Wild animals
What’s your favourite wild animal? Are there many wild animals in your country? Have you ever seen wild animals? Where can you see wild animals in your area? Do you like watching animals in the zoo?
  • To force somebody's hand (idiom) - to make someone do something they do not want to do, or act sooner than they had intended.
  • To roam (verb) - to move about or travel, especially without a clear idea of what you are going to do.
  • Meadow (noun) - a field with grass and often wild flowers in it.
  • Skittish (adj.) - (of people and animals) nervous or easily frightened.
  • Aquatic (adj.) - living or growing in, happening in, or connected with water.
  • To wander (verb) - to walk around slowly in a relaxed way or without any clear purpose or direction.
  • Unfettered (adj.) - not limited by rules or any other controlling influence.
  • Habitat (noun) - the natural environment in which an animal or plant usually lives.
  • Zoochosis (noun) - a form of psychosis that develops in animals held captive in zoos.
  • Cruel (adj.) - extremely unkind and unpleasant and causing pain to people or animals intentionally.
  • Pathetic (adj.) - causing feelings of sadness, sympathy, or sometimes lack of respect, especially because a person or an animal is suffering.
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Questions and answers
M: What's your favourite wild animal?

R: Oh, there are so many to choose from. But if you force my hand then I would say capybaras are... Well, I like capybaras the best. I just think they're a perfect representation of inner peace and calm that I would really like to have in my life. I do but I would like to have more of it. Like a capybara.

M: Are there many wild animals in your country?

R: Well, not unless you include the people, especially those people from Glasgow... Seriously, though, yeah, we do. We have foxes and badgers. And there are deer roaming around in the forests. And closer to the coast we have things like otters. I think there are lynxes somewhere as well, although I haven't seen those last two anywhere.

M: Have you ever seen wild animals?

R: In Scotland? Yeah, you can see deer in the meadows and the forests all the time. Although particularly in the morning when it's quiet because they're skittish, I suppose. And near the coastal areas, there are birds like seagulls and in between parts... So like in the rivers and in the coastal areas, you've also got herons, which are big... I suppose you would call them big birds that feed on aquatic life like fish. So you see them fishing there all the time.

M: Where can you see wild animals in your area?

R: Well, other than where I said already? I'm sure if you wandered deep into the forests, and the mountain ranges, they would probably see lots of wild animals wandering pretty much unfettered by humans. Unless they're near the roads, really. And there aren't many going through the mountains, to be honest.

M: Do you like watching animals in the zoo?

R: I used to but the more I think about it, the more I find myself actually being against zoos, to be honest. I think they're sort of almost like a species-wide excuse for destroying the natural habitats of other animals. And we think it's... Oh, it's perfectly fine, because we have them there in the zoo, and they're safe, and we can research them. But what a lot of people don't know is that these animals suffer from something called zoochosis which means that they repeat behaviours or engage in strange behaviours that they wouldn't normally in the wild, so you can't actually study them effectively. And also, it's cruel if that's happening to them anyway. So it's all a bit pathetic, really, in my opinion.

M: Thank you Rory for your answers.
M: Wild animals deal listeners so cheetahs, wolves...

R: Wild animals! Freedom for the wild animals!

M: Giraffes, baboons... What's your favourite wild animal? Could you write in the comments? All right?

R: What's your favourite wild animal and why is the answer capybaras?

M: Capybaras are so cute! A capybara, dear listener is a huge animal. It's the largest rodent, which leaves in South America. But now I've heard that in the States, it's legal to keep capybaras as pets.

R: Oh, come on. Don't keep the capybaras as pets. Let them be free.

M: Yep, it kind of... It looks like a huge guinea pig. All right? Please, if you have no idea what Capybara is, could you please google it now? CAPYBARAS.

R: If you don't know what a capybara looks like, just look at my Instagram because half of my posts have capybaras in them... I love capybaras.

M: You can say there are many animals that I enjoy, but if you force my hand, so if you force my hand, force it, like to make this choice, I'd go with capybaras or giraffes or pandas. I'd go with pandas, to be honest with you...

R: But mostly capybaras...

M: My favourite animals are pandas and capybaras...

R: Why do you like pandas?

M: Pandas are so cute and they are at ease. They do whatever they want. And they're funny as well. They do these things, and baby pandas are adorable. They're really cute.

R: Okay, okay, fine. But baby, capybaras are also cute.

