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Misplaced Wildlife

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Celia: Doesn't anyone think it's odd that tropical birds were flying around in this climate?
Haley: Have you ever read an encounter table? Nothing surprises me anymore.
Belkar: I once fought 1d3 dire camels in a swamp. No joke.

This trope is the bane of naturalists everywhere, just as Anachronism Stew is the bane of historians. It can manifest several different ways.

Generally, filmmakers use whichever animals they can get for a scene involving wild animals, especially in films set in Darkest Africa or The Amazon Rainforest. Whether the animals are in the right environment, on the right continent or displaying appropriate behaviour is something they just hope we won't ask about. Other times, cultural assumptions can lead to animals being placed in the wrong environments even when technical limitations aren't a strict factor.

This can qualify as a full-fledged biology fail in cases where the animal wouldn't even be able to survive in the environment where it's depicted, never mind being in the wrong place. Fishes are perhaps the most common victims of this, as when freshwater species such as piranha or electric eels are shown living in the ocean, where salinity ought to kill them in minutes. Likewise, for any depiction of saltwater-dependent organisms such as octopuses or great white sharks living and menacing victims in fresh water.

Particularly common examples include:

  • Asian elephants in scenes set in Darkest Africa, since African elephants are notoriously difficult to train, and the only trained elephants available thus tend to be Asian.
  • Monkeys. The cutest monkeys, the ones with the round faces and prehensile tails, are exclusive to the New World. Old World monkeys have long, wrinkly, often brightly colored faces and bare, often colourful, butts with non-prehensile (most macaques, baboons and the colobus) or vestigial (some macaques, the drill and mandrill) tails, so any film in Africa or Asia featuring a cute little monkey hanging by its tail will annoy a naturalist like a Shakespearean costume at King Arthur's court annoys an English historian.
  • Lions are grassland-, desert- and woodland-dwelling animals, but older literature often places them in the depths of the African rainforest. Tigers may sometimes be found in Africa as well, despite being strictly Asian animals. These cases have become rather rare in modern works, however, and are rarely used in non-parodic manners anymore.
  • Supposedly scary things like snakes, lizards, scorpions, and spiders will consist of whatever the pet store had in stock. Never mind where these animals live. Never mind if they're even really dangerous either - in which case it overlaps with Terrifying Pet Store Rat.
  • Probably the most common soundtrack example of misplaced wildlife is the use of the famous "ribbit" call of the Pacific tree frog. Native to the west coast of the US, this frog's call is completely out of place in films set just about anywhere else in the US and indeed the world (no other frog makes the "ribbit" call).

Misidentified wildlife is another feature of this trope. This tends to happen to birds a lot. Some movies show a bird making generic ambient noise type calls, usually via stock footage. This ruins any sense of immersion for birdwatchers, who will immediately ask, "Hey, what's a White-throated Sparrow doing in feudal Japan?" Indeed one will eventually come away with the impression that there are no birdwatchers in Hollywood. (In extreme cases, such as using a red-tailed hawk's scream to represent an "eagle," this has crossed over into The Coconut Effect.)

Occasionally, a movie or TV show will attempt to justify Misplaced Wildlife by identifying an animal onscreen, such as that White-throated Sparrow, as something ''completely'' different — even if it's a species that looks nothing like the creature onscreen.

Also, sometimes background sound effects contain sounds of animals not native to the setting of the film/TV show. Perhaps the most notorious example is Jungles Sound Like Kookaburras, the use of the distinctive "laugh" of the Australian kookaburra in jungle scenes set in Africa, or anywhere else other than Australia, usually used for the sound of any monkey. This began with MGM's early-30s jungle movies like Tarzan, the Ape Man, and ever since, everybody has used this sound as jungle background.

Naturally, this trope occurs much less often when the filming actually takes place in the area where the story is set. Also, this trope generally applies only to normal animals. Funny Animals can be easily called as immigrants of some sort if found out of their element (especially if they're able to build vehicles). A few cases might be explained by Creator Provincialism, as the creators incorporate the animals they're most familiar with.

Note that this trope can also occur with plant life. In fact, it occurs often enough that Misplaced Vegetation is its own Sister Trope.

See also Noisy Nature, Incorrect Animal Noise, Anachronistic Animal, Diurnal Nocturnal Animal, Artistic License – Paleontology, Artistic License – Ornithology, Snowy Sabertooths, Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying, Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying, Terrestrial Sea Life, and Polar Bears and Penguins.


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  • Averted in the Coke commercials with the polar bear family for almost a decade, until a 2006 commercial. Possibly justified in that the penguins are on vacation, as they float in on patches of ice.
  • In the Snickers Feast ads with a Viking and a pilgrim, the Viking's headdress is made partially from the hide of raccoons, which are specific to the Western Hemisphere. He could have been a Viking who traveled to North America, but it's doubtful that the makers of the commercials thought about that.
  • There's a Hyundai commercial with a car driving past a lot of wild animals that are impressed by its look. Most of them are common North American forest species, but there's also prairie dogs (which don't belong in the woods), plus lemurs and an emu (which don't even belong on the same continent as the rest, or each other).
  • GEICO:
    • One commercial shows African penguins living in the South Pole. As their name suggests, African penguins are only found along the southern African coast and wouldn't be able to survive the extreme environment of the Antarctic. African penguins are a common captive species, so they were most likely the easiest to book for a commercial shoot.
    • Another ad shows some children playing the game "Marco Polo" in a backyard pool with the historical Marco Polo. A llama stands by the pool watching the game for some reason... presumably (since it's wearing a pack) because the commercial's writers didn't know that they're from the wrong continent for Polo to have ever used one on his travels.
    • Another ad shows a pair of cartoon turtles get menaced by a white-backed vulture, which is an African species. Due to laws regarding native birds of prey, it's likely that it was simply easier to get than a turkey vulture.
  • Justified for the joke in an ad video of the Austrian tourism ministry as a Take That! against the stupid tourists who can't distinguish them from Australia. (Cue unexpected kangaroo.)

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors, the little island where the Japanese build their base contains elephants, rhinos, kangaroos, and crocodiles, none of which are found in the islands of the southwest Pacific. In fact, animals that large aren't found on small islands, period.
  • More of a translation problem, but nearly every animal in an anime referred to as a raccoon is in reality a raccoon dog (or tanuki), a completely unrelated animal. Raccoons are native to the Americas. Some, depending on the date, may be referring to actual raccoons since they are an invasive species now found in 42 out of 47 prefectures. Rascal the Raccoon is a 1977 anime series with a main character that is a raccoon. At the time it was very popular, leading to around 1,500 raccoons that were imported as pets each year after the success of the anime series, so it became something of a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
  • The main island of Japan hosts a sort of urban-dwelling dove similar to a morning dove with a very distinctive call: hoot-hoot / low grumble. This call is heard in Kaleido Star even though the beginning of the story is set in Los Angeles.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler has, among other things, tigers in Africa. When the author found out that tigers don't live in Africa, he admitted to not doing the research... and then, since it's a Gag Series, lampshaded it in a flashback in a later chapter by portraying an African savanna with such diverse species as pandas, unicorns, dinosaurs, and a "dragon" that looks rather like a person in a costume.
  • This is brought up in Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, in a chapter where D points out to Wu Fei that many of the animals that are considered normal in Japan were actually imported from other countries.
  • The Jungle in Haré+Guu contains oddly drawn bears. The manga even says in a small box "Note: there are no bears in the jungle." Said jungle also seems to have pokute as its primary form of wildlife, so...
  • Part of Goku and Krillen's training in Dragon Ball involves swimming ten laps between the shore of a lake that for some reason has a shark in it.
  • The "Best Wishes" arc of Pokémon: The Series featured Pikachu in the Unova region, which ironically did not feature such Pokémon (or any Pokémon from the first four generations) there. This was only because Ash brought the Pikachu with him; there had yet to be any appearances of the 493 Pokémon from prior generations in the wild. There were also instances of certain Pokémon appearing in a region in which they're normally not native to, especially during both the Hoenn and Sinnoh arcs. Corrected in the Gen V sequel games as being the result of computer malfunctions releasing non-native mons into the region. Krabby, Onix and Magnemite are seen during one of the Dawn visit episodes, which makes this an in-universe example.
  • Kimba the White Lion has the title character living in a jungle while real lions live in savannas. Justified when Kimba's odd home is made into a plot point involving the heritage of the white lions. Although real African lions typically live in open grassland and low tree density savannah, it's not unknown for them to live in bush and forest habitats. It's even more normal for Asiatic lions where mixed open forest(or jungle)/grassland (high tree density savannah) habitat is more normal.
  • One Stormy Night features bison, cougars, grizzly bears, prairie dogs, skunks, raccoons, wild boars, raccoon dogs, and baboons living in a forest with several goats and wolves.
  • Squid Girl had a king cobra on a mountain in Japan.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Haunts of Evil have a hoatzin native to the Amazon showing up in the African jungles.
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan has a woolly rhinoceros and a crocodile in Quaternary Japan. This gets fixed in the 2016 remake, where they are appropriately replaced by a steppe bison and a giant salamander respectively.
  • Kemono Friends: Japari Park makes no attempt to separate its animals and Friends by their original location, only by biome. Even then there's a lot of Friends in weird places, though that could be the result of them moving around unsupervised.
  • Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia does this deliberately. One scene in a travelling montage shows a colony of leaf-cutter ants, despite the story taking place in Mesopotamia while leaf-cutters are native to South America. But it's justified: Queztalcoatl has taken over part of Mesopotamia and her influence has reshaped part of the landscape into a South American jungle, so the leaf-cutters' presence is in fact Foreshadowing.
  • Dr. STONE, bizarrely, despite being so good at other aspects of accurately depicting the world, has American Alligators on the west coast of the USA—specifically in the Sacramento River—when their natural range is solely the south-east and Gulf coasts.

    Asian Animation 
  • ViR: The Robot Boy: Deliberately invoked in the episode "Himalayan Penguins", where Gintu tries to convince the others that there are penguins in the Himalayas despite their repeated assurances otherwise. Gintu transforms himself into a penguin as part of his attempt to convince them.

    Comic Books 
  • The origin of the first Black Condor (in an issue of Crack Comics) has his parents being killed while they were in Mongolia and himself being raised by condors... which live nowhere near Mongolia.
  • Inverted in Alpha Flight. Snowbird can turn into an all-white version of any animal, but was originally limited to those native to Canada. When she fights a villain who creates a blinding snowstorm, she thinks about how she needs the echolocation abilities of a bat, but can't turn into one because she claims there are none in Canada. In real life, Canada is home to at least 18 native bat species, with 3 in the northern territories.
  • During Kurt Busiek's run on The Avengers, a Snowbird expy called Silverclaw shows up; she can only turn into animals native to South America. The cheetah was retconned into a jaguar next issue (though she changed into that for speed), but they never tried to explain the cockatoo.
  • Lampshaded in The Incredible Hulk #250 when Silver Surfer visited the North Pole and encountered large groups of penguins. To avert a storm of No-Prizes, the editor wrote in the bottom of the panel that he knew penguins lived on the opposite side of the world but the artist drew them so cute that he left them in.
  • In Prez, the Native American Noble Savage Eagle Free is seen communing with a group of forest creatures that includes a monkey, an elephant and a gorilla.
  • Like many Jungle Opera comics of the period, the writer of Rulah, Jungle Goddess suffered under the misapprehension that tigers live in the jungles of Africa.

    Comic Strips 
  • The May 24, 1986 Calvin and Hobbes strip has Calvin imagining himself as a crocodile in the Amazon. Okay, but he then imagines his dad as a hippopotamus... which are native to Africa. This is coming from Calvin, who once seriously believed that bats were bugs.
  • Lampshaded in a Polar Express parody in a FoxTrot comic strip: The conductor welcomes Roger to the North Pole... until Roger points out the presence of penguins. "Stupid Map-Quest!"
  • Readers of The Comics Curmudgeon study the Mark Trail strip to pin down the location of his 'Lost Forest' homebase by the species of wildlife present — it's a geographical uncertainty like Springfield in The Simpsons.
  • Justified Trope in The Phantom. There are wild tigers in the African country of Bengali because an Indian Maharaja once brought a group of them from India some hundred years earlier.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin and Hobbes Get XTREME! has yaks on a North American mountain.
  • The Final Sword: Rebora gets a cool pet accessory in the form of a fallen tree bitten down by beavers for the squirrelnote  to climb around on. There are no beavers in Japan.
  • The Discworld fic Nature Studies deals with some seriously misplaced wildlife. CMOT Dibbler's brainwave — to establish a safari park near Ankh-Morpork — goes seriously wrong when the imported animals escape and colonise Hide Park. An Urban Safari ensues to round them up, led by an Action Girl who, unlike Dibbler, knows all about Howondalandian fauna.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has an In-Universe example: it's a bit of a Running Gag that Professor Oak expresses his astonishment whenever Ash, who has yet to leave his home region, somehow manages to catch Pokémon that shouldn't be anywhere near Kanto (such as Goomy and a bunch of Vivillon, who are native to Kalos). There's always a good explanation for said examples, though Oak feels the need to avoid asking questions.

