IELTS Cue Card Sample 414 - A wild animal that is common in your country

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a wild animal that is common in your country.

You should say:

  • what it is and what it looks like
  • where it lives
  • what you like /dislike about it

and explain how people in your country generally feel about this animal.


 

Model Answer 1:

There are different kinds of wild animals in my country which deserve special attention because of their unique characteristics. But, today here, I would like to talk about a rather common wild animal which I have seen many times before from up close.

The name of this wild animal is “Fox”. Some people also like to call it “red fox” because of its generally reddish coat. Like all “Canids” (a biological family of dog-like carnivorans), foxes have a rather slender appearance, pointed ears and an elongated muzzle. Its back of the ears and the front of the legs are black while its throat and belly can be from white to grey. One of the most noticeable characteristics of the red fox is that it has a fluffy white-tipped tail which actually looks like a “brush”.

Anyway, these small to medium-sized mammals, with a height of about 35 to 50 centimetre at shoulder, can be found across the entire Northern Hemisphere including most of North America, Europe and Asia, plus parts of Northern Africa. However, even if it can survive almost in any kinds of environment, it just doesn’t do too well in the tropical climates. Foxes in my country eat almost any food type, from insects, birds, and small mammals to sunflower seeds. They truly are some opportunistic eaters.

By the way, the red fox is generally portrayed as a sly, cunning creature and has been symbolised in folklore across the world for centuries, which usually live in diverse habitats including forests, grasslands, and mountainous areas of my country. These red foxes can also be seen in human environments such as farms, suburban areas, and even large communities.  

People in my country generally try to avoid them, but don’t necessarily like them or fear them, mainly because these animals have almost no or very little impact on their day to day lives. Having said that, however, most people in my country consider this wild creature as some devious and crafty animals which certainly know how to stay alive.


 

Sample Answer 2:

I live in England in the United Kingdom, and you might think we don’t have many wild animals, but in fact, we do. They are generally quite small and elusive, but lovely nevertheless, and they feature in lots of children’s stories.  Perhaps you’ll have heard of Beatrix Potter? She wrote beautifully illustrated books for children which were based on her imagined adventures for creatures from our countryside like rabbits, hedgehogs and even toads.

I’m going to tell you about one of my favourite wild animals from my country. I’ll explain what it is, and what it looks like. Where it lives – though that is quite complicated.  What I like about it and a bit about how others feel about them. You will find there are very different views! The animal I am thinking of is about the size of a domestic cat, though in appearance it more resembles a dog.  It has a reddish coat and a long bushy tail, called a ‘brush’ which always has a white tip to it. They vary a little in colour, but often have a white underbelly, and attractive black markings at the edge of their pointed ears. Can you guess what it is?  A red fox!

As to where foxes generally live, that is quite interesting. Historically, they were a feature of the countryside. People think of them as carnivores, meat-eaters, but in fact, they are omnivores. They do need a certain amount of prey, and will typically eat rabbits, birds, shrews and mice, for which they hunt,  as well as insects, berries, eggs and carrion (any dead animals they come across). However, they are also clever opportunists, so in the countryside, they will take domestic poultry if they can. In the countryside, they can come into conflict with farmers if they get into a chicken shed, they react to the panicking hens and can kill every bird in the hen house though only eating one. They aren’t popular on large estates where landowners raise pheasants for shooting. They have come to be regarded as something of a pest in the countryside, though not by everyone. Until quite recently it was legal to hunt foxes with dogs – I don’t agree with hunting at all, it horrifies me to think of a mob of people on horseback running down a solitary fox with a pack of dogs. I don’t agree with shooting pheasants either, a horrible so-called ‘sport’. Because foxes have been quite persecuted in the countryside, they have increasingly moved into urban areas. They are very resourceful and adaptable and actually have done really well living in towns and cities alongside people.  In this environment they are largely scavengers, raiding bins, eating discarded food from shops and restaurants, and living alongside railway tracks where there is still some cover of vegetation in which they can build dens.

The urban fox is doing so well, they are really common, and probably more now live in the towns than in the countryside. They are more active at dusk perhaps, but it is relatively easy to spot them. I think they are really beautiful, and I find it extraordinary that such a relatively large mammal can live alongside people in such a seemingly unpromising environment. They are so habituated to people they can become quite bold. They are still wild animals, and should not be regarded as tame, but they will come quite close. Where my parents live a fox used to regularly stop by their garden every evening to see if any food had been left out. Lots of people leave scraps out for ‘their’ foxes, as you might put out seeds to feed the birds that visit your garden. The fox always came at the same time, so my parents started to sit out and wait for it, and the fox would come within a couple of feet of them. It came so frequently, it wore a track in the lawn so you could see its exact route across the garden.  Even if you can’t see foxes, you can hear them at night calling. The sound is quite alarming if you haven’t heard it before. They give out a range of calls, but sometimes it can be mistaken for someone screaming.  It’s quite something!

People have very different views about foxes. Some people regard them as pests that take livestock in the countryside and upturn rubbish bins in the city. Others, like me, treasure this beautiful creature. I have seen the damage foxes can cause to a hen house, and it is bad, but they are wild animals acting on instinct, you just have to make sure your poultry sheds are fox-proof as best you can. I feel really privileged that even in the midst of a city you might catch a glimpse of a fox at night, loping along. Where I live now, after it snows, I can see fox tracks in the garden.  I find it comforting that even though these animals are so persecuted in some rural areas, they have found a way to adapt and survive. They are glorious to behold and give me hope that endangered as many species are, foxes at least have found a way to endure!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris: Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]


 

Sample Answer 3:

Wildlife is one of the most important resources for Sweden. This is the place where a notable number of wild animals are found. Moose is one of them and it is available across the country. The country has a huge amount of open spaces which helps to nurture the wilderness.
 
Moose is a superstar in the realm of wild animals in Sweden. This creature belongs to the deer family. But this is not an animal of wild nature. Due to its popularity among the people, its image is found in almost all of the daily activities. The animal comes with a height of around 210 centimetres with an average weight of around 800 KG. Though they are available in the zoo, they look better in the wild. Though the country is filled with this creature, they are not found in the cities more. They love to stay in nature.

In most of the cases, moose is found in open space out of the city. In fact, they do not want to approach in the city areas as there are numerous risks for them. Besides, when people see those animals in the city, they also take actions against them fearing plagues and other diseases. Hence, nature is the best place for them and they hardly come out of nature. They mostly live in moderate forests. But often they are also found near the towns when they are in search of their foods. Sometimes, they are also seen near and inside the farmlands in search of their foods. Besides, they are also seen on the roads outside of the city while driving a car. But the largest moose will be found at the Sarek National Park located in Lapland of the country.

This is a very cool creature in the wild. It has some special features like it does no harm to people. It takes vegetables as its food. Besides, it owns no resistance power at all from being trafficked or hunted. Humans are the larger predators for this creature while it also becomes victims of some other wild animals. This is the larger species of the deer family and Sweden contains the largest number of moose here. interestingly, the love to live alone. They do not have any herd or group to stay together. As a result, they are easy targets for predators.  

We, the Swedish, have a sense of affection to moose. It has occupied a large portion of our life. But some of the people bear a negative attitude about the creature for some mysterious reasons. They do not have any soft feeling for the moose and even they do lack reactions when the animals are hunted down by some cruel hunters. Besides, moose trafficking is another important issue. At times, there are some protests about the trafficking but they are of no use at all. However, moose has a great impact on the mind of the ordinary people. As a result, they are found on the t-shirts, key rings, gloves, on the car bumpers, in the form of stickers etc. This is a kind of expression of love for them.

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