Animals on Road Signs
Last updated: Monday August 15th, 2022
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I have decided to take a short hiatus from the "Five Islands" series of blogs. They will carry on, but I got a bit bogged down in Africa, mainly due to the lack of information about some of the islands, or lack of pictures. It won't be a long break, just time to reconnect my thoughts and maybe do a little more research from different angles. I will get around to finishing Africa, then moving onto Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, but they may be interspersed with random blogs about random things. Hence this blog !
Whilst travelling around for my work, I have noticed many different road signs. And, I have also noticed that some of these have animals on them. I don't mean the pigeon perched atop the sign post or the snail slowly crawling it's merry way across the surface. No, I'm talking about the features upon them.
There are three animals that feature in almost every country's portfolio of signs. The UK versions of these can be seen to the left.
But around the United Kingdom, and around the world, there are also many different animals on signs that are specific to certain countries, landscapes or situations. Most are official, but some are locally sourced for individual circumstances. In this blog I shall explore some of these variations.
There are two main types of warning signs used around the world, the triangular red and white ones you see here, or the yellow diamond shaped signs you shall see later.
The United Kingdom
The sign to the left is usually found in rural areas that are well known for sheep farming, such as Wales and parts of Cumbria. The sign on the right can be found particularly in the national parks of Dartmoor, Exmoor and the New Forest.
The "duck" is used to depict any type of wild fowl such as geese, herons and obviously ducks and can be found near to rivers and lakes. Whilst the "frog" sign refers to a particular area that is on a toad migratory route. It is usually found on more rural lanes and by-ways.
There are also tourist information signs that may show an animal such as safari parks and zoos. In the UK these usually feature the same animal whether the zoo in question has an example of that creature or not....
The Northern Lands
I have lumped together Scandinavia, Russia, Canada and parts of the USA mainly because the road signs with animals in these areas are all similar and feature the same animals with a few exceptions as you will see. Firstly all of these nations have Taiga and Tundra landscapes with wildlife specific to those regions.
There does seem to be a little confusion as to which animal to depict on some signs ,with Elk, Moose, Reindeer and Caribou designs being seemingly interchangable with the description given on each countries entry on Wikipedia, I suppose the general gist is that big animals may cross the road and damage your vehicle.
(Left) Svalbard has a specific sign warning of Polar Bears. The sign translates as "Applies to all of Svalbard"
(Right) Wild Boars are obviously a concern to the Swedes,
Canada has a few specific signs for particular members of the animal kingdom, most notably the ones depicted below, all from Canada.
One northern (or cold) country I haven't mentioned yet is Iceland. As well as the "Sheep" and "Reindeer" signs you would expect there are a couple of others. These are from Iceland's extensive range of official informational road signs depicting everything from waste disposal points to turning areas for commercial vehicles. The fishing sign is used in some other countries albeit with various designs.
Finally in this section, a couple of US signs not specific to the northern areas.
(Far left) Donkeys appear to be more of a hazard in the US than elsewhere.
(Near left) Listed as officially "Rams" this looks like a different view of a Canada Bighorn Sheep to me. Probably just a variation in descriptions from either side of the border.
Australia and New Zealand are known by some as the "Antipodes" in the UK. Hence my usage of the name. For the sake of clarity, I should state that the term Antipodes could be used for any part of the globe, in that it refers to the area diametrically opposite any point on earth. For example, a resident of New Zealand could refer to Europe as the Antipodes. Hope that clears up any confusion, yeah I know, clear as mud, right?
Back to the animals now. As you may expect, with their wide ranges of unusual flora and fauna, Australia and New Zealand have a plethora of unique signs.
Firstly, Australia. See captions below each picture for description.
Rest of the World
You would think that a continent as diverse as Africa would have a cornucopia of signs. It may do, but they either aren't published or the majority aren't official. Or they are just not on Wikipedia. There are some however and these are included below, along with signs from South America and Asia.
One from China depicting a Giant Panda, a species endemic to the country. The official description though is a generic "wild animals inside protected area", so I suppose that can mean any endangered species or otherwise. Their signs also appear to be a mixture of both major types of design.
Moving away from Asia, the only country I have found that has any unique signs is Botswana. Once again, see the description below each picture...
Snakes and Lizards we all know about, there are many species of both worldwide. Capybaras are the world's largest rodent. They can be as big as a Labrador dog.
So that's it. I would have liked to include some others that I know about. There are red squirrel signs in some parts of England and Scotland, there are "Beware of Alligator" signs all around the Everglades, and I'm certain there are weird and wonderful signs dotted in the most remote areas of the globe. There are also a couple of my own photos on my computer but, despite trying I can't seem to get them to upload. I shall try again in a day or so.
If you know of any other examples, please let me know in the comments. Better still if you know of any I can legally use on JetPunk without incurring the wrath of the Quizmaster or the people that protect copyright legislation then again, let me know in the comments and I'll add an update.
Until the next time fellow bloggers and JetPunkers......
Thanks for reading.
Get well soon !
I'll have to have a trawl through wiki see if I can find any of those signs and update the blog .Thanks.
BTW, browsing through Wikimedia, I found this sign. I thought you would like it. 😂
And I also found some cat signs from Turkey and Sweden.
I like the cat ones too, the Swedish one looks like it could be a clever bit of graffiti.
That is from Delhi, yes. There's a Hyatt in background, so it must be very posh region. Lots of foreigners traverse through that road, probably that's why elephants are banned on that road. 🤷🏻♂️