    Films — Animation 
  • The 3 Little Pigs: The Movie: Some of the unidentifiable predators at the inn aside, some of the animals there are out of place for what seems to be a forest in the French countryside. Two vultures perch outside the inn hoping for scraps, and one of the guests appears to be a blue tiger. Possibly an Invoked Trope, as at least one of the flyers advertising the Dinner Theatre at the inn were delivered via Flying Postman, and it’s not made clear just how far the marketing campaign went.
  • Back to the Outback has a downplayed example; Pretty Boy notes that they are not in Tasmania when they encounter Tasmanian devils (a species that in the past could be found throughout Australia, but now are only found on the island state), prompting their leader, Dave, to explain that they were passing through the area on holiday.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs 3D: Alex's modern day incarnation is a rook, a corvid that isn't found in Alaska.
  • The Jungle Book:
    • In Walt Disney's version (set in India), the Bandar-log (probably meant to be macaques or langurs) have prehensile tails and flexible limbs like New World monkeys, but otherwise look mostly correct, with the glaring exception of Louie the orangutan (native to Indonesia).
      • In the case of the latter, one reviewer hypothesizes that Louie probably was originally a maharajah's pet who escaped into the wild, which might also explain his familiarity with humans and his desire to be like them.
    • Strangely, Louie was kept in both the Live-Action Adaptation and "The Kipling group of Fables" in the comic book Fables, despite being a Disney addition and neither part of Rudyard Kipling's work nor a genuine "Fable". In the live-action Jungle Book it was at least acknowledged that Louie was out of place. But since Fables are influenced by people's beliefs about them, it's not impossible that Louie exists simply because more people have seen the Disney movie than read Kipling's books, and Word of God is that he simply didn't do the research.
    • The Jungle Book 2 has ocelots make a small appearance during a song. Ocelots live in South America. Same goes to the hippos and a Thompson’s gazelle considering how they live in Africa as well as what appear to be black sifaka lemurs which live naturally only on Madagascar.
    • In the animated spin-off Jungle Cubs, aside from Louie there's baboons (there's some evil ones during season 1), babirusa and many other critters.
  • Abu in Disney's Aladdin, who looks like a New-World monkey in Arabia. There was mention in the animated series that Abu was imported as part of a traveling circus before he was adopted by Aladdin, and his tiny vest and hat was an artifact of this past, though this may have been an Author's Saving Throw. And Iago the parrot seems to be a red lory, native to Indonesia. This could be explained by him being an imported pet, but the TV series takes this further when during a jaunt to the Amazon, Iago mentions he left the area a while back (implying he is a very small version of a Scarlet Macaw). Surprisingly, Rajah the tiger is not an example, since there actually were tigers note  in the Middle East during the time the movie takes place. Neither are the elephants who appear in various background shots— the range of Asian elephants also extended into the Middle East once. "Prince Ali" has "llamas galore" among Aladdin's entourage, but this is justified because A Genie Did It.
  • Despite including a parody of this trope (listed below) Disney's Tarzan messed up by having lemurs (native only to Madagascar) and a green tree python (native only to Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia) in mainland Africa. At least they put a leopard in the place of the book's lion, which, given the jungle setting, is much more appropriate. The Licensed Game on the other hand, exaggerates this. Most of the enemies Tarzan has to avoid are misplaced, from South American toucans, macaws and squirrel monkeys to piranhas (yes, the game plays this example straight after the movie it's based on parodies it). The ring-tailed lemurs return from the movie, as do the vicious baboons; they're some of the only African enemies encountered. Tarzan 2 features giraffes, wildebeests, and gazelles in the jungle. The Legend of Tarzan had blue-and-yellow macaws and bald eagles (or perhaps the very similar-looking African fish eagle, which still doesn't live in jungles) in Africa, as well as the ring-tailed lemurs from the movie. There's also savannah animals like the aforementioned giraffes, zebras, spotted hyenas, and briefly what looked like a lioness (even after the original movie averted this) living in the jungle.
  • The Lion King (1994) came close to avoiding this trope. That would be if it only wasn't for a line of leaf-cutting ants, native to South America. "I Just Can't Wait to be King" also features what appear to be spider monkeys (also South America) and anteaters (though perhaps they were meant to be aardvarks), though since it's the film's Disney Acid Sequence, it's debatable how much it counts. The sequel also slips up by putting an exclusively rainforest-dwelling Okapi in the savanna… although it is an African species, just from the wrong part of Africa. The midquel also has Timon mentioning snapping turtles, even though those live in North America. If you really want to split hairs, meerkats (Timon's species) live only in Southern Africa in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, while Mandrills (Rafiki's species) are restricted to an area of western Central Africa comprising Equatorial Guinea and parts of Cameroon, Gabon and Congo. The trope ends up being Played for Laughs in the Look-And-Find adaptation in the first part. What else would some call a kangaroo, a red fox note , a penguin note , a horned owl, a striped skunk, and a giant panda bear in the wilds of Africa anyway?
  • Bambi, set in Northeastern America, came very close too — until the California Quails show up. Bambi himself was originally a Roe Deer and the story took place in a German forest. But the setting was changed and he was made a White-tailed Deer to be more familiar to the American audience.
  • The Quails also appear (to cluck with disapproval at the Dwarves' dirty floor) in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (which also featured raccoons, both native to North America) and Sleeping Beauty, both of which are implied to take place in Europe.
  • Pocahontas has the quails (once again) and a moose. It is true that some animals ranged farther into the eastern parts of North America in pre-colonial times, but still. It leads one to think that the filmmakers have never even been to Virginia, given the spectacular Artistic License – Geography of the landscape. note  Elk would have been more accurate if they were looking for something larger than a white-tail in Colonial times. There's also a large grizzly bear with cubs, even though there are only black bears in Virginia (today, at least).
  • For another bird in the wrong region, Rio 2 has the Spix macaw, native of the Caatinga (Brazilian Northeast) in The Amazon Rainforest (Brazilian North) - and a huge flock, even if the bird is extinct in the wild.
  • Dinosaur:
    • The film had Brachiosaurus interacting with Cretaceous-period dinosaurs, as well as lemurs, which did not evolve until well after dinosaurs went extinct. Meanwhile the Carnotaurus that appeared was found only in South America, with relatives in Africa and southern Europe. Thus, this movie had Misplaced Wildlife and Anachronism Stew simultaneously. The opening scene also featured a Koolasuchus, which was a giant amphibian that only thrived in polar regions (the South Pole, to be precise, on the exact opposite part of the planet). Even taking tectonic shift into account, those didn't belong there.
    • The film at least tries to justify the Baylene and the carnotaurs by saying that the former is the last of her kind and that the latter are never found as far north as the apparent setting of the film, saying that they must have been driven out by the meteor.
  • Finding Nemo was very impressive with its well-researched Great Barrier Reef fish. Pity they didn't extend the research to the birds, using American species of pelican and gull instead of Australian ones.
  • The Little Mermaid has carp, newts and trout living in saltwater habitats and a coral reef that would be more appropriate off the coast of Australia than in the chilly Atlantic Ocean. note  The sequel also features a walrus living in what appears to be Antarctica. The Screen-to-Stage Adaptation makes Flotsam and Jetsam electric eels, which are a freshwater species native to the Amazon and Orinoco basins, and are not true eels but knifefish. Electric eels are also featured in the prequel.
  • Beauty and the Beast is set in France, but there are North American wildlife as trophies in Gaston's house. Gaston is exactly the sort of person who would travel to another country for a hunting trip.
  • Tangled featured a chameleon character living in what appears to be a medieval Northern European kingdom. There are chameleons in southern Europe, but it's unlikely they'd get up that far.
  • Robin Hood takes place in Medieval England, but features North American raccoons, as well as African and Asian species such as lions, elephants, hippos, and rhinos, and an unidentifiable constrictor snake that seems out of place. (The animals were cast based on the characters' personalities—King Richard the Lionheart is a lion; cunning Robin Hood is a fox, etc.) It is set in a world of sapient animals, so it's not unreasonable to assume all these creatures immigrated from their ancestral homelands over time, but raccoons migrating from North America is implausible.
  • Mulan stuck to Chinese wildlife, but forgot that China is a gigantic country whose wildlife varies a great deal by region. Thus we see a giant panda (native to Sichuan province in the southwest) even though the plot revolves around fighting the Huns, who lived in northern China. That is like including jaguars (which are found in the United States, but in southwestern ones like Arizona) in, say, Maine.
    • Mulan II featured skunks (native to North America) pestering the main characters during one of the songs from the film.
  • The Emperor's New Groove has Bucky, an Eurasian red squirrel living in a South American jungle. It might have been an Andean squirrel, which is a reddish-colored squirrel that lives in the South American mountains, but that only lives in the Colombian Andes, which is just outside the range of the Inca empire.
  • Ice Age has animals misplaced in time as well as space. At the very least, they used animals that were all around after the dinosaurs died out (with the exception of the second film's hesperornithines, mostly flightless Mesozoic diving birds). Especially confusing the mains haven't aged between the two movies, but they're set at opposite ends of the titular ice age... And then comes Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, when the first movie had humans. The dinosaurs are at least living in a Lost World, but the genera there are as misplaced in location and time as the other animals in the series.
  • Golden Films' The Jungle King Lions don't live in jungles.
  • The stop-motion animation of Fantastic Mr. Fox comes very close to entering this trope, depending on your interpretation of the film. Although American animals such as the possum and grey fox are present, this could just very well be an artistic choice on the director's part. After all, some of the animals that could have more easily been represented by their American counterparts, such as the badger, were instead obviously portrayed as the Eurasian variety — fitting as the film is set in the English countryside. Some believe that because the animals are all portrayed as American, and the humans as English, the film could represent the American Revolution... in which case, is it acceptable for a few of the animals to be American species, if a theme of the film is all about said animals/culture fighting for their own identity?
  • Kung Fu Panda has an elderly Galapagos tortoise living in ancient China as one of the film's main characters, while the sequel featured evil gorillas (native to Africa). The tortoise at least is justified, as his backstory has him being born in the Galapagos Islands and eventually traveling to China.
  • That cute little desert mouse, Priscilla, in Rango; Word of God is she's actually an aye-aye. The film is set in the Mohave Desert, and the aye-aye is native only to Madagascar.
  • The 1978 film The Water Babies has a (freshwater) electric eel working for a shark Big Bad under the ocean, and lets its lobster, seahorse, and swordfish characters move freely into rivers, which makes it also biologically impossible and can't be justified like most examples by the animals being sapient alone.
  • The accents and mammals (Tasmanian devil, echidna) in Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Gahoole make it pretty clear we're in Australia, but it includes every owl species in the world. And the bats working for the pure ones appear to be vampire bats, which are native to Central and South America.
  • In the animated Christmas Movie Spike there's a village (more like a city) of penguins within driving distance of Santa's workshop.
  • Pangur Ban, Brother Aiden's pet cat in The Secret of Kells, is recognizably a Turkish Angora — telltale signs are the pure white coat, bushy tail, and mismatched eyes — a breed that was not introduced to Europe until the Crusades, at least four hundred years after the completion of the Book of Kells.
  • Disney's version of Peter Pan skirts this trope. There are North American animals such as grizzly bears and African animals such as hippopotamuses, monkeys and rhinoceroses, living on the same continent, and also presumably within a few miles of each other — and in their native habitats, too. They (partly) justify it by implying (during Peter and the kids' flight from London) that Neverland exists in a separate solar system and thus is a different planet (which makes the pirates and the Indians examples of Fantasy Counterpart Culture). At least the crocodile doesn't stick out too badly, since crocodiles are found in the Caribbean, which is the kind of place you'd expect to encounter folks like Captain Hook and his crew. The sequel Return To Never Land also has lions and elephants on Neverland as well.
  • In Happy Feet Two, Sven the "flying penguin" turns out to be an Atlantic puffin (who can fly, unlike penguins). It's not made clear how a bird that lives in the North Atlantic has ended up that far south.
  • Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire had bobcats in Australia.
  • Song of the South:
    • One of the antagonists, Br'er Bear, is a grizzly bear who lives in the southern United States. Real grizzly bears don't live in the south, but in the northwest, like Alaska.
    • The popular Disney ride, Splash Mountain, which is based on Song of the South and also takes place in the south, not only features the particularly misplaced Br'er Bear. It also features a porcupine at one point of the ride, even though real porcupines live in the west and the northeast.
  • Jungle Boy: African elephants, gorillas, giraffes and aardvark in Indonesia.
  • Nearly all of Dingo Pictures' animal characters make an appearance in Animal Soccer World, regardless of their natural habitat. Lions, dogs, seals, squirrels and panthers are just a few examples.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 101 Dalmatians (1996) has skunks and raccoons in England. While there are feral populations of both in England, they were not reported until several years after the film's release.
  • In 300 the Persian war rhino is an African two-horned rhino instead of one of the one-horned Asian species (granted, there is a two-horned rhino in Asia, the Sumatran rhino, but it is a hairy, very small creature with two very short, almost flat horns). Also, rhinos never were domesticated nor used in warfare.
  • In the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey the hominids, in a semi-desert African setting, are accompanied by tapirs, when there's no evidence that they ever existed in Africa. In the novel, they were boars, so it was probably just a case of being unable to get a large animal of that sort passive enough to use in filming, especially since one shot involves a hominid angrily shoving a tapir aside. Boars are nasty, and would probably attack the actors if they shoved it like that. Word of God is that one reason they used tapirs is because they were more exotic-looking and had a "prehistoric" appearance.
  • In 10,000 BC, woolly mammoths built pyramids that resemble the Egyptian ones. Even a layman should be able to figure out giant woolly animals wouldn't live anywhere near a desert, though in all fairness it's quite clear that they were deliberately captured and brought there for use as laborers just like the human slaves, not that they're actually native to the desert. But even accounting for that, they're a remarkably poor choice for the job given that plenty of other, non-woolly mammoths and other elephant relatives existed that would be better able to handle the heat. Then there's the Terror Birds in the jungle, which were probably meant to be (South American) Phorusrhacids. More likely, they were there so that the producers could say they technically had dinosaurs chasing cavemen in their movie.
  • Airplane! somehow had an actual turkey vulture. On the other hand, the elephant in Stryker's Africa flashback was actually an Asian elephant (since African elephants cannot legally be used for film and television projects).
  • At the end of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the Cooper family discovers an array of Australian Wildlife in their backyard, including kangaroos, wallabies, an emu, a cockatoo… and an American alligator. It's possible the alligator was meant to portray a crocodile, which Australia does have.
  • The trailer for Alpha (2018) shows long-horned bison, native only to North America, and woolly rhinoceroses, native to Europe. Regardless of where the film is supposed to be set, one of them is out of place.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked features a meerkat (referred by Alvin as a "honey badger") living on a tropical island.
  • Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid took place in Asia (specifically Borneo) — even though most of the animals in the film are native to South America, particularly the title serpent itself (to say nothing of the tiger that appears briefly, since it's native to neither South America nor Borneo). This may be a case of failing geography rather than biology, as they might've belatedly decided to change the film's location. There's also the deadly golden silk orb-weaver seen several times during the film. Impressively, it's not too out of place (Nephila is a very widespread genus, and there are several Asian species). On the other hand, it's not exactly deadly, as the many, many people who live with these things could easily tell you.
  • The spiders in Arachnophobia are Delena cancerides from New Zealand, a species known for being slow and harmless. This is somewhat evident to the arachnology fan watching the film, as they are so slow and inert that they sometimes have to be urged to move by sticks that are visible in-shot. The "big bad" spider toward the end is a bird-eating tarantula, more dangerous owing to being large and aggressive (if not particularly venomous). The film is set in the USA, though the spiders supposedly come from South America.
  • AVP: Alien vs. Predator is set in Mysterious Antarctica and has a Cat Scare involving a penguin. Problem is, the bird shown is an African penguin, only found in, well, Africa.
  • Big Fish and Sideways (deleted scene) replaced turkey vultures with one of the closely related yellow-headed vulture species. Since only turkey vultures that cannot be returned to the wild can be kept in captivity, it is apparently much simpler to just import a foreign lookalike.
  • Blood Diamond: While traveling the Sierra Leonan countryside on foot, the main characters see a cheetah, which is not native to Sierra Leone.
  • The film adaptation of Bridge to Terabithia substituted a common brushtail possum for a Virginia opossum in the greenhouse scene. Necessitated because, although it's set in the eastern U.S., the film was produced in New Zealand, which has very strict laws against importing foreign wildlife. Brushtail possums aren't native to New Zealand either, but they have been established there as feral animals for a long time, so they could be filmed without breaking the law.
  • Bringing Up Baby has a leopard from South America. Leopards are old world cats, found in Africa and Asia. South America is the domain of jaguars. The original short story identified Baby as a "panther" (which could mean either a leopard or a jaguar), but a leopard happened to be available for filming, so the species was changed but they forgot to change her origin in the script (or more likely, didn't realize they had to).
  • The Pygmy Nuthatch in Charlie's Angels (2000) is a South American Troupial, a relation to the oriole — a much bigger and different coloured bird. Pygmy Nuthatches are not found in one small spot like Cameron Diaz declares either. And the call heard in the movie matches neither bird.
  • In the original Clash of the Titans, the snake that shows up is a boa constrictor — which lives in the Americas, and thus would not have appeared in Ancient Greece.
  • In the remake Clash of the Titans, Zeus' totem is a bald eagle, which is native to North America and would certainly not have shown up in ancient Greece.
  • Jess Franco's Count Dracula (1970) lets us hear a Transylvanian kookaburra (No bird is onscreen; Franco apparently just wanted some dramatic sound and took whatever he could get). Lovingly parodied in The Monster Squad, where the same animals appear in the Transylvania prologue.
  • The Transylvanian armadillos in Dracula (1931). There's also an opossum; Browning probably meant for them to stand in as giant rats, but still
    • The Spanish language version, shot from the same script on the same sets at night after the English-speaking cast and crew had gone home, does use rats. The director made a point of watching the English language footage every night before getting to work, and then making his version better. He didn't know what the armadillos were for, either.
    • One theory is that the armadillos and opossums are actually a result of censorship; showing actual live rats would have been against the rules as too "revolting" for an American audience, so rat stand ins were rather bizarrely used. The Spanish version would have been shown in areas where this limitation wouldn't have applied, so they got away with using real rats.
    • As the Spanish-language version was intended for Latin American markets, much of its intended audience would know that armadillos (native to that part of the world) are harmless and nothing like rats. English-speaking audiences — at least, the ones outside of Texas — would be less likely to know how very inoffensive these animals are, so might (stress might) actually have found them a bit creepy.
    • Then there's the bats. The connection between vampires and bats was never very strong in the classic vampire myths. Stoker mostly came up with it after reading about vampire bats somewhere and incorporating them into the story. The problem is that vampire bats are native to Latin America. The only place in Eastern Europe you're likely to find them are zoos.
  • George of the Jungle is supposed to take place in the heart of Africa but Shep is an Asian elephant (much easier to train), George's friend "Little Monkey" is a South American capuchin, and orangutans (from Indonesia) are occasionally spotted hanging around. And then there's the toucan, which is native to South America as well.
  • The Ghost and the Darkness—which, for context, was set in Kenya and filmed in South Africa—uses the calls of common nighthawks and Swainson's hawks to establish nighttime scenes. Both species are strictly found in the Americas.note 
  • One of the gags in Girl Shy has Harold Lloyd sitting on a giant tortoise. Giant tortoises are currently found on islands in the south Pacific and Indian Oceans, not southern California.
  • The Hawaii scene in Godzilla (2014) has loon calls.
  • Hawk the Slayer: To show the sinister nature of the forest, a reticulated python is shown freezing its scales off in an English forest.
  • One scene In the Heat of the Night (set in Mississippi) features the call of a California quail (whose name accurately indicates where it is more commonly found).
  • Indiana Jones:
    • Raiders of the Lost Ark:
      • The monkey looks like another Capuchin. At least the monkey was a pet, and not necessarily native.
      • The big, hairy spiders that climb all over Jones and his guide are Mexican red-kneed tarantulas, native to deserts and scrublands, not rainforests.
      • The boa constrictor that falls on Marian, even though constrictors aren't found in the arid regions of Egypt.
      • In the scene with the tomb full of snakes, one reptile that's visible is not only not Egyptian, but not a snake. It's a European glass lizard.
      • Indy is treated to the threat display of a beautiful...monocled cobra. note 
    • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
      • Indy misidentifies the large bats as vampire bats, which aren't found in India. Granted, he might've been yanking his companions' chains about those. In reality, if you see a bat you can in any way describe as large it's probably a "megabat", which are also known as "fruit bats", because that's what they eat.
      • Also, the crocodiles that devour several Mooks, as well as Mola Ram in the climax, are American alligators, not any of the four Indian species, the saltwater crocodiles, mugger crocodiles, gharial or false gharial. Although this could be because alligators are much easier to obtain for filming than Indian crocodiles. (For the record, salties and muggers will happily eat human meat if they can get it.)
      • NONE of the bugs in the "bug tunnel" scene are actually from India.
    • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
      • The siafu ("big damn ants!") are native to Africa, not Peru, and aren't nearly as big in Real Life. This could be a case of misidentified wildlife on Indy's part instead, as the Amazon notoriously does have similar army ants; army ants, however, are nomadic and do not build anthills like the ones in the film.
      • The snake that hilariously has to save Indiana from a quicksand pit in one scene, is not actually a rat snake as Mutt names it, because, as Indiana points out, no rat snakes grow that big, but a Papuan python, living only on Papua New Guinea. Not in South America.
  • Justified in Jumanji. The jungle that the Jumanji world is composed of is not a real-world environment, but a fantastical, magical creation of the game, hence all sorts of misplaced wildlife spring from it. For instance, Pelicans, lions, black rhinos, zebras, and African bush elephants all don't live in the jungle. This carries over to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. You see, kiddies, jaguars, like piranhas, are native to the Americas, not sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The Jungle Book (1994): King Louie is an orangutan, which are not native to India. Kaa is the worst offender here as he's played by an anaconda (a snake from South America) instead of an Indian or reticulated python. There are also Ring-Tailed Lemurs.
  • The Jungle Book (2016):
    • India covers a wide range of climates, ecosystems, and biogeographic regions. Consequently, you can throw in a whole bunch of animals that are all found in India, yet don't actually meet each other in the wild. The Jungle Book is set in Seeonee (more typically spelt Seoni) in the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India. A number of Indian wildlife depicted in the movie aren't native to this area itself, such as Indian rhinoceros and pygmy hog (both more typical of the grasslands of the northern and northeastern states), as well as a great deal of the various primate species that make up the Bandar-log.
    • Among the Bandar-log, the gibbons are presumed to be western hoolock gibbons, the only gibbon species native to India (the eastern hoolock gibbon might also be present in eastern Arunachal Pradesh). However, it is only found in the northeastern part of India, and does not share a range with the lion-tailed macaque, which is native to the southwestern part of India. Same goes for most of the other monkeys — the other macaque species represented appears to be a pig-tailed macaque, likely the northern pig-tailed macaque. There are also golden langurs and Nilgiri langurs. However, the northern pig-tailed macaque and golden langur are also found only in the northeastern states of India, and wouldn't have hung out with the lion-tailed macaques. The Nilgiri langur, like the lion-tailed macaque, is endemic to southwestern India. None of these species are found in the Seoni area. Only the gray langurs fit biogeographically — they're probably meant to be southern plains gray langur, which is the species native to central India. It's really odd that they chose a number of more exotic-looking monkey species that while Indian, don't occur in this area at all, while omitting the rhesus macaque, which is found in central India.
    • The wolves themselves look quite out of place — they have the fur coats of wolves from more temperate climates. Indian wolves are much leaner and look quite different from the European and North American wolves moviegoers are more familiar with.
    • The flying squirrel species shown is a red and white giant flying squirrel, which is found in China, not India. There are various flying squirrel species in India, but they aren't as distinctively marked as this species.
    • The jerboas, which show up at several points in the movie, must be quite lost; not only are they not found in India, they aren't even jungle inhabitants: they're found only in desert environments, and while some species are found in the arid parts of western Pakistan, that's the closest they ever get to Seoni.
    • The frog seen hopping on the ground after the rains return does not look like any known species of frog from India. Instead, it appears to be an European tree frog.
    • Among the sounds made by the Bandar-log include the calls of siamang, a gibbon species found in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, not in India, as well as chimpanzees (a species restricted to Africa).
    • A red-tailed hawk (a predominantly North American species) is heard calling while Baloo and Bagheera are climbing the cliff in pursuit of the Bandar-log.
    • The film is listed under aversions for turning King Louie, originally an orangutan, into a Gigantopithecus, for the explicit reason that orangutans don't live in India... which is just this trope on a temporal level instead of a geographical one. Gigantopithecus lived in India, but has been extinct for 100,000 years or more. Our human protagonist would be far more likely to encounter an orangutan. That being said, a 12-foot-tall King Louie makes for an awesomely-staged scene, so Rule of Cool applies. It would have made more sense if Louie was still an orangutan, but was in India because he was an escapee from captivity.
    • Even more egregiously, Baloo is, by all appearances, a grizzly bear. In India. Sloth bears, the literary character's species, simply don't have the good looks or badassery to lead a gritty reboot (although Bagheera and Word of God still identify Baloo as a sloth bear, regardless of how un-sloth bear-like he is in the movie). The Himalayan subspecies of brown bear is found in India, but only in the northwestern Kashmir region, still a long, long way from Madhya Pradesh.
    • During the credits, silhouettes of monkeys with prehensile tails and hummingbirds (both of which are restricted to the Americas) are shown.
  • King Kong (2005) has large theropod dinosaurs that supposedly descended directly from Tyrannosaurus rex. The problem is that T. rex was a native of North America and would have never been anywhere near the pacific island this film takes place on, even taking continental drift into account. The same applies to every other single dinosaur, and most of the wildlife in general, on the island.
  • King Kong Lives: macaws on Borneo in the ending scene
  • Handwaved in Komodo. The film takes place on an island off the coast of South Carolina, while Komodo dragons live in Indonesia. A bunch of Komodo eggs were left on the island by someone back in the 70s, causing the Komodos to show up there. It still doesn't explain how they could survive that long in a radically different climate.note 
  • Lake Placid:
    • Discussed; the characters openly debate what a giant saltwater crocodile is doing in a lake in Maine. The crocodile expert posits that, miraculously, it swam across two separate oceans. Mrs. Bickerman states that it just showed up one day and hasn't left since.
    • Unless it was the biggest black bear on record, the bear didn't belong in the region either.
  • In The Leech Woman, our main characters are trekking through Africa. Although the Stock Footage is correct about what animals are in Africa (except for a typical alligator/crocodile confusion hodge-podge of shots at one point), scenes on sets have a New World monkey climbing a tree away from the characters, and an Indian elephant with African elephant-style ears glued onto its head.
  • Liane, Jungle Goddess: When Thoren is photographing African wild life, he is seen making a video of a toco toucan. They only exist in South America.
  • The vultures seen briefly in The Lone Ranger are African Griffin Vultures, not Turkey Vultures as would be more appropriate for the setting. This is an especially odd case, considering how iconic, and readily obtainable real Turkey Vultures are.
  • Possibly occurs in Long Weekend. The movie is implied to be taking place on the Victorian coast (Marcia's desire to visit Eildon makes it unlikely to be anywhere else), but one of the animals seen in is a Tasmanian devil, which are not found on the Australian mainland. However, this may not be an error as Lunda Beach is implied to be not a normal location.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action had both the classic kookaburra calls and an Asian elephant in the African jungle.
  • In Mary Poppins the robin that lands on Mary's hand during the "Spoonful of Sugar" song is an American robin, in England, well outside its normal rangenote . Ironic, given that the American version was named after the British robin redbreast in the first place. Bonus points for showing two MALE Robins building a nest outside the window.
  • Mean Girls: During Cady's party, Aaron sees a picture of Cady back in Africa riding an Asian elephant.
  • The Mighty Peking Man features a Malayan tiger as one of the many animals living in the Himalayas.
  • In Mistress of the Apes, the 'crocodile' in the river in Africa is fairly obviously an alligator.
  • The "venomous snakes" in the temple in The Mummy Returns are mainly coral snake mimics. Coral snakes and their mimics live in the Americas, not in Egypt. If you're using prop or CG snakes anyway (and they were, at least when snakes were being kicked or thrown around) there is really no excuse for them to be Misplaced Wildlife. Probably intentional, given writer/director Stephen Sommers' love for 1930s films in all their absurdity. In the same movie, there's Meela's "Egyptian asp." It's a Mexican black kingsnake...which bears a fair resemblence to the lethally venomous Middle Eastern desert cobra or desert black snake.
  • Night at the Museum has a blatantly New World Capuchin Monkey in The Hall of African Mammals. (And worse, they go to no effort to hide this — the little guy is labeled in the movie as a Capuchin.) Another one of its denizens is only half right. The ostrich isn't a mammal, but it is at least native to Africa. The ostrich may actually be Fridge Brilliance, since many museum displays show not only the animal but its prey, and the ostrich is prey to several African mammals.
  • In Outbreak, we see a herd of South American black-capped capuchins running away from a burning rainforest in Africa.
  • The 1943 The Phantom film serial is set in such a stock Hollywood jungle that they never bother to specify which continent it's on. It doesn't matter: the variety of jungle animals the Phantom encounters is such that wherever it is there's at least one animal that doesn't belong.
  • In The Revenant, wild boar are seen scavenging at an abandoned campsite. Wild boar are native to Europe and Asia, and while they have since been introduced to parts of North America (and feral pigs are now widely distributed in the southern US), they would not have been present in Montana or the Dakotas in the 1800s.
  • Rare case of Old World monkeys in the New World: In The Rundown the characters are twice sexually pestered by baboons in South America.
  • Splash. Madison is supposed to be swimming around Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The problem is that she swims past coral reefs, and there are no coral reefs near Cape Cod since the water is too cold. Those scenes were actually filmed in The Bahamas.
  • No actual wildlife is seen in The Suckers (which, in itself, is odd for a movie about hunting), but George tells a story about Vandemeer lassoing a orangutan in Rhodesia, and Jeff claims to have hunted snow leopards in the Andes. Unless these animals escaped from zoos, they have no business being on those continents.
  • Tarzan the Ape Man had Asian elephants disguised as African by attaching cardboard tusks and ears to them. However, they got rid of the disguise in the sequels, giving off the impression of this trope. This was probably done because African elephants are notoriously difficult to train.
  • In Swiss Family Robinson, the characters are shipwrecked on a tropical island that's home an amazing variety of animals. The Disney film was a little better about the animal mix-and-match than the book, but still had an Asian elephant calf (no parents ever seen), a Bengal tiger, African hyenas and zebras and cheetahs, South American spider monkeys, and the older brothers wrestle an anaconda (also a South American native). They discuss that maybe a land bridge was involved; due to Science Marches On, before the theory of plate tectonics gave a plausible mechanism for continental drift, the idea that continents could move was considered fringe science, and land bridges (and water channels) were often invoked to explain similar fossils found oceans or continents apart.
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen features tigers in what looks to be Africa.
  • Tropic Thunder features a vicious man-eating panda in the jungle along the Vietnam/Laos border. In Real Life, giant pandas are found only in China, and nowhere near the border with Indochina. To say nothing of the fact that real life pandas generally don't hunt large prey.
  • Troy contains a moment where a llama is seen in the city of Troy, despite the fact that llamas are new-world animals and would never have been found in ancient Greece/Troy. Perhaps they intended it to be a related camel, which would have been plausible (if unlikely) for the time period and place, since presumably one could have wound up there via Arab traders. The same crowd scene has a cage filled with budgerigars (commonly called parakeets in the US). These are small Australian parrots that weren't exported elsewhere until the 19th Century.
  • In The Witches (1990), there's a scene where a witch tries to lure Luke down from his treehouse with a snake she specifically says she found outside on the path. She's obviously lying, even more obviously if you know that it's a corn snake, a North American species that wouldn't be randomly slithering around in the UK.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): In the opening scene, child-Diana runs past an armadillo (native to the Americas) on Themiscyra, which is a Mediterranean island.
  • In Adam Sandler's 2008 comedy, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Zohan and his arch-nemesis Phantom are seen on the Palestine beach competing about which one is the tougher, letting themselves get bitten by a piranha to prove their point. It's presence is a two-fold mistake, because a) piranhas are found in South America, and b) they are fresh water fish. (This is for pure humour, but the writers could have picked a crab or anything more appropriate for the setting.