M: Oh, yes, they are. But pandas are you know, big and fluffy. And also, this is... That's why. Capybaras are a perfect representation of inner peace and calm.

R: Inner peace...

M: And if you look at capybaras, they're usually in this lake surrounded by oranges and the water going down their heads and they're kind of like, yeah, zen...

R: You can see them when they've got birds resting on their heads and noses and the birds are sitting there doing their thing and the capybaras are just like: Yeah, it's fine. Capybaras.

M: Capybaras don't mind being alone. But they live in groups of up to 40 capybaras. So they kind of you know, flock together.
R: How chill is that!? The capybara can just be by itself and still be totally fine.

M: They're strong swimmers.

R: What? Is there anything that they cannot do?

M: No.

R: Yes, they're capable of everything.

M: Maybe take IELTS...

R: Oh no, I think the Capybara could take IELTS and get Band 9 for sure.

M: Rory does know certain things about the wildlife in his country. So dear listener, you should also know what wild animals can be seen in your country. So Rory mentioned foxes, and badgers, what are badgers? Who are they?

R: Well, they're mammals. They're black and white mammals. And they live in a... Well, they live underground in things called setts. But they're really predatory. They're quite vicious. And apparently, a lot of them have tuberculosis.

M: Oh, so now badgers have colours the same as pandas. They're black and white. Very cute. Badgers.

R: They look cute but dear god are they terrifying. If you meet one...

M: Also dear... Dear, you know? Bambi? Deer roam around the forests. So when they roam well, you can imagine a field, a forest and then deer roaming there. You haven't mentioned squirrels, wild cats, Scottish Wildcats. And Rory, the classic highland cow which could be seen in the Scottish Highlands

R: I don't know if the Highland cow counts as a wild animal.

M: Oh it's really wild...

R: How are they wild? They live on farms!

M: No in the highlands! They're all like, you know, Scottish...

R: They have farms in the highlands. I don't think the highland cow counts as a wild animal.

M: Okay, okay. But wild cat. Scottish Wildcats it's by the definition... It's wild. And it's a cat. Wild cat, one word. Also, Scotland has this coastal area and what do you have? The sea, the ocean?

R: I think we have both but most of the time we're talking about the sea because there's the North Sea on one side and the Irish Sea on the other. But way up in the far north there's the Arctic Ocean which is quite close

M: And dear listener in Scotland we have humpback whales...

R: Do we?
M: Oh yeah... See? You still should learn about Scottish wildlife...

R: Listen, you need no other wild animals apart from capybaras, alright? So...

M: Yeah. So dear listener please mention some specific animals even if they don't live in your area, just throw in some names, some nice names like, wild cats, humpback whales...

R: Capybaras...

M: Capybaras...

R: Tell the examiner you like capybaras and watch as your score goes from Band 5 to Band 9.

M: Otter, please google it, look at this animal. And also lynx. Rory, there aren't any lynxes in Scotland. Sorry darling... They just...

R: I'm sure. Maybe I was mistaking them for the wild cats then.

M: No.

R: There is some sort of animal that's like that.

M: I've just checked.

R: There are no lynxes…

M: No they want to kind of reintroduce lynxes to Scotland, and there are some websites with people saying why they will be kind of useful... So the rural areas...

They'll keep the tourists away. They said the same thing for... They were going to reintroduce wolves to Scotland and I cannot think of a worse idea. I mean, okay, yes, wolves used to be a natural part of the ecosystem here. But could you imagine if we have wolves just running around Scotland, and there are tourists who go into the highlands? I think that's just a recipe for disaster.

M: Yep. So dear listener, wild boars, gorillas, monkeys, hippos, deer... What else? Cheetahs, wolves... So go ahead. Okay? But to be super cool and full of awesome choose some strange names of rare animals just to show off your super vocabulary. You can prepare for this. Now, in the comments. Could you write your favourite wild animal but don't go like a monkey, or like a wild cat. Be something you know... Be creative, like Otters, or I don't know what else...


M: Capybaras! Have you ever seen wild animals? Well, okay, maybe in the zoo, maybe on television. If you've never seen any wild animals, you can just imagine, yeah, dear listener? So maybe you see a deer in the meadows. Meadows are what? Kind of like fields? Meadows.
I guess so. Yeah. They have a couple of sparse trees in them.

