact two species of turkey in the world. The familiar Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is found across the United States and Mexico (and on plates at Thanksgiving dinner). But there is another little-known species that occupies a tiny range in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and Northern Guatemala and Belize. It is called the Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) and is even more strange and colorful than its northern cousin! Tikal is the perfect place to get a close look at these beautiful ugly birds.
9) Mountain Goat Crossing Sign, Canada
I love mountain goats. Why? I don’t know, I just do! If the abominable snow man were a hoofed mammal, he’d be a Mountain Goat, no doubt about it. These guys prance around like ballerinas on the highest scariest mountain cliffs without flinching. This also makes them very difficult to spot. But apparently your odds are fairly good here on this mountain pass through Mount Revelstoke National Park in British Columbia. Another great place to see them is in Glacier National Park, Montana (where I shot the photo below.) But you know what they don’t have in Glacier? This cool Mountain Goat crossing sign.
10) Moose Crossing Sign, Alaska (United States)
Moose are the biggest members of the deer family in the entire world! My favorite places to watch them are in Maine (Baxter State Park), Yellowstone National park, and where I photographed this moose crossing sign: Denali National Park in Alaska. Five minutes after taking this shot I saw a newborn moose calf with her mother. Awesome! And if you really want some predictable moose watching, check out the mud-munching moose of Mount Engadine!
11) Huemul Crossing Sign, Chile
At first glance you might guess that this was the South American version of your average everyday white-tailed deer crossing signs. In fact, it is something far more exotic. It is a Huemul crossing sign. The Huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus) is an endangered species of deer that is only found in the Andes Mountains of southern Chile and Argentina. And I can’t think of any more spectacular place to search for them than here in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to see one, which is not surprising considering there are less than 1,500 left in the whole world. But this diminutive deer has a special place in the hearts of Chileans. Not only does it feature on Chile’s coat of arms (standing across from a condor), but each year in January there is a Route of the Huemul Festival in Aysén, Chile.
12) Jaguar Crossing Sign, Guatemala
If I could wish for any animal to pop out in front of me on the road, the Jaguar would probably be near the top of my list. (Triceratops is at the top.) Once again, the road to Tikal nails it with another one of their awesome animal crossing signs. While a jaguar is certainly one of the most graceful and spectacular animals on the planet, this sign is not. In fact it’s a pretty funny/lame representation of a jaguar, with midget legs, a giant head, and a tree trunk for a neck. Just another reason to love this sign!
13) Jackass Penguin Crossing Sign, South Africa
I admit, I was just trying to get your attention. Yes, the common name for this bird used to be the Jackass Penguin, but it has long since been changed to the far more dignified African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus). When you stand near their breeding colony here in Simon’s Town South Africa, you will see (or more accurately hear) that the old name made perfect sense. The ear-splitting donkey-like hee-hawing is a sound that is hard to forget. Read more about visiting the Simonstown penguins in South Africa!
14) Maned Wolf Crossing Sign, Brazil
Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking, but I like to think this sign is referring to the Maned Wolf. While there are a few other canids that can be found in the Pantanal region of Brazil, the Maned Wolf is certainly the strangest and the one I’d most like to see. The largest canid in South America, the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) stands on very tall stilt-like legs and has a bright red coat like a red fox with a black mohawk down the back. However, it is not technically a fox nor a true wolf, but is the only member of its genus Chrysocyon. They also have super stinky pee and poop that they use to mark their territory. What’s not to love? We hope to head to Brazil next year to search for them!
15) Duckling Crossing Sign, Canada
I couldn’t resist. This one is just cute. Oak Hammock Marsh is a wetland reserve just north of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada and is great place to see waterfowl. They also have a really nice interpretive center. If you read the fine print on this sign you will see that Ducks Unlimited Canada is the main sponsor of the reserve. So what species of duck is on this sign? Looks like a Black Duck to me. (That was supposed to be a joke.)