  • Averted in Masques: The shapeshifter Aralorn works as spy, and as misplaced wildlife would be highly suspicious in a world where people know that shapeshifters exist, she knows a lot of mouse subspecies, and where they live, so that she can use just the right one.
  • Tarzan: The titular hero fought a tiger at least once. Also lions, which live in Africa but on the savanna, not the jungle. To Burroughs' credit, he realized the mistake and removed the tiger when the serialized Tarzan of the Apes was collected as a novel. The only other tiger to appear in the novels occurs in Tarzan and the Foreign Legion which is set on Sumatra, which does have tigers.
  • Quite a few animals in Twilight don't exactly run rampant in the Pacific Northwest. At least, not enough of them to feed a clan of vampires. Or blame mysterious deaths on.
  • An Alex Rider book has monkeys in Australia. Umm...
  • Jules Verne sometimes fell into this, even though he usually tried to explain it. Especially in The Mysterious Island, where the island in question was the last remnant of a sunken continent which connected Australia, Asia and the Americas, which is why kangaroos and agoutis live on the same island.
  • The posthumous Alexandre Dumas novel Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine features alligators, vampire bats (only mentioned by the main character) and the Kraken (mentioned by the narrator) as creatures that can be encountered in the jungles and lakes of India.
  • The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen: In the first story, Munchausen visits Sri Lanka and encounters a lion. To be fair, a lion subspecies (Panthera leo sinhaleyus) lived on Sri Lanka thirty-seven millennia ago, but the writer could not know this (Not that it matters anyway because Munchausen is a renowned liar and sayer of tall tales).
  • In The Swiss Family Robinson, the characters are shipwrecked on a tropical island which is home to Eurasian buffalo and onagers, African lions, South American ocelots and boa constrictors, Australian kangaroos, and Antarctic penguins. The father mentions that maybe a land bridge was involved. Science Marches On: before the theory of plate tectonics gave a plausible mechanism for continental drift, the idea that continents could move was considered fringe science, and land bridges were often invoked to explain similar fossils found oceans apart.
  • Stephen King's Desperation takes place in the Nevada desert during the summer and includes a few scenes with hordes of fiddleback spiders. Said spiders do not live this far to the west (we do have grass spiders with stripes vaguely reminiscent of the fiddleback, but the resemblance ends there), and they prefer a temperate climate.
    • In one of his short stories a “South American boomslang” is responsible for making the paramedics think the viewpoint character is dead. The only snake called a boomslang is from sub-Saharan Africa (its common name is Dutch/Afrikaans for “tree snake”). King admits he got the idea from Agatha Christie who had a properly placed boomslang kill someone and he just liked the name.
  • The Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who! has an elephant and a kangaroo living in the same jungle. Highly unlikely in any case, but then again, this is Dr. Seuss we're talking about, so real world rules of any sort need not apply.
  • In one of Paul Doherty's mystery novels set in Ancient Egypt, Queen Hapshetsut appears in court wearing an outfit trimmed with jaguar fur. Presumably the author meant to say "leopard", as jaguars are exclusively a New World big cat.
  • Paddington Bear came from "Darkest Peru". Spectacled (also known as Andean) bears are native to Peru and other regions of South America, but unfortunately Paddington Bear looks absolutely nothing like a Spectacled bear. The stories also invoke this deliberately, being about a bear living, among people, in London.
  • The Autobiography of a Monkey has monkeys with clearly prehensile tails and tigers, both in Africa.
  • "Leiningen Versus the Ants" demonstrates the power of a massive army ant swarm by having them devour a non-Amazon native elk.
  • Used as a plot point in the Longmire novel The Dark Horse, allowing the reader to solve the mystery before Sheriff Walt does. About midway into the story, Walt is on the phone with the brother of the deceased, who is a dentist in Ohio. In the background, he hears the song of a western meadowlark, which is common in Wyoming but hardly ever comes east of the Mississippi River. Fortunately, he's able to make the connection Just in Time to save the day.
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features a sequence where the Bennett sisters come across a tide of animals fleeing the "unmentionables". Said tide includes North American animals in the form of chipmunks, raccoons and skunks, which were nowhere to be found in Regency England.
  • Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters features well-to-do English families having rattlesnake and armadillo for dinner, while a servant's grave is despoiled by a scavenging hyena.
  • Shades of Grey: The wildernesses of the main setting, which takes place where England is today, is home to creatures such as elephants, zebras and kudu antelopes. In this case, it's assumed that whatever the Previous and the Something That Happened did to fill the world with hybrid and altered animals, man-eating plants and mechanical organisms was also responsible for these creatures' presence.
  • The Sherlock Holmes short story "The Speckled Band" not only featured a nonexistent snake called the "swamp adder" as the titular speckled band, it also mentioned cheetahs and baboons living in India. In real life, cheetahs aren't entirely implausible as the last solid evidence for cheetah in India was in 1947 and they are officially regarded as extirpated in India in the 1950s. They would have been rare in the 1890s but not yet extirpated. The baboon reference may also have been Macacus rhesus (the Rhesus Macaque) which has very occasionally been called the "Indian baboon" in English (even though it's not a baboon at all).
  • While Fragment averts this trope in its fictional portion, the epistolary prelude describes several Real Life examples of invasive species which have managed to invoke it with great success.
  • The short story The Scarlet Ibis featured a strange red bird (the titular scarlet ibis) appearing in Florida, deathly ill or injured (shortly after a storm). It dies, right before the narrator accidentally kills his younger brother, who buried it.
  • Clayton Emery's Beasts Of Sherwood Forest has chipmunks and other North American species in 12th century England.
  • In Jeanne Faivre d'Arcier's Le Dernier Vampire (The Last Vampire), one character mentions a remedy her grandmother, a healer from Reunion island, made out of snake venom. There are no poisonous snakes in Reunion island.
  • Quest for Fire has hissing cockroaches (native to Madagascar) and agoutis (native to South America) showing up in Pleistocene Asia. It's an odd mistake from a novel that goes out of its way to list the various properly placed animals that really did exist in the setting. Then there is a troop of gorilla-like apes which were misplaced (if deliberately speculative) at the time of publication but became an example of Accidentally Correct Writing decades later with the discovery of Gigantopithecus.
  • Warrior Cats was first set in an English forest, with appropriate flora and fauna. However, as the series went on, it began introducing more and more New World animals, culminating in the cats encountering a cougar in the mountains. The authors have since stated that the series takes place on a fictional island on which both British and American wildlife are present.
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau is set off the west coast of South America, which doesn't have hyenas and leopards. Justified by Moreau having imported animals from all over the world to transform into beast-men, some of which then degenerated into animals once again.
  • In a rare realistic example, Mau of Terry Pratchett's Nation notices a number of bird species which are new to his island in the aftermath of the tsunami. It's implied that these birds' native islands were completely inundated by the giant wave, forcing them to seek out any land they could reach.
  • The Northern Army in the Atlan series rides carnivorous flightless birds as mounts, which is fine if one plays along with the deliberate anachronism...except that the author specifies that the birds are the North American and European Diatryma (now Gastornis). The series takes place in prehistoric South America, which was home to the similar phorusrhacids.
  • One installment in a series of children's nonfiction books based on The Cat in the Hat had ostriches in Australia.
  • Commented upon in Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Pym and company are very surprised to discover that Mysterious Antarctica has a thriving population of Galapagos tortoises, and list several reasons why this shouldn't be possible. Ducks are also mentioned. There's also a previously unknown species of bear that's apparently a close evolutionary relative of the polar bears living at the North Pole... somehow.
  • The tie-in prequel novel for King Kong (2005) has one of Carl Denham's cameramen attacked by aggressive bull North Atlantic seals when he's trying to film a breeding rookery's pups. Which is perfectly sound seal behavior ... except the characters and narrative insist upon calling them leopard seals, which are exclusively Antarctic animals and don't breed in groups (possibly justified in that "leopard seal" is sometimes used as a nickname for the common Harbour seal due to its spotted coat).
  • Animorphs: Only applicaple retroactively, since we don't learn until the final book that the town the Animorphs live in is in California, where there are no wild wolves (or green anoles, which Jake morphed in the first book). In the third book, they encounter a pack of real wolves while in wolf morph. The authors have stated that they wanted kids living anywhere in the USA to be able to imagine the plot happening in their town (though it was confirmed to be a coastal city in the first book).
    • The second "Megamorphs" book, "In the Time of Dinosaurs", is very guilty of this. While the Anachronism Stew of the various dinosaurs featured is lampshaded by Tobias at the end, the fact they come from different places as well (European Iguanodon, African Spinosaurus, and South American Saltasaurus are shown alongside various North American dinosaurs) oddly goes unmentioned.
  • In the children's book Rechenka's Eggs, the titular goose is depicted as a Canada goose, which does not appear in Russia or Ukraine.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lost has polar bears on a tropical island, alongside horses, chickens, and cows. This is immediately lampshaded by the cast as being very wrong ("Polar bears don't live this far south!" "This one apparently does."), and is just one more mystery about the Island. Eventually explained as being brought to the Island by The DHARMA Initiative, who were doing research on gene manipulation for adaption to different climates.
  • Radar O'Reilly in the TV series M*A*S*H keeps, among his animals, a pet skunk. Cute and cuddly, and possibly still armed... but not exactly a native of Korea, though they never actually say where he got the skunk.
  • In The Twilight Zone episode "The Jungle", various aspects of the African jungle come to haunt some guy with a curse on him. At several points during the episode, we hear a kookaburra laughing in the background. Kookaburras live in Australia, not Africa.
  • One of the "Fishin' Musician" sketches on SCTV had Wendy O. Williams and her band on as the musical guest, where they and Gil go out camping in Melonville Forest, where they come across a gorilla in an abandoned mine shaft.
  • On Salem, a show that takes place during the Salem Witch trials in 1692, the character of Petrus the Blind Seer has a stuffed Pogona lizard (a bearded dragon) as one of his familiars. The Pogona is from the deserts of Australia, a place that wouldn't be discovered by Europeans for at least another 80 years.
  • Back in the year 2000, CBS caught a lot of crap from birdwatchers who recognized the birdsong on the network's golf broadcasts as belonging to birds not native to the location of the tournament. Yep, they admitted that they were piping in "ambient birdsong" to their telecasts. Oops.
  • CSI:
    • The CSI: Miami episode "A grizzly murder" features a brown bear, presumably a grizzly, in Dade County, which is about as far as you can get from the Grizzly Bear's current, historical and post glacial range in the USA. There are some Black Bears in Southern Florida, but most are west of Dade. The bear is treated the whole time as if it was native to the region, it's never clear why was the CSI brought in (though they find evidence of foul play immediately) and the clues eventually lead to yet another murder of an attractive woman in an expensive hotel suite.
    • The complete opposite happens in the original CSI episode "Unbearable". Like in the above case, the episode opens with a hunter that has been killed by a bear (a Kodiak in this case). The fact the species is foreign is precisely what brings the CSI in since that makes the person who released the bear accountable for manslaughter, and the clues eventually lead to a zoo that has been selling animals for illegal hunts. Comparing these two episodes is probably the best way to illustrate what makes both series so different.
    • Another justified example in the original series happens in "Evaluation Day", where an odd-proportioned skinned and mutilated body found in the desert turns out to be the remains of a poached gorilla. However, because of the lack of leads, we never learn why the poachers smuggled the whole gorilla into Nevada instead of just the parts that were valuable to them. After "Unbearable", we can speculate that it came from the same corrupt zoo as the bear, but this is not stated.
  • One episode of Gossip Girl has Serena and Trip crashing their car because there are wolves on the road. In New York. (They might have been coyotes, Eastern Red Wolves, or feral dogs with a wolf-like appearance, rather than true wolves.)
  • On Little House on the Prairie, one can hear the "chi-ca-go" call of the California Quail. Little House is set in Minnesota, and the Quail is only found west of the Rockies. It really can't be helped, since it was filmed in California.
  • Power Rangers Jungle Fury (emphasis on Jungle), which sees the usage of a tiger, jaguar, cheetah, lion, chameleon, elephant, bat, shark, gorilla, penguin, antelope, wolf, and rhino. Power Rangers has done this for a long time, even when Saban ran the series: the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had 7 Dinozords, only three of which were actually legitimate dinosaurs. At least Jungle Fury was originally planned to be named Beast Fist, so it made somewhat of a bit of sense. Power Rangers Wild Force and Gaoranger might better be considered an Anachronism Stew, since it's clear that the animals they chose were all over the place, jungle, desert, woodland, etc., and had no real one location, like a Jungle, Forest, etc. The only time Wildlife gets misplaced were with the animal-based weapons of the Jungle Sword (Lion, Tiger, Eagle, Shark, Bison) and Jungle Blaster (Falcon, Deer, Giraffe, Rhino, Armadillo.)
  • A segment of David Attenborough's Life of Birds featuring a bird endemic to the South-West of Australia — accompanied by the calls of birds only native on the eastern seaboard of the country.
  • In a Disney adaptation of Swiss Family Robinson (a series spin off from their film adaptation), the family meets a falconer and his... bird. A bird that is played by 3 different species over the course of the episode. By the time she is shown flying (via stock footage of a falcon) and then landing on the man's wrist (suddenly, she's a Golden Eagle), you wonder how the producers thought we wouldn't notice.
  • A park ranger on Bones once tried to kick the show's crime scene investigators out of her park, on the grounds that their activities might disrupt a migratory flight path for a rare species of booby. All 6 species of booby are native to tropical islands and coastlines, mainly in the Pacific, so would have no reason to migrate over a crime scene that's within driving distance of Washington D.C. Except to let Booth make the inevitable "boobies" wisecrack.
  • On The History Channel's Battles BC, CGI elephants are shown fighting for India against the invading army of Alexander the Great. African elephants, not Asian: the ears are distinctively larger in the former.
  • The telemovie Hart to Hart Down Under had a tiger in the Australian Outback.
  • The old pirate serial The Buccaneers repeatedly uses kookaburra sound effects. It's set mostly in the Bahamas.
  • A.N.T. Farm had walruses in California.
  • The Norwegian Blue is an example of a seriously misplaced tropical parrot which would indeed be a rarity in the fjords. It's possible the pet shop owner was embellishing things somewhat...
  • In Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane receives visions of a Harris Hawk which is native to the southwest... far from the Hudson Valley.
  • The 2001 miniseries of The Lost World invokes this as a minor Running Gag, with Edward, the protagonist, repeatedly correcting people on this ("But there are no elephants in Brazil!"), and then being told not to be so pedantic. Another scene has Prof. Summerlee lampshading the Misplaced Vegetation: "They shouldn't even be growing in the same hemisphere!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • Near the end of season 31 we see, among other things, that museums display penguins in the Egyptian desert. This demonstrates quite succinctly how reality is falling apart at the seams; at this point, there's little left of the universe but Earth, humanity, and some poorly-remembered stories about things that never existed. And the Last Centurion.
    • In "The Girl Who Died", a Viking village keeps electric eels. Why they do so is almost as unanswerable a question as where they got them, but it does enable the Doctor to use them as a stun gun. Somewhere an Ichthyologist is Crying...
    • A lot of the background wolf-howls in "The Time Meddler" sound an awful lot like North American coyotes singing their heads off.
  • The Borgias:
    • Caterina Sforza is shown handling a Harris hawk. Although wildlife is far from the only thing misplaced in this show.
    • In the two-parter series premiere, set in 1493, Cesare brings a young pet Capuchin monkey to dinner. This species is native to the continental Americas, which had not been visited by Columbus yet.
    • Bizarrely Zig-Zagged when Juan returns from Spain with gifts from the New World, which include a jaguar for Lucrezia. This is indeed an American animal, but his audience is shocked to see it as if they had never witnessed something like it before, despite jaguars being nearly identical-looking to leopards, which were very familiar to upper class Europeans and commonly kept in menageries at the time. Then the awed Lucrezia asks if "beasts like this" live in Spain, and Juan cryptically answers "Not anymore." We never learn if he means American jaguars (which if anything would be more common in Spain then than ever before), wild big cats in general (which went extinct in Spain at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, but he would not have a way to know about it, obviously) or captive big cats (which were actually common in Spanish menageries during the 15th century).
  • The 100, set in what was once the United States, has an episode where characters are attacked by a (possibly mutated) Killer Gorilla. Since the gorilla's home seems to be the ruined remains of a zoo, it's probably meant to be descended from zoo gorillas who survived the nuclear war.
  • Human Target: In "Salvage & Reclamation", set somewhere in the Andes, the Girl of the Week threatens the team to cut their throats and leave their bodies "to the wolves". The only wolf in South America is the maned wolf, which lives in the plains south of the Amazon, not in the Andes. However, the culpeo, another large South American canid, is sometimes called the "Andean wolf"—this may be what they were referring to.
  • Tigers would occasionally appear in the African jungle in the Ron Ely Tarzan series. And kookaburra calls were a constant feature of the soundtrack.
  • In many episodes of Walking with Dinosaurs, its sequels, and spin-offs, there's at least one species that is unknown from the region that that episode is set. Sometimes this is handwaved, such as a waterhole during the dry season attracting animals from "far and wide" explaining the presence of the pterosaur Peteinosaurus (known only from Italy) in the region that would become Arizona. But other times, there's no explanation given, such as Utahraptor being present in Europe.
  • The Office (US):
    • In the episode "Business School", the bat that Dwight finds in the office is an Egyptian fruit bat, which is definitely not native to the United States, much less Pennsylvania.
    • Downplayed in the episode "Fun Run", which shows a brief scene showing Darryl feeding a fox squirrel. Fox squirrels ARE known from Pennsylvania, but they are not found as far north as Scranton, which is where the show is set. To some extent, this may be because the show was filmed in California, where fox squirrels are present as an introduced species.
  • Parks and Recreation: The "quail" that Leslie shoots in "Hunting Trip" is a chukar, native to west-central Asia and introduced to most of interior western North America. Both are a long ways from Indiana, where the show takes place. This is particularly glaring given that the bird could have been easily replaced with a northern bobwhite, which is a quail and is appropriate for the area.
  • North American viewers of Warrior Nun are left to wonder what a mourning dove is doing in Spain.

