30+ Adorable Animals Who Were Unexpectedly Caught Waving at the Camera

Humans have always been intrigued in the natural world, and other animals are at the top of the list for nature photography. Whether in documentaries, on the net or in the wild, humans love to get a good photo of an animal. And our camera rolls are usually filled with photos of our pets at home, looking cute or blissfully sleeping.

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These photos are a step up from our usual adorable animal photos, as these creatures are actually looking and waving at the camera. From different corners of the world, different environments and species, these animals just wanted to say hi to the photographer and we have it all captured it all on camera.

The Lazy Wave

This pup looks like us when we’re feeling antisocial and lazy and a long day. You know those moments when you can’t even be bothered to get up and greet your overly energetic friends. The sweet little flipper is waving hello to the camera while the seal relaxes and doesn’t move at all.

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Image: Elsetge.Cat

It is not every day that you see a seal or seal pup but our hearts are melting at this little cutie. The big beady eyes and little whiskers are so sweet! Baby seals are called ‘seal pups’ until they are five years old, then they are referred to as young seals or yearlings.

The See You Later Wave

Everyone knows the phrase “see you later alligator” well this must have been where it originated because even for a scary alligator, this one is too cute to handle. The gator looks so enthusiastic as it reaches up and waves . Almost like he or she just sent their firstborn off to reptile college.

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Image: Funnyjunk

Obviously this isn’t the case but it is partially true, considering the fact that female alligators are known for being devoted mothers to their babies. They will protect their kids for up to a year, which is pretty long when it comes to animal parenting standards.

The Confident Wave

Looks are definitely deceiving in this scenario. This bear looks so friendly and huggable… we definitely still don’t recommend trying it. It is probably all in the name, grizzly bear. But when he looks so sweet waving at the camera, it is definitely tempting!

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Image: Behance

When we think about Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this is exactly the bear we imagined! Standing on his hind legs, the bear looks very human, waving his paw and staring at the camera. They can actually get up to 8 feet tall when they are standing up tall like this. That is huge!

The Hilarity Wave

If you haven’t heard of the term “ROFL”, this is it explained. Rolling On the Floor Laughing. This seal looks like it is having the time of its life, having a good old belly laugh, and waving a flipper at us. We only wish he could share the joke!

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Image: The Odyssey Online

We don’t actually know if seals laugh like us humans but everything in this photo suggests so. The seal is even holding his belly like it is hurting from laughing too much. We all know that feeling too well, when you’ve laughed so much that your abs start to hurt. Nothing better!

The Subtle Wave

These little ones are called kits or cubs before they grow up to full-sized raccoons. This one is still so small, with his little hand waving at us so gently. Raccoons are nocturnal and tend to rest during the day, so this little guy is probably pretty exhausted and ready for a nap. Wave goodnight!

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Image: Reddit / Aww

Our favorite part about raccoons is that as babies, they like to be affectionate! They actually love a good snuggle and get very attached to their carers. But just like us all, if you annoy them or scare them, they will get angry. Let’s try and stay on their good side.

The Hesitant Wave

Ever get stuck in that situation when someone is waving in your direction and you’re not sure if it’s meant for you or someone behind you? This kangaroo is kind of giving us those feels. He wants to return the greeting but is afraid of the embarrassing moment when he finds out the wave wasn’t to him.

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Image: Imgur / Speedypan

Well, we will happily wave back at such a friendly-looking marsupial. Granted we plan to keep our distance, rumor has it these things can kick when they get angry. Did you know there are more kangaroos in Australia than there are people? There are four main species of kangaroos and all of them live in Australia. Some even live just a short stroll outside the main city centers.

The Too Cute to Handle Wave

Here we have a picture-perfect hedgehog that looks set to become Instagram’s next top influencer. This little guy is waving us in to enjoy the view behind it but we just can’t take our attention away from the hedgehogs rolly polly body and adorable little eyes.

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Image: Reddit / Aww

Fun fact, those beady eyes might be part of what makes this guy so cute, but the hedgehogs eyesight is actually pretty poor. Instead they rely on smell and sound. They are also nocturnal so their limited sight works best in the dark.

The Enthusiastic Wave

Well, this guy looks like he just saw an old friend for the first time in ages. This waving reptile is called a painted turtle. They earned that name thanks to the colorful bright marks painted all over their body. And just like a tree, you can tell the age of a painted turtle by counting the rings on its beautiful shell.

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Image: Reddit / Aww

Painted turtles, which are the most common type of turtle in North America, can often be found basking in the sun for hours on hours of the day. Sounds like a typical beach day during summertime for us. Sometimes you can even find them lounging staked on top of each other. Now that’s something we are hoping to never see humans doing while at the beach.