16) Peccary Crossing Sign, Brazil
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is why the Pantanal is such an awesome wildlife destination. There are so many cool species that may wander across the road at any moment! Take this beautiful beastie, the Peccary. It is a new-world member of the pig family. There are two species of peccaries that may be encountered in this part of Brazil, the Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) and the White-lipped Peccary (Tayassu pecari), although I have only encountered the Collared Peccaries so far. I do hope to run into some White-lipped Peccaries one of these days, not only because they are much rarer and classified as “Vulnerable”, but because they travel in huge herds numbering up to 100 individuals! Peccary party!
17) Red Deer Crossing Sign, Scotland
Scotland isn’t known for its abundant wildlife, but several organizations are working hard to change that through re-wildling initiatives. The two largest animals you’re likely to encounter (beside the Loch Ness Monster) are the Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) and the Red Deer (Cervus elaphus). There’s no question which one this animal crossing sign is referring to, thanks to the huge antlers in the illustration. It’s the largest animal in Scotland: the Red Deer. It is nearly identical to the American Elk and many experts still consider them the same species. I didn’t manage to spot one here just south of Inverness, but a few miles later we did accidentally catch Nessie in the background of one of our tourist photos.
18) Manatee Crossing Sign, Florida (United States)
OK, technically you won’t see a Manatee crossing the road. But you might just see one crossing under the road! We shot this Manatee crossing sign in Southern Florida near the Everglades, but our favorite place to swim with manatees is in Crystal River, Florida. West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus) are endangered species so if you’re boating in a manatee zone in Florida, slow down! Boat collisions are one of the main threats to their survival. Here’s a nice list of where to see manatees in the wild.
19) Red Wolf Crossing Sign, North Carolina (United States)
While there is no illustration on these animal crossing signs, it is still one of my favorites in the world. That’s because the Red Wolf is one of the rarest predators on the planet and is critically endangered. Most people have never even heard of the Red Wolf (Canis Rufus), and fewer still realize that the only place they can be found in the wild is in a tiny reintroduced population in Eastern North Carolina. There are less than 50 left in the wild, and even though a dedicated team has been trying to bring them back from the brink for decades, this species is still on the edge of extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is very close to abandoning this “non-essential experimental population” and focusing again on broadening the captive breeding population before attempting another reintroduction. If you want to keep up with what’s happening in this emotionally charged issue, here is the official USFW page about the Red Wolf Recovery Program.
20) Polar Bear Crossing Sign, Canada
As far as I know there are only two places in the world where you might see a polar bear crossing sign. One is in Norway’s Svalbard Island in the high Arctic. The other is this single pair of signs on the main road through Churchill, Manitoba in Canada. It’s hard to imagine anything much cooler than seeing polar bears on your daily commute, but it’s easier than you might think in Churchill. If you want to get even more up close and personal with the king of the north, you can visit Nanuk Polar Bear lodge and go walking with polar bears! The funny thing is, you can’t actually drive a car to Churchill.
Thanks for checking out Part 2 of My Favorite Animal Crossing Signs in the World!
Don’t forget to check out Part 1: My 20 Favorite Animal Crossing Signs in the Whole Wide World if you haven’t seen it yet!
Hey, I want some Animal Crossing Signs!
If you came here looking for cool wildlife crossing signs to buy, you can find tons of animal crossing signs [easyazon_link keywords=”animal crossing sign” locale=”US” tag=”traforwil-20″]here on Amazon[/easyazon_link] for sale online. Here’s a nice polar bear one I found (you can click it to see it better).
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Brindley is an American conservation biologist, wildlife photographer, filmmaker, writer, and illustrator living in Asheville, NC. He studied black-footed cats in Namibia for his master’s research, has traveled to all seven continents, and loves native plant gardening. See more of his work at Travel for Wildlife, Truly Wild, Our Wild Yard, & Naturalist Studio.
Saturday 3rd of August 2019
Huemul crossing sign is almost like a painting in itself. The whole article made me smile though. Hope people do respect the signs.
Monday 13th of November 2017
Oh how I enjoyed this. And also a clever recap of some of the many places you have visited. And what a great collection you have compiled. And a very interesting commentary about the animal on each of the signs. I am from Canada, and even in my own vast country there are crossing signs I have yet to see. Now I definitely want to, such as the polar bear sign. And hopefully get to see it in real as well. :)