  • Bluebirds are not native to England, so there's very little chance of them flying over the White Cliffs of Dover — something the cliffs' current guardians admit freely: "Obviously bluebirds sounded more romantic than sea gulls!" The songwriter was American and unaware of this at the time.
  • "In the Jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight." Lions actually don't live in the jungle, and they don't do much sleeping tonight or any other night, either. They're chiefly nocturnal, so they do most of their sleeping during the day.
  • The B-52s' "Rock Lobster" references exclusively-freshwater species interacting with saltwater ones in the ocean.
  • In one version of the children's song "Kookaburra", the kookaburra "counts all the monkeys he can see". The species of kookaburra known for its laugh-like cry is native only to Australia, which has no native monkeys.
  • The video for the Katy Perry song "Roar" features several animals that don't even live on the same continent. This may be intentional, since the video appears to be trying to invoke a Jungle Queen-style tone and look.
  • Contrary to the lyrics of "Pineapple Princess" by Annette Funicello, crocodiles are not native to Hawaii. Neither are alligators, for that matter.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In Muppet Treasure Island, the second half takes place on an unidentified North American island. Miss Piggy is brought to the ceremony by an Asian elephant (and not a Muppet one either). What makes it worse is that the story takes place in the 17th Century, long before any zoos were built in North America, let alone the Caribbean islands. Given that it's The Muppets, this might very well have been an intentional Lampshade Hanging.
  • The Sesame Street segment "African Animal Alphabet" featured tigers and yaks (both of which are strictly Asian).

  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Indian Burial Ground", Miss Brooks reads a newspaper article about the lost burial ground of a Arapaho war party that used gold spears decorated with peacock feathers. This raises the question where an Indian tribe would have obtained a supply of peacock feathers in the 19th century United States - peacocks are native to Asia.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Although it went to some lengths to be culturally-informed about Africa, Gary Gygax's "Fantasy Masters" system-neutral RPG product Aesheba: Greek Africa made some serious gaffes with its roster of wildlife. Not only does it include tigers (Asian) and anacondas (South American) among its roster of ostensibly purely-African wildlife, but it even claims that the appearance of an owl at the Greek immigrants' new shrine to Athena must be a divine omen, as owls aren't found there. There are about fifty species of owl in Africa, and Athene noctua, the specific type associated with Athena in classical times, is present there in far greater numbers than in Greece.
  • Pathfinder: Parodied in Cult of Cinders, the second installment of the Age of Ashes adventure path. When staying in the Ekujae elves' Treetop Town in the depths of the Mwangi jungles, the players find a lioness resting high in the trees at the city's edge. If they ask the elves' lorekeeper what a savannah animal is doing in the middle of the jungle, and why a ground-dwelling creature is in the trees besides, she answers that the lion was brought to them as a cub by an explorer that rescued her from poachers and misguidedly thought that she needed to return her "to the jungle where she belonged". The elves had a good laugh and brought the lion to a pride on the plains, but she returned to their village and took to hanging out in the trees. The elves like to joke that she thinks she's a leopard, and figure that with how fat she's gotten she must be doing pretty well for herself in any case.