M: And you can also say a couple of things about birds. Well, they're also wild animals, birds. Seagulls, for example, or you mentioned a specific bird this "herons".

Yes. herons are magnificent birds if you ever see them. They have very long necks and very long sharp beaks are used for fishing. And they have a wingspan of about a meter. But they're really big and they're cool. They look like storks, but I think storks are white, usually, whereas herons are grey and black and white.

M: You used the word “skittish”?

Oh, yeah, they're skittish. But that just describes the kind of person... No, personality... but you know what I mean. The kind of traits that they have in their behaviour. So if they see people then they immediately fly away. Much like me, to be honest with you. But unlike the capybara.

M: Skittish could be used about animals or people. For example, like, nervous or easily frightened. So my horse, yeah, I have a horse. My horse is very skittish.

Do you have a horse?

M: Nah, nah, nah, no horses. It gets frightened when there are many people. We watch animals, usually in zoos, or in a circus. And do we say that we watch animals? We what? What do? We watch films, but we watch animals.

R: You can watch animals in the zoo, or on TV.

M: You can say that yes, I enjoy going to the zoo, or I used to do it in the past but not anymore. Yeah. Because people are destroying the habitats of animals

R: Because zoos are immoral. I'm sorry if you like the zoo, but it's not cool to go to the zoo.

M: Oh, Rory is so emotional about it. Yeah, we can say that people are destroying the habitats. So the place where wild animals live is called the habitat of animals. And animals in zoos, they suffer from zoochosis. It is like psychosis for people or zoochosis for animals for example... Or this panda is suffering from zoochosis. And actually, I googled it. I thought like, Rory made it up this word so... sn

R: No it's real! It's crazy!
M: So zoochosis. Okay? It is a form of psychosis that develops in animals, dear listener, can you imagine? Held in captivity in zoos. So animals are held captive. To be held captive, to be in captivity in a zoo, not in the wild. You can say: Oh, I prefer watching animals in the wild. On the safari trips, for example, in Africa, not in captivity. Yeah? Not in zoos. Yeah. And if animals have strange behaviours, they're obsessive they have repetitive actions. So these are signs of zoochosis.

R: It is unacceptable.

M: Rory, I have a couple of wild animals and dear listener, you can use these wild animals and these words in these questions about wild animals just to avoid talking about monkeys... Yeah. Everybody knows things about them. So Rory, a babirusa. What is a babirusa? What do you think? What kind of animal it is?

R: It's a mammal or a bird.

M: But what is it? Like, describe a babirusa. A babirusa is a wild animal.

R: I'm going to guess, it's like a small monkey.

M: A babirusa, dear listener, you should google it now. A babirusa. It is a kind of a pig. It looks like a pig.

R: Okay... Not even remotely close then.

M: Babirusa. Oh, another one. Aye-aye is the name of the animal, dear listener.

R: I've heard of this before. Is that the thing with the... I don't want to say it's the thing with the big eyes, but it's not.

M: Yeah, it has big eyes. Yes. Correct.

R: Yeah, they're like... They're the tiny monkey things.

M: More like a lemur... What do you call it?

R: A lemur.

M: Yeah, so Aye-aye is a long-fingered lemur. Native to Madagascar. It is the largest nocturnal primate. Nocturnal meaning it lives at night. Yeah?

R: Yes. Well, no, I mean, all animals live but yes, they're active at night

M: It is the strangest primate in the world. Aye-aye.

R: Well, I don't know about that. I think people are the strangest primates in the world.

M: The last one, dear listener. Shoebill. Yes. Like shoes and bills. Shoebill.

R: That's a bird.

M: That's a bird. Yes. Correct. And it has a beak like a shoe, a Dutch wooden shoe you know like in...

R: Oh, the clogs?

M: The clogs, yeah yeah yeah, the clogs in the Netherlands? They have these nice shoes - clogs. And the bird which is called a Shoebill has the beak in the shape of this clog. Oh, dear listener, could you check out our premium episodes, Speaking Parts 2, and 3 for your super-quality IELTS Preparation. There is more vocabulary, even more grammar, and not so many jokes... no dad jokes from me. It's more serious. The links are in the description. And also our phrasal verb course is there for you to kind of boost your vocabulary for bands 8 and above. Thank you so much. Hugs and loves. loves and hugs...

Loves and hugs!

M: Loves and hugs. Bye!

R: Bye!
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
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