The Mama Needs Some Shuteye Wave

No no don’t get up, we are just passing by. And we totally understand needing a lazy day once in a while. Even if you are jungle royalty, every feline, needs to set time aside for some quality catnapping. Especially when you are a strong female lioness.

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Image: DeviantArt

After all, female lions have a lot of on their plate. Not only are they responsible for most of the hunting, making sure the rest of the pride is fed, female lions also raise their cubs all on their own with little help from the male lion. Might sound familar to some of us.

The Early Morning Wave

This adorable marsupial, found in its home in Australia, looks like he is just barely waking up from a mid-afternoon nap. One of many we assume. Koalas tend to sleep around 18 hours a day. This is mainly to help them conserve energy.

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Image: BuzzFeed

When they’re not sleeping, they are usually munching on eucalyptus leaves, often eating up to a kilo of leaves a day. The leaves themselves are pretty low in nutrients though, which explains why the koalas need to sleep so much in the first place.

The Excited Wave

Tigers are the biggest species of the cat family. Tiger cubs, when they are still pretty small, look just like big cats and are so sweet. Look at this little guy, he is so cute with his paw waving at us. Probably a few more months and this guy will be a lot scarier to us, not so small anymore!

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Image: PopSugar

Fun fact about tigers, they are actually really strong swimmers. We would never have guessed! Tigers can swim up to around six kilometers at a time. So if animals in the water thought they were safe, they should think again! White tigers are actually pretty rare and they are just so cute.

The Introvert’s Wave

As you can see in this image, hares are way more antisocial than rabbits. Hares generally are quite solitary. So it is no wonder that this creature is just not interested in us and is hiding behind his waving paw. Hares are also nocturnal, so spotting this guy during the day is rare.

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Image: MailOnline

Want to know our favorite hare fact? A male hare is called ‘Jack’, and a female is called ‘Jill’. We want to know who came up with this because it is just too funny. So next time you see two hares running in the wild, you can say “Hey, Jack and Jill went up the hill.” Too cute!

The Unsure Wave

Just like humans, animals can often by shy or intimidated by others. This seal looks a little hesitant but he still waves to say hello to the camera. How is it not cold just lying on the ice?! We hope that fur is super thick and is keeping the seal cozy and warm.

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Image: The Times

Seals aren’t generally known for being friendly to other seals, and humans as well. Even though they aren’t that nice to each other, they still live in herds, both in the sea and when they come ashore to chill. If you ever seen seals out of the water, you know they tend to just chill or sleep for hours.

The Cool Dude Wave

When we look at this picture of this turtle, we automatically think of Finding Nemo, and Crush, the turtle, waving hello. Turtles are by far one of the coolest animals. They are often swimming around in the ocean for over 100 years. They are also one of the oldest species in the world!

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Image: 10 Travlr

If you haven’t seen turtles swimming around in the ocean, we recommend adding it to your bucket list. It is crazy to see how big they can get and how they just chill and glide around in the water. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll have one wave at you like this big guy.

The Happy Wave

We are happy to see you too, panda! This panda bear’s smile is everything we wanted and more. It almost looks like a good friend you haven’t seen in a while, getting really excited to see you when you walk into a party. You definitely don’t see a panda every day, let alone a waving panda.

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Image: BBC

We’re surprised to see this Panda sitting and waving, with the busy schedule they have. Pandas can spend up to 14 hours a day just eating, and the rest of the day is usually dedicated to resting and sleeping. This is the kind of life we are looking for. No wonder this panda is so happy!

The Underwater Wave

This big dude might be in the middle of his daily hunt for food but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to stop and give a friendly wave. Polar bears spend about half of their lives hunting for prey and the poor things are only successful in 2% of their hunts.

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Image: TripSavvy

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t highly skilled. When hunting for seals, polar bears can hold their breath for two minutes under water. They can also swim for days at a time since their huge paws have adapted for swimming. No wonder they are the only species of bears classified as marine mammals.

The Friendly Wave

Otters are almost equally friendly and clever. That’s why they can be spotted waving to us, and the camera more often than other animals. Fun fact: otters actually live on every continent except for Australia and Antarctica, so keep your eyes open to spot an otter saying hello!

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Image: BuzzFeed

When they sleep otters often hold the hands of their family or friends. This makes sure that they don’t float away from each other. But it also just warms our hearts because it’s adorable. We think that’s what we look like lying on a floatable pool bed in the sun on vacation. The otter life seems pretty relaxing so we want in.