  • Much of the action of Shakespeare's As You Like It takes place in the Forest of Arden. There is some debate about whether that refers to the Arden near Stratford, in England, or the Ardennes of the Franco-Belgian border region. However, what is certain is that, in both places, there is little chance of being attacked by a lion. This gets even sillier in some productions, like the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation set in Meiji-era Japan.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Empires features, among others, a whale in the Nile and crocodiles in Italy.
  • The PC version of Aladdin: Nasira"s revenge features a talking gorilla in the first Oasis level, who will damage your if he catches you stealing his coconuts. The fact that it can talk in a fantasy setting like Aladdin might actually be more acceptable than it being in an oasis in an Arabian desert thousands of miles away from any place it should be.
  • The old interactive fiction game Amazon has a scene with a hippo... in Peru. It might have something to do with the fact that the game is a Serial Numbers Filed Off adaptation of the Africa-set novel Congo.
  • Not counting the various sentient animal residents of Animal Crossing, all of the fish and bugs in the game have just been pulled from various continents. You can catch a koi, then find a black bass downstream from it, and then catch a barracuda right afterwards. Or you can find a Japanese rhino beetle, and a South American Birdwing Butterfly afterward. This is lampshaded at one point in one of the sequels, and in the first game: "I caught a piranha! Which river is this, anyway? I'm glad I didn't take a dip!"
    • One of the lampshades is hung in New Leaf, in the last part of the description for the sea butterfly. "The only place you'll find both cold-water and tropical sea butterflies swimming together is in this game."
    • And then there's the fossils you can dig up. Most of the animals are the very least North American, but you can also uncover Archaeopteryx (Southern Germany), Velociraptor (Mongolia) and Spinosaurus (North Africa).
  • The Polish game Arktyczne Polowanie, which translates to "Arctic Hunt", has a penguin as a protagonist. He also lives in an igloo, which is associated with peoples living in the Arctic. The problem is that penguins don't live in the Arctic.
  • Assassin's Creed is usually pretty good about including wildlife appropriate to the region when they include them, and it's usually justified otherwise: mountain lions in Assassin's Creed III, set in New England, are presumably the now-extinct eastern cougar and what appear to be penguins in the Canadian Maritimes in Rogue are actually great auks, also extinct today. Black Flag, however, slipped up in a few places: while crocodiles actually are justified in several parts of the game via the Morelet's and Cuban crocodile, there's no excuse for them in Charlestown, South Carolina, where alligators would make more sense (the only part of the United States where crocodiles live is in southernmost Florida); Principe, off of Africa, is the biggest offender, being home to jaguars, deer, and Central American monkeys, probably as stand-ins for leopards, antelope, and African monkeys. Even then, it could be justified because of the series' Framing Device where everything is all a computer simulation rather than the real-world with the Animus filling in animals that Edward was more familiar with for the similar African species.
    • The pattern is repeated in Odyssey, where you can find lions and leopards among more traditional European wildlife. It's stretching, but both species lived in Greece during the Pleistocene and lions, at least, survived there until the 1st century AD, though they became extinct in the Peloponnese c. 1000 BC. Like some of the other games, though, the exact placement of certain species still makes them misplaced—in the eastern parts of the in-game seas, you can find an island that has lions on it for some reason, along with a giant statue of Poseidon that presumably never existed in actual history.
      • In the same game, though, there's an acknowledged and in-universe example: an extensive hunting side quest will eventually take you to the island of Kythira to kill the Krokottas Hyena. Once you begin the fight, the Eagle-Bearer will directly remark that such animals aren't native to Greece (or at least to Kythira) and wonders how it even got there.
  • It tends to be discreet, but if you notice the raccoons showing up (often) in Battle for Middle Earth II, it will ruin the idea that Middle-Earth is supposed to be the Old World, considering raccoons are native to North America in reality.
  • Bug! has chameleons in Reptilia, the western desert-themed stage. Not desert chameleons, but the green ones that should be seen in the jungle.
  • Becomes an important plotpoint in Carte Blanche, when protagonist Edgar finds some ants on a cat's skeleton in granny McCullough's basement. Professor Eleonore tells him they're from Central America. Edgar manages to figure out the mystery of the stolen Mayan statue from the antiques shop with this information.
  • Crash Bandicoot. Being on fictional Australian islands, one could be forgiven for having mainland and island species together in one place. One could also be forgiven for having Tasmanian Tigers and Dingoes (the former is classed as extinct although people claim that they've seen it since, and the latter is not technically a native species but could have been brought over from the mainland), but there's actually an island inhabited by polar bears. That just misses the wrong hemisphere, never mind continent. A more subtle mistake is the Komodo Dragon (a species native to islands in Indonesia). The anthropomorphic characters can be somewhat justified by the fact that they're all N.Cortex's experiments (and thus, may have been imported). The Polar Bear... Not so much.
  • In Dead Island, one of Roger Howard's recordings is about a near-lethal encounter with a zombified orangutan. However, Dead Island takes place in Banoi, a fictional island in Papua New Guinea — orangutans live only in Borneo and Sumatra, thousands of miles away. Making this even more bizarre, the orangutan lets out a stereotypical "mad gorilla" style roar, and the idea that one could contract the disease is rather suspect, given that an orangutan is hardly likely to consume human flesh.
  • Played with in Dwarf Fortress. Different kinds of wildlife will only exist in certain biomes, but the biomes are defined by weather and terrain patterns, not by continents. It's not unusual to find parrots, jaguars, and pandas in the same jungle.
  • Empire Earth: One of the tutorials has you guide Phoenicean settlers to build a thriving Mediterranean colony, including fending off tiger attacks. Made even weirder by the fact that wolves are available in the editor.
  • Both Endless Ocean games have this, but it's way more prevalent in the original, which took place in a single location (the Manoa Lai sea within the South Pacific) rather than spanning the globe, and the characters usually call out any instances of it occurring in the sequel.
  • Fallout has Radscorpions, which are enormous mutated versions of emperor scorpions. The problem is that emperors are endemic to the Sahara region of North Africa, not North America. This is justified, however, by the fact that they were popular pets in the United States before the Great War. When the bombs dropped and their homes and pet stores were destroyed, the scorpions survived, mutated, and have thrived in the wasteland.
  • The Rook Islands' location in Far Cry 3 are left vague (it's said to be somewhere in borders of the Indian and Pacific oceans), but the animals on the islands are obviously not supposed to live together (e.g. tigers live in Asia, cassowaries live in Australia and New Guinea). Justified by the pirates, who use the islands as staging areas for their trade in exotic animals. The animals aren't all native to the islands; they were brought there and escaped.
  • Kyrat from Far Cry 4 is a lesser offender, with its location a bit more explicit (based on Nepal and set somewhere in the Himalayas) and almost all of its wildlife is indeed native to that area. There are a few mistakes, however: the "demon fish", for instance, is based on goliath tigerfish that are native to Africa (and thus would have fit right in to Far Cry 2 if that game had any predatory wildlife). Mayalan tapirs, likewise, exist closer to Southeast Asia, which probably would have been more fitting for the vaguely-Pacific Ocean setting of the previous game. Then there's the mugger crocodiles, which actually are native around that area, but are almost exclusive to lower altitudes than you'll usually find them in the game.
  • A downplayed case in Far Cry 5. The Deputy can come across caribou in Hope County, Montana. Caribou did range into Montana, but they've been extinct in that state since the early to mid 20th century. An even more egregious case with a crocodile you get to kill in a DLC mission. There are crocodiles in North America, but only in the South-Eastern United States, such as Florida.
  • Quite a few of these in Far Cry Primal:
    • The saber-toothed cats of the Oros valley (set in Central Europe) are based on American Smilodons.
    • The same goes for the American dire wolves.
    • Tapirs, snow leopards, and yaks, none of them European.
    • Megacerops, treated in-game as a rare variant of woolly rhinoceros, was native to North America, and long extinct by the time this game is set.
    • The eagles that live in Oros are American bald eagles.
    • The "bitefish" are actually African tigerfish, as in Far Cry 4.
    • The European dholes look more like African wild dogs.
    • The crocodiles are prehistoric Pakistani crocodiles, not prehistoric European crocodiles.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI has monsters and wild animals appear in the appropriate places (wolves in the northern mountains, giant insects in the grasslands, etc), but the Veldt is a continent where all the world's monsters come to migrate for some reason that is never explained, even if certain monsters shouldn't be able to survive in the plains. From a gameplay perspective, the Veldt serves as a training ground for Gau to learn new Rage skills by having random battles with anything you encountered previously, even certain bosses like the Holy Dragon.
    • Final Fantasy XII. Japanese players of this game likely didn't notice, but American blue jays are not the best choice for generic sea bird calls in the ambient noise soundtrack for the Phon Coast.
  • Justified in Hatoful Boyfriend, which takes place at a prestigious high school for sapient birds, and so attracts students and faculty from all over the world. The heroine still lampshades the unlikeliness of encountering a mourning dove in Japan. Justified specifically for said mourning dove in the Bad Boys Love route: He was a war orphan, which is what left him in Japan, and he was attending St. Pigeonation's so Dr. Shuu could experiment on the virus he was a carrier for.
  • Impossible Creatures is set on an island chain in the Pacific. Despite that, it contains animals-which are stated to be native to the island-from every continent except Antarctica and possibly Australia (The crocodile could be an African or Asian variety while the kangaroo is DLC that does not appear in the story and therefore cannot be determined to be native or not). It mostly avoids mixing animals from different continents on the same island, but occasionally slips up and does things like having komodo dragons (Asia) living in the same place as bald eagles (North America) and hippopotami (Africa).
  • Jables's Adventure features Pokey, a talking cactus in the middle of The Lost Woods. You ask him what he's doing there, and he's not sure. Later in the game, you encounter Pokey again, in a volcano. He explains that he dug his way there.
  • Jaws Unleashed is filled with this, from emperor penguins to saltwater crocodiles living in the same region. Granted, the island (Amity Island) is supposed to be fictional, but the fauna there shouldn't normally coexist.
  • Knights Of Valour, a video game series based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms have polar bears as enemies in the wilderness. In ancient China, nowhere near the Arctic. The first game somewhat justifies it since the bear you encounter is a one-of-a-kind enemy probably purchased by Cao Cao from overseas, but in the sequels you face polar bears in several areas for reasons unexplained.
  • Krut: The Mythic Wings have misplaced mythological wildlife. The game is set in ancient Siam, and yet one of the bosses is a Kelpie, a cryptid of Scottish origins. You can also face a Gryphon in a later level, although that one doesn't seem too far-fetched since there are gryphons from Middle Eastern myths as well (not too far from Siam) and it's fought in a King's palace, where it could be purchased from a distant land.
  • Let's Build a Zoo: Dinosaur Island: Minmi is only known from Australia (which is even mentioned in its description), yet its fossil is dug up from Germany.
  • Not seen but heard in The Lost Vikings II: one of BGM tracks in the Amazon Jungle contains sounds of various wildlife... among them elephants.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, which is set in a densely wooded Russian jungle, is positively loaded with species that simply aren't supposed to be there, reaching right into the cryptozoological on occasion. This meta reason is that it was an attempt by Hideo Kojima to keep players from guessing the location of Snake Eater from the demos. In the game one of your Mission Control later Hand Waves this by claiming the Soviets brought them in as "test subjects."
  • Minecraft:
    • Pigs, sheep, cows and chicken can be found in almost any biome, from plains and forests to jungles, tundra and deserts. This is somewhat necessary since all of them (except pigs) provide essential resources (sheep wool is required to make beds to set your spawnpoint and prevent nightly monster spawns, chickens drop feathers that you can craft into arrows, cows drop leather which has many crafting and trading uses) and they all drop edible meat items that help you avoid starving to death.
    • Huge human-sized squid can sometimes be found in small lakes and rivers. Prior to the "Update Aquatic", they were the only sea creature, besides pufferfish-like "guardians" that appear only in rare underwater structures.
    • Bats and (giant) spiders can be found in any dark area.
    • As of 1.7, the player can pull limitless quantities of pufferfish, clownfish, etc. out of small ponds, or even a single block of water that you poured out of a bucket moments ago.
  • Nier: the most common enemies encountered in the desert outside Facade are a pack of wolves. This is eventually lampshaded by one of the main group:
    Weiss: Do you not find it odd to be encountering wolves in a desert?
    Nier: Should we?
    Weiss: They usually live in forests, after all. I cannot imagine there is much in the way of sustenance for them out here.
  • Ōkami has a variety of wildlife roaming the overworld which can be fed to gain "Praise" for Amaterasu. For the most part, the fauna is quite accurately Japanese (despite the raccoon dogs/tanuki erroneously being translated as "raccoons" in the English release) — however, later on, tigers (which have not lived in Japan since prehistoric times) join the selection of wildlife. Perhaps justified in that tigers featured frequently in historical Japanese art and folktales, which often borrowed a lot from Chinese culture and art.
  • Pokémon:
    • Generally speaking, the Pokémon world is very loosely based on the real world, yet many Pokémon are based on animals that wouldn't be found in the wild of the places that Pokémon regions are based on. However, such cases rarely qualify for the trope In-Universe; e.g. Phanpy and Donphan are Pokémon native to Johto, irregardless of real elephants' population in Japan. That's not to say that there aren't In-Universe examples, however, with certain games featuring Pokémon that aren't native to the region in which they are found.
    • Pokémon Black and White were notable for having no returning Pokémon available in the west half of Unova; you were only going to find Generation V Pokémon until you got access to the east. Pokémon Black and White 2 featured a sudden influx of Pokémon from Generations I-IV all throughout the region, to Professor Juniper's concern. There are implications that this is the result of Team Plasma hacking into the Pokémon Storage System in Version 1.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon give us the Yungoos line and the Alolan Rattata line, which are clearly based on mongoose and rats in Hawaii. Yungoos and Gumshoos are alien species to Alola that were introduced to the region in a misguided attempt to control the population of Rattata and Raticate, another line of Com Mons accidentally brought to Alola. This instead resulted in the Rattata and Raticate becoming nocturnal and adapting to night time to avoid the diurnal Yungoos and Gumshoos, resulting in two invasive species.
    • Sun and Moon also feature a sidequest that entails collecting the Cells and Cores of Zygarde, a legendary Pokémon responsible for maintaining the ecosystem... of Kalos. Sina and Dexio, aides to Kalosian Pokémon Professor, appear as tourists in Alola specifically to investigate what it's doing there on Sycamore's behalf. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon replace the collection hunt with Zygarde appearing in its full-bodied 50% Forme in a cave oddly reminiscent of its home cave in Kalos.
    • In Pokémon Sword and Shield, it is mentioned in one of Basculin's Pokédex entries that they are often illegally introduced to lakes in Galar.
    • Pokémon Legends: Arceus has not just regionally but temporally misplaced wildlife; every so often, space-time distortions will occur that summon wild Pokémon that aren't native to Hisui yet, such as Shieldon and Cranidos (already extinct by events of the game), the Porygon line (computers are still a fantasy in this era), and Johtonian Sneasel (Sneasel have a regional form in this era), plus your starter Pokémon (which were brought to Hisui by Professor Laventon from Johto, Unova, and Alola). There's also a few Alolan Vulpix, but these ones are justified as specifically belonging to a settler from Alola - caught Pokémon, not wild.
    • A proper example appears in HeartGold & SoulSilver, due to the way the games are programmed. Route 30, in the original games, had a lake that was completely inaccessible due to trees blocking all access to it, but which had a clearing made in the remakes to let the player fish from and Surf over it. While you are still in the Route 30 portion of the map, freshwater Pokémon like Poliwag appear as they should in a small lake such as this - but water tiles have their possible encounters based on what area of the world they are in rather than being individually determined, so if you surf far South enough to pass into Cherrygrove City's portion of the map, you will suddenly start encountering ocean-bound Pokémon like Tentacool from this tiny freshwater lake, because the city's shore leading out into the ocean means its water was programmed to have oceanic Pokémon.
  • The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World: The Abominable Snow Burns is based on the Abominable Snow Man, which is not from the North Pole but rather the Himalayas.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog. Marine the Raccoon uses Australian slang, while the actual echidna has an American accent. Also, said echidna is a descendant of the Maya civilization, a Mesoamerican tribe, and has dreadlocks.
  • Spec Ops: The Line features oryxes really close to a war-ravaged city, and one appears in the middle of downtown after an explosion and inrush of thirsty people that'd scare off any skittish prey like an antelope. And with how no one else so much as mentions them in passing, they might even not be real and only in Cpt. Walker's head..
  • Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy features numerous species of armadillo running around the deserts of Ancient Egypt. The fact that they're magical armadillos doesn't excuse the fact that they're still armadillos.
  • Spiritual Assassin Taromaru has a massive Surinam Toad monster as a boss. Said species is native to South America, and the game is set entirely in Meiji-Era Japan.
  • Stardew Valley takes place in a fictional area, but it sometimes falls into this trope with the Fishing Minigame, as you catch tilapia in the ocean (they should be in lake environments and also shouldn't even be found in the game as Stardew Valley has cold, snowy winters which would kill the tropical tilapia) and lingcod in rivers (they should be in the ocean).
  • Star Wars games:
    • Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II has a fantasy-based version of this — albeit one that's All There in the Manual. The monsters you have to avoid being killed and eaten by are found on two different planets/moons: Sulon (a habitable moon of Sullust) and Ruusan, which are located in different regions of the galaxy. It's possible that Jerec and his minions transported them from one location to another; but given that mailocs (gigantic wasps) and drugons (huge, man-eating fish) are both extremely dangerous and/or unwieldy, relocating them must not have been easy. Furthermore, the game also has Kumumgah (more famously known as Tusken Raiders or Sand People) turning up on Sulon, when any casual Star Wars fan could tell you that they are native to and only found on Tatooine. They are a (somewhat) intelligent species, but they're also nomadic herdsmen and warriors who wouldn't be likely to immigrate to another planet. Later games in the Dark Forces Saga would get better about this; particularly, Tusken Raiders only showed up one more time, on one of two Tatooine-set levels in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.
    • Shadows of the Empire starts on Hoth, where you have the option of fighting wampas, and then on to the mountainous arid world of Gall... you get to fight wampas again. Wampas which were there long enough to evolve to have brown fur. The devs later explained that the Imperials were impressed by the wampas' ferocity, capturing several and bioengineering them to adapt to various new environs.
  • In Stranded, one of many threats player will face in the island is lions.
  • Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 apparently featured what appeared to be emperor penguins (native only to Antarctica) living on various planets that otherwise have a tropical setting. And the inhabitants of the ice planets are bunnies. They could have been king penguins however, since they look similar to emperor penguins, but live in somewhat more temperate climates. Seems to be an in universe example as well, as those penguins appear to be based on the ones from Super Mario 64, which were exclusive to the ice world.2
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl has a rare fictional mon example. The Pokémon Rayquaza raises out of a lake like it's some sort of sea monster. It's supposed to live in the earth's ozone layer.
  • The Tomb Raider series sometimes places species in locations where they either never existed or are now extinct (for example, lions in Egypt and China, where they are long gone, brown bears in Peru, gorillas in Greece, and piranhas in India and the South Pacific). To say nothing of the dinosaurs.
  • Warcraft III: Fantasy exemple : Arachnatids are big, furry scorpions native to the frigid wastelands of Northrend, but they can also be found in Dustwallow Marsh, a hot swamp half the world away during Rexxar's campaign.
  • The Wind Road have you fighting Arctic wolves in Ming Dynasty China, despite being an animal of American origin. They're abundant and all over the (non-snowy) woods as well, for some reason. However this was averted when you fight a bear in the desert - said animal is the Gobi Bear, a real-life animal.
  • Will Rock features, along with other monsters, tigers, lions, and Nile Crocodiles in Greece.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X is generally consistent about where on Mira particular species are found. Tyrants, however, can be found on different continents from where their species would normally be found, like a tyrant Simius wandering around the plains of Primordia instead of the jungles of Noctilum.
  • The PC game Zoo Vet and its sequel Zoo Vet: Endangered Species suffered from this (Oribi antelope in a temperate forest, Komodo dragons & Chilean flamingos in a rainforest and bald eagles & tokay geckos in a desert).

