Protest Terrier

Most Terriers love a scratch behind the ear, or perhaps a game of tug-O-war with an old gym sock. The Protest Terrier prefers nothing more than a good, old-fashioned march against something.  What are they marching against? To quote the original rebel, Marlon Brando,

"Whataya got?"

Above all, the Protest Terrier is eager to get out and demonstrate their belief in Free Speech for anyone they already agree with. 

Art School Lemming

San Francisco Wildlife #19 

Incredibly, most of the apartment buildings in San Francisco are now designated housing for art students. Apparently, some one tells about 10,000 young creatures per year that enjoying video games and anime is enough of a reason to register for private art school, and that after a few short years, they will be escorted to the gates of the Pixar campus for their first day on the job.

Yes, the one thing you may have heard about lemmings is absolutely true. They will, in fact follow each-other straight off the edge of a cliff. What makes the Art School Lemming unique is that his cliff looks less like a sudden drop in the landscape, more like a towering pile of student loan debt that can never, ever be paid off with his future job as a chalk artist for Trader Joe's.

But don't fret for the Art School Lemming's future. When the seasons change and he flunks out of school, those big skater-punk pants from Hot Topic will convert to a warm, dry shelter.

Start-UPossum

With his fresh Masters degree in Engineering secured in his leather messenger bag, the Start-UPossum migrates to San Francisco. Once he has found a start-up company to mate with, he begins the arduous task of filling his hi-rise apartment with expensive stuff.

The Start-UPossum hopes to eventually find a more appropriate mate but first he must finish the process of becoming Steve McQueen. He is already on his way when he makes his first large purchase; the custom Triumph bike which was built new for him and is somehow vintage at the same time. And by carrying his matching custom helmet (a subtle, but beautiful army green) wherever he goes, he can show potential mates that he pretty much is Steve McQueen.

The Eager to be Naked Beaver

Whenever the temperature in San Francisco pushes past 60 degrees you may see them. The Eager to be Naked Beaver lives for any opportunity to be bare in public. The athletic males remove thier shirts. The hairy, free spirits remove everything but their puka shell necklace. On a sunny day, female Eager Beavers (a bit more rare) can be spotted wearing a bikini, laying on any patch of grass larger than their beach towel.

The Who's The Kitten? Cats​

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"Wow, who is that kitten hanging out with her older, less attractive, twin sister?"

Actually they aren't sisters at all. The Who's The Kitten? Cats are besties, shopping warriors, dance floor princesses, oh and they happen to be a mother and her kitten. They love yoga, flirting with boys, talking about yoga, fro-yo, and talking about yoga pants. Follow their journey on Instagram for non-stop pics of egg-white omelets, shoes,  fresh pedicures, and felines making the duck face.

Little Owl Lady

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Amongst the hurried business people, young, tech start-up owners, hipsters, hippies, punks, drop-outs and weirdos the little owl lady is nearly invisible. This is not due to any camouflaging markings. Its only because every creature in the wilderness of San Francisco assesses others as those that can either Eat or be Eaten. The little owl lady is not a threat. She will not attack you (unless you are in her way when she is trying to get off the bus). She also cannot do anything for you. She won't date you. She cannot get you a job or hook your band up with a gig at the Red Devil Lounge. And so she is rarely "seen", even in broad daylight. 

Some little-known facts about the little owl lady:

  • Despite its size and slow pace, a little owl lady can lift twice its weight in weird groceries.
  • Little owl ladies have an average of 7 grandkids in college and will collect 40 metric tons of recyclables each year in order to keep them there. 
  • Little owl ladies are flightless birds, so they ride MUNI.

Designer Victim Penguin

Not every creature in in the wilds of San Francisco can be a peacock. The Designer Victim Penguin is not born with that jaw-dropping flash and dazzle the peacock gives off so effortlessly. Why can't he feel a little fancy too? We understand. But a penguin that buys his flash can easily go overboard in a city that offers a sea of glamour. Like a goat left alone on a lush exotic island, eating until his stomach explodes, the Designer Victim Penguin will never stop mindlessly consuming clothes, accessories, and anything else with a label. 

Faux Pimp Fox

A genuine Pimp Wolf can be very hard to spot in the wilds of San Francisco. Our only real clue is that he is being a dick to more than one female at a time. On the other hand the Faux Pimp Fox can be spotted easily roaming the plains of the SoMa or strutting down Divisadero Street. Always alone, he hunts for the next clearance sale at a Spirit Halloween Store.

The Mission Marmot

The Mission Marmot

Thanks in part to their opposable thumbs, Mission marmots are often artists. Or more commonly, "very artistic". For a 12-pack of liquid encouragement called PBR, these adorable, lumberjack-like creatures can draw you some diamond shapes that would probably look pretty sick on a skateboard. 

Mission Marmots do not drive. Instead they make their way over the near-virtical San Francisco hills on "fixies", bicycles with no breaks and one gear. This has everything to do with their stance on Big Oil and nothing to do with their recent string of DUIs.

Aging Goth Three-Toed Sloth

We all know that there is nothing cuter than a baby sloth. But eventually the young sloth must assert its maturity and independence. This is often done by embracing all that is dark and "disturbing". By dying areas of its fur to unnatural colors and applying unflattering markings to its face, the soon-to-be-grown sloth tells its parents (and everyone else) that she no longer needs to be told what to do to survive in this harsh, totally fucked up world, OK?!!

Sadly (so...very sadly), some sloths never transition from this phase into true maturity. The Aging Goth Three-toed Sloth is a heart-breaking example of a creature who got stuck somehow in its development. She still turns her back on the "Normals" who have long-since grown bored with her once outrageous markings. After decade of brooding and sulking she knows no other way but to go on rebelling against....well, against what, science just can't be sure.

Bridge n' Tunnel Bulls

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Seen only on Friday and Saturday nights, bridge n' tunnel bulls migrate to the city from their natural habitat (Roseville, probably) to drink, get laid, and smash things. 

Bridge n' tunnel bulls can be easily identified by their markings which have evolved to keep them well camouflaged amongst the products found in their environment (Costco). 

These fascinating beasts always travel in packs, usually numbering from 2 - 6, though in many cases such as Santa-con or Bay-to-breakers, their numbers can quickly grow into the hundreds of thousands.

Listen for their calls:

  • Lemme buy you a vodka and Redbull, baby.

  • Don't call it Frisco, dude! They hate that.

  • WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Welcome to the Astounding World of SF-WildLife

Welcome to my new blog experiment! My name is Ben Walker. I'm an illustrator living in San Francisco, California. Living here has always been my dream. I guess my whole life right now is a fantasy come to life. I live in a smallish one bedroom apartment with a beautiful model and we're crazy in love. I make art and hustle to make rent and pay my bills.

But living in SF is kind of nuts! 

For the first time in my adult life, I am without a car. I walk a lot. It keeps me in shape and on my toes. During the two years I have walked and bussed around this city I have seen some amazing and unbelievable sights. On an average day I see about six truly astounding things; things I might want to recall to a grandchild. When I was say, 20 my friends and I would witness something nutty and it would become an inside joke to be repeated for years. Now I see these kinds of things every day. Have you ever seen a grown man punting bagels across a busy intersection? French teens riding their skateboards on the bus? A junky dancing in a corn costume? That was my Tuesday. 

I have started to record these wild and bizarre characters and situations. Each Weekday I will post a new creature that I have encountered in this untamed city. I hope you all are as fascinated by them as I am.

Welcome to Ben Walker's SF-WildLife!

New Years Resolution Rhino

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The New Years Resolution Rhino can be identified by his doughy physique and trendy, yet ill-advised choice in footwear.