The Vacationer’s Wave

Be honest, does this bear resemble your old man lounging around on vacation or what? Just like dad, this brown bear doesn’t have a care in the world. He put in his working hours and now it’s time for nothing but R&R. Frankly, we are lucky to get a wave out of him at all.

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Image: Time Magazine

We aren’t here to judge though. On the contrary, bears are huge predators that spend about 16 hours a day searching for food. So it’s probably safe to say that this bear seen lounging in the sand has more than earned his relaxation time.

The Unenthused Wave

Did you know that biologically, humans, and chimpanzees share 95 to 98 percent of the same DNA? Crazy right? They are actually more closely related to humans than they are to gorillas. They laugh when they play just like us, they use tools just like us, and they even communicate with each other by embracing, patting on the back, and touching hands.

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Image: Afrikanka

So it’s no wonder this little guy looks so humanlike as he gives off his casual wave. He might actually be saying hi to his fellow chimp friend the same way we would when we see a familiar face. This guy must be an introvert though because he doesn’t seem too enthused by the encounter.

The Learning How To Wave, Wave

This bear cub is still figuring out how the world works, hanging around his mother’s side and learning the ropes of the wild. He might be tiny and adorable now but soon he will grow up to weigh over 1000 pounds, making him a large and not mention territorial predator that you do not want to encounter.

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Image: Instagram / Travel Awesome

After bear cubs are born, they generally stay with their mom for two years before they are sent off to fend for themselves. This little guy looks like he is seeing humans for the very first time. He looks dumbfounded by the photographer in front of him and we can’t imagine what might be going through his baby bear mind.

The Rock On Wave

Contrary to this photo, Red Pandas are normally shy and solitary. Maybe we caught this fella on a good day, not only do we get a wave but also a cheeky tongue out. They generally only become more social when trying to mate. So maybe we caught this guy trying to pick up a cutie.

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Image: Best Life Magazine

Red Pandas almost look like mini bears, but a little more colorful. They’re actually related to both panda bears and raccoons. So they’re kind of like a hybrid. If you want to spot one, you’ll have to watch the treetops, they rarely come down from the trees. They even sleep in trees – crazy!

The Floating Wave

This little penguin looks very relaxed floating around in the water. She looks like she doesn’t have a care in the world! Penguins are mostly found in the Southern Hemisphere of the world, often hanging out around Australia, New Zealand and Chile.

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Image: Zedge

Unfortunately for penguins, their flippers aren’t used for flying, just for swimming and waving hello to us. They tend to split their time 50/50 between land and water. But they need to go for a swim to catch food for dinner, and also to just hang out like this one.

The Shy Wave

Ever heard of a squirrel monkey? Well, here’s one waving at us from behind the branch. Much like squirrels, squirrel monkeys spend most of their time in trees and can be found jumping from branch to branch, that’s how they got the nickname.

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Image: Only In Your State

These are one of the smartest monkeys, and one of the cutest. Their little mask face are adorable. Yes, we know monkeys are super human-like, but look at that hand waving, it is so human. And just like us, squirrel monkeys love to play, feed and groom. Too cute!

The Goofy Wave

This goofy guy popped out to say hi from the trees, and we’re glad he did. We’re surprised he was happy to see us. Pandas like living alone and spending time in peace and quiet. It is probably because they’re so focused on food and sleep most of their day. They have no time for socializing.

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We’re sad to tell you that these beautiful bears are actually endangered. So soak in this adorable photo, soon they may not be around anymore. It is estimated that there are only around 1,000 still left in the wild. We need to protect these beautiful bears, look how friendly and sweet they are!

The Welcome Wave

This bear couldn’t be happier to see us! You almost forget how scary bears are when looking at that welcoming gesture. It looks so friendly with the giant paw waving at us, matched with a big smiling grin. We’re not sure if his friend behind him is as happy to see us, but we’re happy we caught the shot.

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Image: Reddit / Cokebears

It does not seem like it in this image, but brown bears are generally loners. Bears only seek a mate for short periods, they don’t do the whole long term commitment thing. What is pretty amazing to us is that they can remember the face of other bears, and recognize each other around town!

The Casual Wave

We are loving this casual squirrel wave. Squirrels are not a shy animal and we have spotted them all over the place. They are actually one of the rare wild animals that we do get to see. So this spotting isn’t as exciting as others, but the wave to the camera is just as adorable!

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Image: Reddit / AnythingGoesPics

You’ve probably seen a squirrel running around with a nut or acorn. This is because they are storing them for the winter to make sure they have a go-to stash. You may not have guessed, but they are actually a really smart animal with amazing eyesight and hearing.