    Web Animation 
  • ♪ Where can you see tigers? Only in Kenya... ♪ The point of the video was to showcase that you really could only see lions in Kenya, and an updated version of the video features the line "Good luck actually finding tigers in Kenya."
  • Drunk Science explains the origin of polar bears, along with the reason there aren't any penguins in the Arctic.
  • Sniffles from Happy Tree Friends is a South American anteater cast with a bunch of North American woodland critters.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • An old Mickey Mouse short, Mickey Down Under, features an ostrich deep in the banana jungles of Australia. Obviously it was meant to be an emu, but the animators simply drew an African ostrich.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • The Tiny Toon Adventures music video for the They Might Be Giants song "Istanbul, not Constantinople" messes up by having a Bactrian (two-humped) camel, when only dromedary (one-humped) camels live in the middle east.
  • The monkey Nkima in Filmation's Tarzan cartoons looks New World.
  • Tangled: The Series takes place in a European kingdom several centuries ago. Raccoons are from North America, and would not have been found in Europe around that time. This didn’t stop Varian from befriending one that kept coming into his lab and naming it Ruddiger, though.
  • The original George of the Jungle and the remake are set in a fictional jungle that looks primarily African, but includes animals and vegetation you wouldn't see in the wilds of Africa. An especially odd use of this trope is in the newer animated series, where one of the characters seems to be a Thylacine, an extinct marsupial from Australasia.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • The title sequence shows them discovering a dodo bird on a mountaintop. Dodos lived exclusively in the undergrowth of tropical deciduous forests, and would be ill-suited to an alpine environment.
    • This show also claims that vipers and badgers are the natural predators of platypi. Platypi are exclusive to Australia, which had neither badgers nor vipers until the latter were accidentally introduced in recent times.
    • One of Doofenshmirtz's traumatic backstories involves him being raised by ocelots, which are explicitly referred to in the movie as "South American wildcats". Yet Druelselstein is presumably in continental Europe...
      • Since this show has involved both a time machine and a device which brought Danville and Drusselstein into trebuchet range, that could just be an as yet untold tale.
    • "The Lizard Whisperer" has a North American chameleon (explicitly identified as such by Isabella). Chameleons are strictly Old World reptiles.
  • Milo Murphy's Law: The episode "Perchance to Sleepwalk" features red-billed choughs (referred to as "red-beaked crows") in the United States. Red-billed choughs are native to Europe, Africa, and Asia.
  • The Venture Bros. had an episode where the boys were in South America, and there was an orangutan. The natives also practiced circumcision, so they probably were really in Indonesia.
  • In a first-season episode of Ben 10, the Tennysons cross a Mexican jungle in which a chameleon (complete with 3 horns and goggle-eyes) is visible in the treetops. True chameleons aren't native to the New World, although feral populations (of different species than the one shown) do exist in California and Florida
  • An in-story example of this can be seen in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Trespass". The creatures the native Talz are riding throughout the episode are Narglatch, fan-tailed cat-like creatures that are native to Naboo. Not only the wrong climate zone (Naboo is mostly tropical), but the wrong planet. What's even worse is the fact that since the Talz are not advanced enough to have space travel, so the appearance of the Narglatch could not be explained by the Talz having brought them to the planet. Furthermore, the Talz themselves are from another planet. This tends to happen a lot not only on The Clone Wars, but in the Star Wars universe in general. On the series, it's somewhat justified in that they have a limited number of CG models and have to re-use creatures on several planets. Concept art for Season 5's Onderon arc featured a variant of the Narglatch that was adapted to Onderon's jungles, which was ultimately unused in the finished product.
  • American Dad! is pretty bad at this: the characters live in "Langley Falls" Virginia, but one episode had Stan take his family out camping into nearby mountains where they get chased by a Grizzly Bear... an animal native to the Western United States (a Black Bear would have been more appropriate) and since American Dad tends to use Lampshade Hanging for things out of place (including the alien member of the cast), the fact that they didn't point this out means it was probably an error. Another episode had Stan narrowly escape a Mountain Lion in the woods... Lions were extirpated from the Eastern U.S. by the beginning of the 20th century (aside from a small and critically endangered population in Florida). Producer Seth MacFarlane is from Rhode Island, about a day-trip away from Virginia, so either he really doesn't know any better or he's been living in California too long.
  • Beast Wars tries to avoid this by not being very particular as to what species of animal the cast transform into (and having the decency to explain Dinobot and Megatron's dinosaur alt-modes as being scanned from fossils), but it still has some odd placements, such as the gorilla that the computer scans for Optimus Primal being in the middle of what appears to be a desert. In a more literal sense, the fact that most of the animals on the cast are in the same shot, centimetres apart from one another, is unusual. The wildlife placements are made far more odd when it is revealed that the series takes place in North America, where the Autobots' Ark crashed. Even allowing for the prehistoric setting, many of the animals scanned in the first episode, as well as the proto-humans, are very out of place. Beast Wars II, the Japan-only anime sequel, has at least one Tasmanian Devil on Gaea, which is Earth in the distant future. Plus, the surface of Gaea is a jungle. Other examples abound, such as the question of how Big Convoy of Beast Wars Neo has a mammoth alt-form when he's apparently never even been to Earth/Gaea.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: The TV movie "Fairy Idol" shows penguins... living in the North Pole.
  • Thomas & Friends:
    • A picture book based on the show apparently showed American Robins living on the Island of Sodor, which is supposed to be located between the real-life islands of Man and Britain. American robins sometimes show up in Britain, but rarely.
    • Another picture book based on this show was actually about Thomas and Stepney finding a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on Sodor, despite that dinosaur being native to North America (they really should've either uncovered a Megalosaurus or a Baryonyx, both of which are actually theropod dinosaurs that are native to England). This didn't happen in the TV show, where dinosaur skeleton the Narrow Gauge locomotives found looks like that of a Dacentrurus (a large stegosaurid native to England).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, despite taking place in a deliberate Fantasy Kitchen Sink, gets special mention for having a giant squid in a lake in "The Show Stoppers". Further, given that the show takes place in a temperate, pastoral fields-and-woodlands type of setting, it's also more than a bit strange to see toucans and sea lions show up as regular components of Fluttershy's coterie of woodland critters.
  • The Danger Mouse episode "The Bad Luck Eye of the Little Yellow God", ostensibly set in Brazil, is jampacked with African wildlife.
  • One episode of DuckTales (1987) had Scrooge McDuck, the nephews, Webby, and Ms. Beakley go to Antarctica to protect a colony of penguins from a giant carnivorous walrus that was trapped in an ice cube for thousands of years, but was accidentally freed by Webby's tuning fork, causing said ice cube to shatter. In real life, walruses are native to the Arctic, not Antarctica. A leopard seal would be more appropriate however, since they are giant seals that live near Antartica which feed on penguins.
  • The Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Kiwi's Big Adventure" features a crocodile in the tropical jungles of New Zealand.
  • One Tex Avery MGM Cartoons short, "Slap Happy Lion", had a once ferocious lion that terrified all the other animals in the jungle with his roars, including a zebra, flamingo, a trio crocodiles, ostrich, snakes, a gorilla, and a kangaroo. Though one could argue a kangaroo might be more at home in a jungle than the lion is. Lions do not actually live in jungles.
  • The Popeye cartoon "Wild Elephinks" has Popeye encountering a moose in the African jungle. He's also seen fighting bears and squirrels in the climax.
  • Mike, Lu & Og has the Philosophical Society (a goat, a pig and a porcupine) on a deserted island. Other misplaced animals include the wombat (usually outwitting Alfred) and a chicken (chased by Margery in one episode). It may always be that those animals were also the cause of a shipwreck following an animal shipping. The rest of which animals died in the ocean.
  • Futurama:
    • The episode "The Deep South" had an electric eel in the ocean. The same scene also showed a coelacanth (which is found in the Indian ocean), a leafy seadragon (from the Pacific), and a clownfish (Pacific again) despite the episode being set under the Atlantic.
    • The episode "Fun On a Bun" had Megatherium (giant ground sloth), Macrauchenia (long-necked and trunked ungulate), and Doedicurus (giant club-tailed armadillo) in a Lost World in Europe. All three were native to South America. At least the token saber-toothed cat appeared to be a Machairodus (it had a long tail) which did live in Europe, but that genus went extinct before the Pleistocene.
    • Perhaps the most extreme example is penguins and orcas on Plutonote  in "The Birdbot Ice-catraz". And just to be clear, neither were an extraterrestrial species, they're ordinary Earth penguins and orcas. Absolutely no explanation is given to it.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) cartoon show, skunks which are North American creatures can be found in the medieval Europe period Smurf Forest. The comic books are a little bit more accurate as they feature polecats instead of skunks.
  • Gravity Falls had grizzly bears and alligators in Oregon, though that's hardly the strangest thing to happen in the show.
  • What's New, Scooby-Doo? had savannah animals like lions and giraffes in a jungle.
  • Inspector Gadget: In "The Amazon", Gadget encounters a huge white gorilla in, well, The Amazon Rainforest. Gorillas are only found in Africa.
  • Brandy & Mr. Whiskers features black-and-white tapirs, which live in Asia, in The Amazon Rainforest. Real South American tapirs are brown or gray.
  • Strangely inverted in one episode of Geronimo Stilton: a shark suddenly attacks a surfing competition. Looking it up, Benjamin sees that it's a copper shark, and since those are usually found around Australia and New Zealand, deduces that it must have been introduced on purpose. While it is true that they're found there, copper sharks are found in many other coastal areas, as widely dispersed as the West Coast of the United States and the Mediterranean.
  • All Hail King Julien has Xixi the toucan, a species native to South America and not Madagascar. Odd, considering that previous incarnations of the franchise have averted this trope.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "Night of the Octopod", the inactive Octopod is shocked back to life by an electric eel. At the base of Niagara Falls.
  • In The Jungle Bunch, Maurice is a penguin who lives in a jungle. In the first movie's intro, it's revealed his egg was thrown into the sea by a walrus, and drifted to the jungle where he was then raised by a tiger. There are also koalas and beavers living in the jungle.
    • There is also Batricia the female bat, an animal whose usual habitat is clearly not the jungle.
  • Simba: č nato un re has lions, tigers, gray wolves, leopards, and pythons all living in the same jungle in Africa.
  • The ‘’Betty Boop’’ cartoon “A Hunting We Will Go’’ has Bimbo and Koko encountering lions and leopards in a North American forest.
  • Taz-Mania: Dingoes and koalas are only found on the Australian mainland, and kiwis are from New Zealand. Aligators don't live in Australia. Most of the rest of the animals are fine. Perhaps surprisingly, this includes the Bush Mice (mice and rats are found anywhere there are humans) and Buddy Boar (feral pigs have been an issue on the island).
  • In Sea Princesses, Elektra is the Princess of the Electric Eels: a creature that doesn't dwell in the sea.
  • Topper the Penguin from Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town is in search of the South Pole, but somehow found his way to the Arctic Circle. Lampshaded by Kris Kringle, who says to him, "That's on the opposite end of the Earth! You're about as lost as you could get!"
  • The Animaniacs parody of The Lion King featured tigers living in what appears to be Africa. Though knowing Animaniacs, this may have been a reference to the misplaced wildlife in the film (or more likely just Rule of Funny). As in The Lion King, there are also leafcutter ants.
  • A literal example; in the PAW Patrol episode "Pups Save the Jungle Penguins", some Arctic penguins mistaken end up in the jungle, and the mission is to bring them home.
  • Total Drama World Tour
    • Pandas are featured very prominently in "Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan" as part of the episode's first challenge, despite it being well-known that they are a distinctively Chinese animal. This especially stands out given earlier in the episode, Chris was called out for using a Shaolin Monk outfit when announcing to the contestants they would be in Japan.
    • The first challenge in "Awwwwww, Drumheller" has the contestants digging up dinosaur bones, with Alejandro finding a complete Allosaurus skeleton. While Drumheller, Alberta, is famous for its plethora of dinosaur fossils, Allosaurus specimens are only known from the United States and Portugal. Furthermore, Allosaurus is a Jurassic dinosaur, with all of Drumheller's dinosaurs being from the Cretaceous.
  • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race: The contestants come to Argentina in "Last Tango in Buenos Aires", where emus play a major part in the second half. This is despite the fact emus are native to Australia. However, there are similar birds known as rheas in Argentina, so its possible the writers got them mixed up.

