Lonely Planet Writer

Holy cows, step dogs & other tourist animals

Meeting locals is key to getting to the heart of destination. However, in some instances the locals aren't human.

Many tourist sights have strong relationships with animals.
For instance, arguably the most valuable things contained within the Tower of London are not made of gold and diamond, but rather feather and bones. The crown jewels are worth a large fortune, but the six ravens residing at the castle are worth an entire nation. Legend has it that if the ravens were to leave, the British kingdom would collapse.

Very valuable ravens
This image is by Mini Mel.

Over 200 barbary macaques live on the Rock of Gibraltar and, like the ravens at the Tower of London, their presence comes with a legend. It is believed that as long as the monkeys ("Rock Apes") remain, the British will rule the Rock.

A barbary macaqueThis image is by Forsterfoto.

Many iguanas roam the Maya city of Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula.

An iguana at TulumThis image is by an urban explorer.

Swans are an elegant feature of the moat of the 12th century Leeds Castle in Kent.

Inquisitive swans at Leeds CastleThis image is by simpologist.

A cow takes in the view of the Ganges river in the holy city of Varanasi.

A cow takes in the view of the Ganges river in the holy city of VaranasiThis image is by anja.

Dogs laze about in the scorching heat of the courtyard of the 4,600 year old Step Pyramid at Saqqara

Dogs at the Step PyramidThis image is by me.

Other sights with animals are Machu Picchu and llamas, Trafalgar Square and pigeons, Angkor and monkeys, Giza and camels, and... can you add any more?