The No Hands Wave

This baby elephant might not have a hand to wave with but he is making due with what his mama gave him. But don’t be fooled, this cutie waving his trunk like he just don’t care might look tiny compared to its full grown parent but, elephant calves can weight up to 265 pounds at birth.

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Image: Instagram / Wildlife Animals

It only makes sense though given elephants are the largest land animals in the world. Males can grow up to be 13,000 pounds! And that trunk is going to become super useful for the elephant calf as he grows older. Among other things, elephants use their trunk to drink water and as a snorkel when swimming.

The Sweet Wave

Just like most humans, otters like to stick together. They actually wrap themselves up in seaweed and float together in groups to sleep. This little floating situation is called a ‘raft’. This little one looks like he is floating along, and decided to say hi to the camera!

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Image: BuzzFeed

Baby otters are called pups. And just like us, newborn pups need lots of attention. They generally will stay close to their mum’s until they’ve developed enough skills to go it alone – this happens at around six months. If you’ve seen them floating around, it is because they spend most of their time in the water, often just lying back and relaxing.

The Cheeky Wave

Here we have a red panda waving hello in the middle of what looks to be a cold winter’s day. It’s a rare site actually to see a red panda scurrying on the ground like in this photo. They are known to spend majority of their day eating and sleeping in trees without having any need to come down to the soil.

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Image: WWF

Red pandas are mainly found in the mountains of Nepal, central China, and northern Myanmar. Like their more popular cousin, the red panda’s diet consists mostly of bamboo. One study found that they eat around 20,000 bamboo leaves in a single day. That comes out to about 20 to 30 percent of their body weight.

The Very First Wave

Contrary to their full grown counterparts, the baby panda bear is born super tiny. They only weigh an average of .2 pounds. Their iconic black and white coloring doesn’t come in until about three weeks later. But it looks like this little guy has already earned his stripes.

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Image: Twitter / Smile Often

It takes the baby panda around three months to be able to walk and they don’t start eating bamboo until they are six months old. With all these stats in mind, we don’t yet have the facts about when they start adorably waving and stealing hearts like this charmer here.

The Curious Wave

This polar bear cub is just starting to learn the ropes of how to live and survive in its habitat’s cold and often unforgiving climate. Soon it will have to learn how to fend on its own, but until then, it still has its mother around to help learn the ropes.

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Image: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards / Barry Chapman

And we are sure mom will have a thing or two to say about her baby waving to human explorers. He almost looks like he’s inviting the photographer onto its mound of sea ice. An invitation we would definitely suggest declining.

The Double Wave

If this photo doesn’t scream double trouble then we don’t know what does. These sea otters look they are up to know good and are just trying to act naturally to cover their tracks. But who could stay mad at these adorable faces? Especially with that “nothing to see here” wave.

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Image: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards / Donna Bourdon

While seeing two mischievous otter friends hanging out might appear comedic, this is actually very common out in the wild. Otters like to stick together. Even when they are sleeping, you will find them wrapped up in seaweed floating together in a group, which is known as a float.

The Mid-Bite Wave

It’s a wonder how this photographer managed to divert this panda’s attention away from his yummy vegetarian feast. Everyone knows pandas love their bamboo. Thats probably why they eat around 40 kilograms of the stuff every single day.

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Image: LoveToKnow

Thats right, the panda commits an average of 10-14 hours of its day eating. They’ve even developed a special bone on their wrist which resembles a thumb that helps them grasp their food and peel away the outer layers of bamboo. Now thats commitment to eating we can get behind.

The Nervous Wave

This bearded dragon seems unsure if he wants to be waving or not. A sentiment we can surely all identify with. Seeing a bearded dragon wave his hand up is actually quite common and there could be many reasons for this behaviour. For one, it can be waving in order to signify submissiveness.

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Image: Reptile Direct

In the wild they do this to communicate to other creatures that they know they are not the strongest creature in the area. In a similar vain, the tiny dragon can also lift its arm up when it is afraid of confrontation. This is their way of saying that they come in peace and don’t want to fight.

The Skeptical Wave

Although he is being polite, this seal clearly has no desire for company. He is side eyeing the photographer and is not even trying to be discreet about it. Who can blame him? He was probably looking forward to a chill swim alone before he noticed the uninvited visitor.

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Image: NewScientist

While you may have spotted seals basking on the shore, they actually tend to spend most of their day in the water. They can even spend months out at sea without touching dry land and can hold their breath underwater for up to two hours, even while they are sleeping.

The Raise the Roof Wave

We have all been in this position when we are trying to get our friends attention from across the room and they just aren’t getting it. The little sea otter even has the same look of frustration that is just too relatable. Otter’s actually communicate with eachother very simialry to humans.