    Real Life 
  • Real Life Misplaced Wildlife is a serious problem as it can potentially create an invasive species. Someone brings over an exotic pet and either releases it when it's too much trouble or it escapes on its own, eventually finding a mate of similar background and reproducing. Depending on what animal it is, the climate, lack of predators, and abundance of prey that doesn't know how to avoid/escape them means they flourish well above what they do in their native territory, becoming a nuisance at best and a threat to humans at worst. Though this isn't always bad, as moving animals to new climates without natural predators has saved some species from extinction.
  • In the Californian city of Martinez, there's a local legend about a group of monkeys living in the creek. They even have a restaurant named after them.
  • There's a stable population of ring necked parakeets in South Eastern England, London, and other European cities such as Madrid—it's not uncommon to see trees covered in the little green birds as well as with their spherical nests in such places as Ramsgate or the Casa de Campo in the latter.
  • Thanks to notorious Drug Lord Pablo Escobar, there is now a small population of hippos in Colombia.
  • Beavers were introduced to the southern tip of South America in an attempt to start a fur industry. The industry never took off, but the beavers made themselves at home.
  • Birds occasionally fly to places they aren't normally seen in, such as Siberian birds in Alaska or American birds in Europe, due to being blown off course by strong winds during their migration. That said, this is such a rare occurrence, it tends to make the news and draw eager birdwatchers from all over the country.
    • Eurasian Eagle Owls, which are thought to have been native to the United Kingdom at some point in the past, have recently been making a sudden comeback thanks to occasional vagrants and deliberate releases or escapes of pet owls.
    • And it doesn't just happen to birds either. A West Indian Manatee (more readily associated with Florida) spent his summer in Cape Cod in 2008.
    • The Wild Parrots of Brooklyn.
    • Pasadena, California has a large, non-indigenous population of naturalized parrots. According to the "Parrot Project of Los Angeles", the parrots are of at least five species. Some residents have come to enjoy the birds as part of their unique city's culture, while others consider them to be loud pests. Many theories surround the mystery of how the parrots landed in Pasadena and claimed the area as their own. A widely accepted story is that they were part of the stock that were set free for their survival from the large pet emporium at Simpson's Garden Town on East Colorado Boulevard, which burned down in 1959.
    • Monk parakeets are a particularly notable example — between being popular pets and fairly hardy in temperate or warmer weather, monk parakeets thrive in Florida, in isolated colonies in several other major American cities — including Chicago — and most of Mediterranean Europe. Technically these are "introduced" rather than misplaced — they were released as pets or escaped on their own and have become feral versus winding up in the wrong place due to some natural phenomenon. This is unfortunately pretty common, as evidenced by the European Starling being ubiquitous across North America and the also European House Sparrow now being one of the most numerous birds on the continent, despite the latter's declining numbers in countries it is native to according to its article on That Other Wiki. Amazingly, both of these species were only introduced to North America in the last 150 years or so. A story mentioning flocks of House Sparrows in New York City would have qualified for this trope as being wrong not that long ago.
    • The Ring-necked Pheasant, so beloved of American hunters and artists and also the state bird of South Dakota, was brought to North America in 1857. They are originally native to Russia and are also naturalized in much of Western Europe.
    • The common parakeet, or budgie, has been marching, proverbially, into the Netherlands driving out the native Sparrow (which as mention above is doing just fine in its non-native North American habitats).
    • The Rock Pigeonnote  ended up this way due to human intervention. The species's adaptability combined with feral populations ending up on every continent except for Antarctica ended up giving birds that originally lived on European cliffs a very wide range, to the point where their non-native status outside their original range isn't brought up much due to how common and widespread they are, as well as the fact that these countries often have their own native species of doves and pigeons, in contrast to how the House Sparrow and European Starling stand out in North America since their families are mostly restricted to the Old World; although the Americas have species called sparrows, they're actually in the same family as Old World buntingsnote . The fact that Rock Pigeons outside their native habitat are descended from domesticated specimens also results in varying colors among individuals.
    • The Indian peafowl (commonly referred to as the peacock, even though this technically only refers to males of the species) has become established in Florida, believed to have originated from a pet shop in Miami. While not nearly as threatening to the local wildlife as some of the other creatures on this list that have cropped up in Florida, Floridians are mixed on them, with some hating them for their noise, droppings, and property damage (especially to patio screens and AC units) and others loving them for their beauty and embracing them as a natural tourist attraction.
    • Peafowl also roam free in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, which is notorious for having one of the mildest climates in the country. They were first introduced in 1891 and the park is now home to roughly 40 of them. They're known to wander into the gardens of homes across the street from the park, and during the 2020 mating season animal control officers captured a peacock in heat that had injured a 90-year-old woman outside her apartment building.
  • The story of how Singapore got its name — once upon a time, there was a fishing village called Temasek. Then a prince called Sang Nila Utama arrived, and upon reaching the shores of the island saw a creature that looked like a giant cat, with a red body, a black head and a white chest. He asked his assistant what the animal was and was told it was a lion. Hence the place was called the "Lion City" (i.e. Singapura) from that point on.
  • Actual misplaced wildlife: there is a herd of South American Rheas living in northeastern Germany, of all places. Apparently, winters here aren't that much worse than in Argentina.
    • There are also a few colonies of escaped wallabies living wild in the UK and in France.
    • The grey squirrel is native to North America but now so common in the UK that most people never see the native red ones, to the point that there is currently a campaign to introduce squirrel-hunting—and squirrel-eating—to the UK, specifically targeting the Greys, so that the Reds have a chance to thrive again. There are also efforts going on to help the native Pine Marten recover by using it as a natural population controller against the Greys - Pine Martens and Red Squirrels developed as species at around the same time as each other, with Red Squirrels preferring to live in the trees to avoid their natural predator, the Pine Marten, who mostly lives on the ground. Grey Squirrels prefer to live on the ground as well, meaning that they'd be ample prey for the Marten.
  • Monkeys were released/escaped into the Everglades after the filming of the Tarzan movies there. While the movies were set in Africa, not Florida, they now depict accurately the fauna of the Everglades. When they were being filmed, they didn't...
    • Certain species of large constrictors often kept as pets have escaped or been illegally released when they got too big in such numbers that their populations in Florida may now be self-sustaining. So now we do have potentially man-eating snakes.
    • The same is true for several species of parrots/parakeets in various areas.
  • The rise of various "Beast of X" sightings and rumours circulating in rural northern England roughly coincides with a tightening of regulations on keeping large predators as pets. This is probably not a coincidence.
  • There are many sightings of "black panthers" and maned lions in North America and Australia. Some fall under "Phantom cats", a cryptozoological phenomenon revolving around large wild cats being sighted outside their indigenous environments. In Australia, at least, invasive wild cats are a legitimate problem. Since lions and other large carnivores can be legally kept as pets in many US states, at least some reported sightings in the US are also genuine.
  • It is widely believed that the countryside surrounding Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire supports a thriving wallaby population.
    • And aside of the wallabies there are Japanese sika deer all over the place, American gray squirrels driving native red squirrels into extinction and more Père David's deer, Chinese water deer and Reeves's muntjacs there than in their native China. British mammal fauna is completely FUBAR. Even rabbits weren't native to Britain until the Normans introduced them as game animals. Native British hares have mostly been displaced into isolated mountains and marshes by the fast-breeding continental coneys.
  • Some introduced species have become so widespread, their presence can be felt all over the world. One of the most ubiquitous, the rat, has spread so relentlessly that biologists haven't got a clue what sort of habitat their wild ancestors originally came from.
    • The most widespread and familiar rat is the Norway rat (also called the brown rat). While, like any inhabitable place, there are rats in Norway today, it's definitely not their original, indigenous location. They were called Norway rats by an English biologist in the 18th century, when the brown rat didn't even exist in Norway.
  • You wouldn't expect to see gray whales on the coast of Israel, would you?
  • Dromedary camels are native to the North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where they are now completely domesticated; it's generally accepted that they've been extinct in the wild for at least 2000 years. The only feral population is in Australia, where they were introduced in the mid-1800s as pack animals.
    • For a time, there was a small population of feral camels in the western United States, thanks to the short-lived efforts of the United States Camel Corps, which used camels to help survey the uncharted (and very arid) American Southwest in the 1850s. The last reported sighting of a wild camel in the US was in Texas in 1941. The camels did quite well when first released (the original camels that all modern species descend from evolved in the American Southwest and some of the brush is perfectly suited for them to eat), but their numbers were too small to establish a lasting feral population like horses did.
  • Many domestic species are like this: wild (actually feral) horses in the United States are descendants of animals brought over from Europe by Spanish explorers or that escaped from captivity. Likewise, feral populations of cats, dogs, goats, sheep, pigs, and pigeons are now common in many places that they're not native to. Pigs in particular have proved so able to colonize new territory that they've become a serious ecological problem in places like California, Hawaii, Florida, Texas, and Australia. However, horses evolved in North America, and only got to Eurasia relatively recently. They died out in North America about 10,000 years ago, before being reintroduced. Mustang defenders have argued that wild horses should be allowed in National Parks in the American Southwest because the archeological record shows they lived there before humans did.
  • Non-native dolphins, sharks and seals sometimes turn up off the Atlantic coast of Britain.
  • Pigs are native to Europe and Asia. Polynesians introduced them across the South Pacific. Spanish explorers introduced them to North America, South America, and everywhere else they went. Today, feral pigs are found from the US to Argentina, in Australia, and in a whole slew of other places they're not supposed to be. Unfortunately, due to their fast growth rate, high reproductive rate, ability to eat almost anything, and the general lack of predators capable of dealing with them, they've become a huge problem in most of the places they've been introduced to. On top of that, some historians believe that pigs that escaped from the Spaniards spread many of the diseases that devastated indigenous populations throughout the Americas.
  • In June 2011, a young emperor penguin ended up on the coast of New Zealand (where there are penguins, just different species).
  • Every now and again, a walrus will be seen in or around Northern Scotland, even though that's still quite a ways away from the walrus's natural habitat, the Arctic Circle.
  • Beluga Whales rarely visit the Thames Estuary in England; one affectionately named Benny showed up on his own in 2018, and appears to have made the Estuary his home.
  • The South American coypu, also known as nutria (looks like a cross between a rat and a beaver), has invaded many parts of the USA and Europe after being introduced there by fur ranchers.
  • The common starling was not native to North America until 1890, when Eugene Schieffelin and the American Acclimatization Society released 60-100 in Central Park as part of a plan to introduce every bird species mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare to America. They are now over 200 million strong and a major pest.
  • Fish also get misplaced—sometimes intentionally and sometimes not—in various rivers and streams around the world. In North America, numerous species of Asian carp have infested lakes and rivers across the United States, and on occasion so have northern snakeheads. Alligator gar, native to the Southeast United States, have been found in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkmenistan and Singapore. The South American arapaima has been introduced to lakes and rivers in Thailand and Malaysia. There are varying reasons for this, from fish owned by private collectors escaping or being released into the wild, introduced to remove pest species or as part of conservation efforts.
    • Still other species have sneaked into rivers because their eggs or hatchlings got mixed in with the rocks and mud used as ballast in some types of boat. This is why lampreys are now a serious pest in many major U.S. rivers and parts of the Great Lakes.
  • The cane toad, native to South and Central America, was released into numerous islands in Oceania, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Australia where they were intended to reduce or eliminate cane beetles that were eating cane sugar, a valuable crop. The toads succeeded in their mission in most places (though not in Australia), but rather than stop at the beetles, they went on to eat anything else they could fit in their mouths. In addition to that, they have a deadly venom that frequently kills predator species. The lack of predators and an abundance of food sources have caused cane toad populations to explode and become a serious pest species that have destabilized every ecosystem they were introduced to.
  • And just sometimes this works out all right. The fallow deer used to live in most of Europe until an ice age drove it all the way back to Turkey and beyond. Then the Romans came along and they apparently liked the deer so much they introduced the animals in, well, most of Europe.
  • The old "Parisian Sewer Rat" carnival sideshow gig. If it's not a silly-looking rubber/plastic monster rat, it's typically a capybara, which are native to marshlands in South America.
  • Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California, has played host to a herd of bison for nearly a century. The bison were initially introduced to the island by a film crew in the 1920s and were simply left behind when filming wrapped up. Thanks to a lack of major predators the herd ballooned to a population of nearly 600 at its highest. Current numbers sit at around 150-200 while any excess bison are used to help repopulate the Great Plains in the American Midwest.
  • The famous problem of rabbits in Australia; they were initially brought over by colonists for food and hunting, and became so pervasive they damn near destroyed the Australian ecosystem.
    • Rabbits were also originally introduced to Great Britain, probably by the Normans who considered such "coneys" tasty. They weren't nearly as destructive in this case, as the British Isles already had their own native hare and rabbit species as well as predators that fed on them; native species of lagomorph did, however, suffer a great loss of home range to the imported newcomers, such that several are now confined to shrunken niches of swampland or mountain terrain.
  • A number of non-native game animals were introduced in various places of the USSR to diversify the hunting (or for other purposes), with varying degrees of success.
    • "Raccoon dog" or tanuki west of Urals. Success, since they did live there and went extinct only several thousand years ago.
    • Nutria or coypu or "South American swamp beaver". They thrive on farms, but don't store food and can't survive long winters in the wild. By now they live only in Azerbaijan.
    • Ostriches on the Black Sea coast. Partial success by 1941, but the project was abandoned because of the war and never revisited.
    • Skunks. Failure.
    • Common North American raccoon. Success in Belarus, Azerbaijan and a small area in southern Russia.
    • For the same reason — to diversify huntable game — raccoons were introduced in Germany in 1930s. Later several dozen escaped from a fur farm. Today they thrive all over Germany.
  • 16th century chronicles from Novgorod, Russia, state that in 1581 "...ferocious beasts crocodiles came out of the river and blocked the road, bit many people, people were terrified and prayed to God all over the land..." Some historians write it off as an allegoric description of the grave events at the czar's court. Others believe the crocodiles were being delivered from Egypt via Syria for somebody's private zoo or zoos and escaped. They didn't survive the winter.
  • A crocodile, nicknamed "Sifis" by the locals, lived in Crete, Greece from summer 2014 until spring 2015 (he died after a particularly long winter).
  • The common pheasant, originally native to southwestern Asia, began being introduced to other parts of the Northern Hemisphere in Roman times. Less destructive than many of the above examples, it's blended into ecosystems of Europe and North America so seamlessly that it's now the state bird of South Dakota, despite being unheard of on the continent before 1881. Ironically, captive-bred lines of pheasants released for hunting have mostly replaced wild pheasants in their native country of Georgia, making this a case of an introduced species supplanting itself.
  • There's now a concentrated effort to introduce rhinoceros to Australia in an attempt to save them from rampant poaching.
  • In 1810 in Cumberland, England, there was a mysterious beast described as a large sandy brown striped animal, resembling both a dog and a cat, slaughtering sheep and drinking their blood, leading to it being dubbed the Vampire Dog of Ennerdale. It's now believed it was a thylacine, escaped from one of the many unlicensed travelling menageries of the time.
  • The exact origins of the domestic chicken aren't clear, but it's likely they're all descended from the red junglefowl, probably hybrid with the grey junglefowl, native to India and south-east Asia. Despite being technically misplaced almost everywhere, they have become the most numerous bird in the world.
  • Tanaxpillo, usually known as "La isla de los monos" ("the island of monkeys" in Spanish) on Lake Catemaco, Mexico, is home to a colony of stump-tailed macaques from South Asia which were introduced on the place as part of a study regarding the species and its habitat.
  • In Brazil, an activist painted her body in protest to Amazon Rainforest fires, portraying the rainforest on fire along with its flora, but with a giraffe included for some reason. Naturally, it lead to a Memetic Mutation.
  • It is common for geographically-themed areas in zoos to display a few animals that do not actually live in whatever the highlighted region is. (Random example: pygmy marmosets in the Bronx Zoo's Congo Gorilla Forest.) Though signage will usually provide information on a species' correct biogeography, thus subverting this trope.

Aversions and Parodies

  • Aleksandr the Russian Meerkat, and the rest of the population of Meerkovia, in the Compare the Meerkat adverts are very much played for laughs. But eventually we did get an ad explaining that their ancestors travelled to Russia from the Kalahari Desert, which is where you get meerkats.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In an earlier episode of Naruto, this actually becomes relevant. Sasuke spots a white hare in an environment where it most definitely doesn't belong and figures somebody brought it to pull a Cat Scare on them. Then Zabuza shows up.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • Done intentionally in the story "An Akane to Remember". The forested valley of Ryûgenzawa is filled with the most unlikely of creatures, including a platypus, porcupines, herds of frill-necked lizards, cranes, koalas and one or two dodo birds. However, it's noted in the story itself that they don't belong there and were in fact imported from other countries: in the original manga, Shinnosuke's grandfather used to be the caretaker at a zoo that was built there, while the anime explains them as exotic pets that the old man collected. Akane, Ranma and Ryôga were more concerned about the fact they were all bigger than human beings anyway.
    • At another time, Ranma, Genma, and Sôun must find a way to get past the girls bathing in a hot spring. Genma and Sôun have the bright idea of painting Genma's panda form so he more closely resembles a vicious grizzly. However the only paint they have on hand is white. The girls immediately see through this ("Whoever heard of a polar bear in Japan?"). Cue the bucket to the face.
    • Also, there's an octopus spring at Jusenkyô, which seems to be nowhere near the ocean. Even the Guide has no idea how it can be possible.
  • One episode of Tenchi in Tokyo features Washu's spy devices being tampered with by a monster and twisting the real events into bizarre occurrences in telephone-game style. One sequence ends up with "A hippo and a cow are trying to push Tenchi off a cliff." The incredulous response from Ayeka when she sees the resulting image being "Where did they find a hippo in Japan?!"
  • Justified in Dr. STONE. Senku and Taiju wake up in Japan 3700 years after the human population has been Taken for Granite. The most dangerous predators they have to deal with are lions, presumably descended from escaped zoo animals. It's also shown that wolves have either recolonized Japan through swimming or land bridges, or feral dogs have reverted back to a more ancestral shape.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Black Island, there is a gorilla on the island, which is in Scotland. However, the residents of the nearest village have no name for it other than "the beast", and it's being kept as a guardian by the villains (who probably imported it on the black market).
  • In a comic based on Super Mario Land 2, which ran in an issue of Nintendo Power, Mario finds an octopus in a lake. He asks the octopus about it, and the octopus realizes that's why he's been feeling sick. Mario offers to pour some salt into the water, but after doing so, realizes that he poured in sugar, instead... (Contrast with the actual game, where the octopus is alive inside a sleeping whale.)