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A 2014 study concluded that river otters have over 22 distinct noises that they use to communicate different situations. These noises include a humming sound which instructs fellow otters to change directions and a “Hah!” shout to warn each other of nearby threats.

The Wink n Wave

It may surprise you to know that lions are actually super affectionate and cuddly animals. This little lady is looking pretty friendly to us with that adorable wave at the camera! We definitely do not recommend getting close to one, but they naturally love to get up close to each other, and some other non-threatenting species.

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Image: Twitter / SEGAmastergirl

Lions are also social, that’s why they all tend to live in prides with their families. We may be scared of lions, but we cannot deny how beautiful they are. Yes, we are all just picturing the real like Lion King. That looks exactly like Nala giving us a cute little wave.

The Baby Wave

Regardless of where you sit on the whole cat versus dog debate, we can all agree this tiny kitten couldn’t be cuter. The little paw waving at us is one of our favorites. The kitten is so small, she almost looks fake. But sadly this stage of life doesn’t last long. Kittens generally go through infancy, adolescence, and adulthood all in the first two years.

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Image: Tes Newspaper

Want to know a random kitten fact? We think you will like this one. Kittens are all born with blue eye color but very few have blue eyes beyond the age of one. Maybe that is what makes this kitten even cuter. The baby blue eyes are just the cherry on top of this already adorable creature.

The In-Your-Face Wave

The only thing we love more than a puppy is an affectionate dog. It can be a little annoying after giving some love and pats, that a dog will nudge you for more, but it is just so sweet and human-like. This dog looks like she just wants more attention, and to say hey!

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Image: Both Sides of the Table

We believe dogs really are man’s best friend. The love they give us fills a home and warms your heart! What else could be better? If you had a dog like this gorgeous girl, you couldn’t be lonely. She is ready to share her love, and her waves are definitely just the start. We’re waving back!

The Dancing Wave

We usually think of squirrels as the little guys running around pretty quietly and looking cute. But this one looks like he is waving to us as he is getting ready to party. Maybe squirrels are a lot more active and humorous then we thought. There is probably lots of space for dancing in the Austrian Central Alps where this little guy lives.

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Image: Martina Gebert

These squirrels are actually called Austrian Marmots. The cutest part about Marmots and most squirrels is that they live in burrows with their families. These burrows can become complicated mazes as new generations are born into the family. The Marmots all sleep together in the main chamber of the burrow. Isn’t that cool! It’s like a big share house for the whole family.

The Jumping Wave

Although humpback whales usually communicate by singing a little song, this guy has instead popped out to say hi and give us a wave. Whale spottings are so exciting for us, we even go on boat trips just looking for a whale to pop up. Seeing a waving whale is hitting the jackpot!

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Image: The Atlantic

No matter where you are in the world, there are humpback whales to be spotted. They can be found all over the world. And unlike other animals, humpback whales actually tend to live alone, not in tight-knit groups that stick together. Maybe this is why he has popped out to say hi, feeling a little lonely and wanted to be more social!

The Quick Wave

Well, this puppy couldn’t be cuter! The little paw is so sweet that it makes you want to reach out and grab it. Fresh puppies from a new litter are one of our favorite things in the world. Puppies are so adorably goofy when they are puppies, waddling around and getting excited by everything.

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Image: BuzzFeed

We get excited every time someone we know, gets a new puppy. We run straight over to have playtime with the little one. Dogs generally need to stay with their mums for eight weeks before they can go to new homes. This puppy is definitely still at the breeder, spending time with its mummy.

The Chilled Wave

Three-Toed Sloths are the slowest mammals in the world. It is no wonder they got given the reputation of lazy animals. They live in trees for the whole lives, hanging from the canopies. You can see this cute sloth hanging out in the tree, and waving hello.

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Image: Flickr / Kitty Kono

Sloths generally only come down the tree once a week to, let’s just say ‘use the bathroom’. Other than that, they like to stay up high. They are generally defined by the number of claws that they have, two or three-clawed sloths. These claws make for a powerful grip, making sure the sloth doesn’t fall.

The Threatening Wave

Wow this is one bear that we would not want to mess with. Just look at those claws! They look razor sharp and we are highly confident he knows how to use them. Not even his wave looks friendly. Almost looks more like a warning than a friendly greeting.

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Image: Olympic Game Farm

For hikers and other nature lovers, it’s important to know what to do if you encounter a bear like this one, or any bear for that matter, while you’re out in the wild. The experts say that it’s best to avoid eye contact, not to run or scream and to instead walk away slowly while waving your arms to let it know you are human.