    Comic Strips 
  • Sherman's Lagoon at times features a polar bear. This particular guy seems more interested in lounging around in the tropics, though — he's a tourist.

    Films — Animation 
  • Madagascar: Surprisingly, the movie (for the most part) avoids this trope. Not only do they populate the island with its native lemurs, but they correctly include the little-known fossa as their predator. Though they did slip up by having a hummingbird (only found in the Americas).
  • In the Disney feature Saludos Amigos, during the "Gaucho Goofy" segment, we see Goofy wielding the bolas against an Argentine ostrich (actually a rhea). Initially the ostrich appears to be an African ostrich, but the narrator then points out that unlike the African ostrich, the Argentine ostrich doesn't have decorative tail feathers. The tail feathers are then pulled off the ostrich's body.
  • In Disney's Tarzan, a baby Tantor worries about there being piranhas in the river — mistaking a young Tarzan for a piranha. The adult elephants have a discussion about how there are no piranhas in Africa — they're native to South America. note  Then Tarzan pops up and they all panic.
  • About midway through Up, Mr. Fredriksen and Russell are in Venezuela. Russell complains that he's tired. Mr. Fredriksen tells Russell to hurry up before a tiger eats him, but Russell whines that there aren't tigers in Venezuela, referencing his zoology scout badge in the process.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Animal Crackers, Captain Spaulding (Groucho Marx) is telling of his African adventures, which include shooting a polar bear in the jungle. When Mrs. Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) objects that polar bears only live in the Arctic, he explains: "This bear was anemic and he couldn't stand the cold climate. Besides, he was a rich bear and could afford to go away in the winter." No such Hand Wave is offered for the 6 tigers also mentioned in the speech (just a lame pun). By the time Spaulding gets around to saying that "the principal animals inhabiting the African jungle are Moose, Elks, and Knights of Pythias," it's pretty clear that he never went anywhere near Darkest Africa and that his speech is justified by the Rule of Funny.
  • Elf includes a collection of stop-action wildlife at the North Pole. Even though this is a silly fantasy story, the movie twists the penguins-in-the-arctic cliché by having puffins, which look a lot like penguins. (The extinct flightless Great Auk, Pinguinus impennis was the origin of the name penguin. There is a similarity.)
  • In Forbidden Planet, Morbius keeps a surprising menagerie of Earth animals on Altair-IV, which hadn't been brought there aboard the Bellerophon with Morbius and the other colonists. The theory is advanced that these animals could have evolved on Altair-IV and subsequently have been brought to Earth by Krell Ancient Astronauts — but their Earthlike protective coloration is clearly inappropriate for this alien planet. Then one of these animals is accidentally killed and an autopsy shows that its insides are Made of Bologna, which implies that all of these animals are wholly artificial creatures.
  • Cleverly averted in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. They couldn't get a boa constrictor, only a Burmese Python, so they changed the reference from Brazil to Burma and removed the snake's use of the word "Amigo".
  • Averted in Cast Away through the simple expedient of having no visible (or audible) wildlife whatsoever aside from the crabs and fish the main character catches for food.
  • There's a jungle in the Madonna movie Who's That Girl with all the usual suspects; cockatoos, kangaroos, zebras, Patagonian felixes, etc., but it's artificial (the biggest artificial jungle on the Lower West Side), so they were stocked into it anyway. And it's on top of an apartment building.
  • Lampshaded in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, where doctor speculates that a soldier's leg was bitten off by a tiger. Several characters incredulously ask, "A tiger? In Africa?" only to be shushed by others in the scene. One of the soldiers suggests, "It must have escaped from a zoo".
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Rabbits were probably introduced to Britain by the Normans, believe it or not, so technically the Vorpal Bunny shouldn't have been there in Arthurian Britain either. Although there seems to be an alternative, more recent theory that the Romans may have brought some over, which might let them off. (And the legendary Arthur is usually presented as though he was a 13th-century knight, rather than a 6th-century warlord.) Possibly it was really a Vorpal Mountain Hare: a species that was widespread in Britain until introduced European rabbits and hares began to compete with it. The animal in the movie was white, so any markings that would distinguish its exact species were obscured by albinism.
    • Then there's the debate over how coconut shells turned up in England. They could have been carried by an African swallow, but not a European swallow. But then, African swallows are non-migratory...
  • In An American Werewolf in London, David and Jack start half-jokingly speculating about what's making the howling sounds in the distance. David first suggests a coyote, and Jack retorts that there aren't any coyotes in England.
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights features the characters sending a message via "12 Century Fox" note  to deliver messages, but the fox they use is a gray fox, which is not native to England. The movie is an Anachronism Stew that runs on Rule of Funny, and the fox even makes the sound of the dolphin from Flipper (that is, a sped-up kookaburra) when it runs off. The bird that lands on Marian's hand after her bath is a bluebird, also not native to Britain.
  • The Tarzan Expy Nanu from The World's Greatest Athlete lives in Africa, and owns a pet Tiger he calls Harry. Unlike most cases this is actually addressed in the film.
  • The 2016 remake of Disney's The Jungle Book brings back King Louie, who was an orangutan in the original animated movie... but averts this trope by changing him to a Gigantopithecus, an extinct species of ape that actually was native to India.

  • A very tongue-in-cheek one from Harry Potter: Hogwarts has a giant squid. Living in a lake. In northern Scotland. A Wizard Did It. J. K. Rowling has admitted that she didn't realize snowy owls weren't native to Britain when she wrote the first book. This is reflected in later books by Hedwig being the only snowy owl in the series and it's an occasional plot point that she's too distinctive to send secret messages. There's still the problem that only male snowy owls are pure white. Justified in that Hedwig was bought from a magical pet shop, which can presumably import or cosmetically-modify its animals.
  • Animorphs:
    • Tobias' Mode Lock turns him into a hawk—specifically, a red-tailed hawk—presumably so that readers would know what his distinctive "TSEEEEEEERRR!" cry sounds like.
    • Justified in #19, where Cassie and Aftran/Karen are pursued by a leopard. Earlier the book had established that someone in the area was illegally keeping it as a pet before it escaped into the woods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The UK version of Being Human has a number of short videos that were released to the Internet, one of which is a video record of the night George was attacked. When they hear howling in the distance, the American tourist he's walking with suggests wolves, and is contemptuously shot down — "you don't get wolves up here."
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Lampshaded and subverted in "Scott of the Antarctic", where an egotistical film star throws a tantrum when he is informed that the lion that he is supposed to fight doesn't live in the Antarctic. A compromise is worked out, and the movie gets a different setting and a new title: "Scott of the Sahara." Then they go and leave in the part where another character in the film fights a penguin (a 20-foot tall electric penguin with tentacles).
  • In the episode "Jess-Belle" of The Twilight Zone (1959), an Appalachian witch turns herself into a leopard — with spots — instead of the geographically plausible monochrome mountain lion. On the leopard’s last appearance, a character observes "I’ve never seen a wildcat with spots."

  • Parodied in The Tragically Hip song "Gus: The Polar Bear from Central Park".
  • Parodied in the song "Tarzan and Jane" by the Danish band Toy-Box, which opens with a chorus of "jungle" sounds, including various birds singing, large cats growling, monkeys calling, sheep bleating, and elephants trumpeting.
  • Referenced in "That's Right", which has been performed by billy Lee Riley and Ray Ellington:
    Kangaroos come from Kalamazoo, zebras ziggin' in Zuiderzee, brother I got news for you, that story don't ring so true to me.
  • P.D.Q. Bach has a string quartet titled "The Moose". Peter Schickele provides a humorously contrived explanation.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Although mocked in the page quote, most tabletop games attempt to avert this. Not only are random encounter tables often tailored to different environments (you'll use a different table in a jungle than you would at sea), but the whole point of having a GM is to manage and/or justify such things. It's a poor GM who would just blindly throw 1d3 camels at a party in a swamp just because a table told them to - it's the GM's job to frame things in such a way that the encounter makes sense. Unfortunately this can be one of the harder aspects of being a GM, and it's common for inexperienced players to rely too much on the mechanical systems which tends to result in this trope.

    Video Games 
  • Endless Ocean:
    • Mostly averted in the first game by having the "ocean" in question be the fictional Manoa Lai sea. Still, one would wonder what polar bears, orcas, belugas, walruses, etc. are doing in a tropical climate...
    • In the sequel, all your dolphin pals except for the tropical ones get misplaced once they follow you home to sunny Nineball Island. Particularly the river dolphin. The river dolphin that you get by taking along a narwhal from the Arctic.
    • This does have an explanation. The narwhal is a female, who supposedly was once a human, hence her tusk being red, it's her spear. Male boto are known for being shape shifters, spotted by their blowholes. You set up a blind date.
    • The sequel otherwise averts this trope by having species be in their proper environments in appropriate areas around the world. On the rare occasion of genuine misplaced wildlife, the characters will wonder, "How'd that get there?" aloud, often offering up a (usually fairly plausible) theory. One sub-quest even has you rescuing some marine fish that have managed to wander into a freshwater area and made themselves very sick in the process.
      • The first time you go there you even find a Minke Whale trapped upstream.
  • The 3rd Hugo Adventure Game has an elephant in the Amazon. When you go "Look Elephant", the flavor text sheepishly admits that elephants don't live in South America and explains it by it escaping from a circus and more or less admits it's just there to be a puzzle. In the same Hugo game, the natives are eating "roast hyena". Hyenas are native to Africa and Asia, not South America.
  • In The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals, you have to identify Misplaced Wildlife and send it back where it belongs.
  • The Monkey Island games take everything that would make a realistic setting and gleefully throw it out the window, as can be expected from a series that places vending machines in 17th century Caribbean. It comes with plenty of lampshading.
    Stan: Some claim it was sailed back by a crew of chimps.
    Guybrush: Chimps? There aren't any chimps in the Caribbean!
    Stan: Oh, shut up. It makes a good story.
  • In Flight of the Amazon Queen you encounter a gorilla styled ghost blocking your way; you can get rid of it by pointing out that gorillas only live in Africa, not in South America. The same happens when the "gorilla" has half on and half off a pink and purple polka-dot suit with which the ghost claims to be a vicious dinosaur.
  • Fallout 3 usually does a good job of putting animals in the right places, mirelurks (mutant crabs) near water, feral ghouls (zombies) in the underground and so on. Occasionally it messes up and spawns a giant scorpion inside a town.
    • The scorpions themselves being in the former Washington D.C. area gets explained as well. They are the descendants of pre-war emperor scorpions which were quite popular in pet stores. The normally mildly venomous scorpions have since mutated into highly venomous, bullet-resistant giants. Fallout: New Vegas also manages to throw in mutated versions of the native bark scorpion, as well as what are presumably non-native emperor mutants.
  • Fly Like a Bird has Blue-and-Gold Macaws. In the snow.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time features El Jefe, a Cuban tiger, attempting to take over feudal Japan and frame Sly's ancestor Rioichi for poisoning the shogun. Sly and Bentley discuss the fact that a tiger belongs in a tropical jungle, not Japan, although Cuba's jungles are on the wrong side of the world for a tiger (though, given a world populated by Funny Animals, it's not so impossible).
  • Warcraft III: One mission has Thrall explore a mountain cavern in the far desert and forested continent of Kalimdor, when he comes across several sheep. He then recalls not having seen any since they'd arrived, prompting a sorceress to comment that Thrall's bright for an orc, before undoing the enchantment and ambushing him with several un-polymorphed footmen.
  • The Explorers' Notes of ARK: Survival Evolved show Helena enthusiastic at getting to study living dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, until this trope (among others) causes her to realize the Island is an artificially maintained Fantastic Nature Reserve. Her in-universe tipping point is seeing a Tyrannosaurus in the tundra.

    Web Comics 
  • Memoria: Rhinos as farm animals.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • A variant in one strip where two displacer beasts (monsters who tend towards dungeons) end up wandering the plains in search of food; one of them points out it's not even their natural habitat, so they're at a disadvantage. When they see the party approach, they realize that they're just supposed to be another random encounter and hide until they've passed.
    • Also mentioned there, providing the page quote.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court Andrew, when helping the animals of the Woods with their problems, meets an octopus, somehow surviving on land and able to fly. His advice:
    Andrew: I think you should really be in the ocean...
    Octopus: So that's what I've been doing wrong!
  • Dracula adaptations seem to have this problem bad; the furry webcomic version features Jonathan Harker the coyote (originally meant to be a fox, but the guy doing the strip likes coyotes), and a Eastern European ship's crew contained a kangaroo. This is particularly silly since Quincy Morris was from Texas, so making him a coyote would've been appropriate.
  • Justified in Wilde Life, where this is used to indicate that the animal in question is supernatural. First, Oscar finds what looks like a wolf on his doorstep, despite wolves not living in Oklahoma—instead, it's a werewolf. (Well, more or less.) At the end of the same chapter, Oscar says that he saw a (talking) bear, and Cliff, the same werewolf from before, dismissively says that bears don't live in Oklahoma.

    Web Original 
  • Twitch Plays Pokémon: Pokemon FireRed was put through a "randomizer", allowing any Pokemon knowing any moves to appear anywhere. This has resulted in Feebas, one of the most elusive freshwater fish, to appear in the tall grass of Viridian Forest.
  • asdfmovie has Desmond the Moon Bear. He's just as confused about how he got there as the viewer.
  • Played for Laughs on The Weather; among the animals Alan talks to on his implicitly-midwestern farm is a Dikdik, alongside animals like a puppy and a rabbit.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in a Jana of the Jungle episode where a captive elephant breaks loose and is rampaging through the South American rain forest. Here, the elephant is explicitly shown not to be native to the region, forcing Jana to explain to the frightened natives that it is a simply a large animal before she sets out to find it and prevent it from causing irreparable damage or being killed by the natives.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Parodied in a season 12 deleted scene: Homer collapses during a marathon in Springfield, USA, and is dragged off by hyenas.
    • Invoked in the episode "Bart vs. Australia". Lisa points out that Bart can't bring foreign plants or animals into Australia, causing him to drop off his pet bullfrog into the water fountain. The bullfrog population increases over the course of the episode and by the end, Australia is infested with them.
      Homer: Hey, look! Those frogs are eating all their crops. (everyone laughs)
      Lisa: Well, that's what happens when you introduce foreign species into an ecosystem that can't handle them. (everyone continues to laugh, only to reveal that a koala has found its way onto the helicopter).
  • Averted in Go, Diego, Go!. It’s a show teaching kids about wildlife, so what do you expect?
  • More a lampshading than a parody, but in the Rankin/Bass Christmas special Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, set apparently in northern Germany, Kris Kringle (not yet named Santa Claus) meets a penguin who's trying to find the South Pole. Kris immediately says that the penguin is about lost as he could get.
    • This was done as a specific response to complaints about the appearance of penguins in the North Pole in the original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, retroactively suggesting that the penguins had been brought to the North Pole by Kris Kringle.
  • A similar situation in the Bugs Bunny cartoon 8-Ball Bunny, in which Bugs reluctantly helps a little penguin get back home to the South Pole, only to learn that the penguin was born in captivity, in Hoboken.
  • Happens curiously often in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Ponyville gets an awful lot of sea creatures for a landlocked small town.
  • One of the many Formula Breaking Episodes in the television series Pucca resets Sooga as a jungle island inhabited, among other things, by elephants, lions and giraffes. Before you point out that those don't live in the jungle, or the sometimes extreme differences in wildlife between an island and the mainland, more important is that Sooga is a fictional location in Korea.
  • In the Family Guy episode, "Peter Problems", while parodying The Lion King (1994), animals at the presentation include African wildlife life the Giraffes, the Burchell's Zebras, the Black Rhinoceros, the Spotted Hyenas, the Meerkats, the African Buffalo, the African Elephants, the Cheetahs, the Blue Wildebeests, and the East African Oryxes. The animators managed to slip up when Bengal Tigers (native to Asia) are present.
  • The premise of We Bare Bears. Three bears thrive in the city of San Francisco and try to adapt to the world of technology.
  • Winnie the Pooh cartoons are full of wildlife that definitely don't belong in the UK. The main characters include a tiger, two kangaroos, a gopher, and an owl who looks more like a great horned owl than any of the UK's native owls. Elephants, or as the characters call them, Hephalumps, also make appearances. In one episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Rabbit, Tigger, and Piglet travel into the jungle, which is also a misplaced biome, and run into some monkeys and a spotted hyena. The hyena is a double example since hyenas don't live in jungles or the UK. There is some justification for all the misplaced wildlife, though. Many, but maybe not all, of the animal characters Winnie the Pooh franchise are Living Toys, not real animals.
  • A Eurasian blackbird is seen during Rainbow Quartz's song in an episode of Steven Universe: Future. Rainbow Quartz is based on Mary Poppins, so this is likely a nod to the film example above.
  • Justified in an episode of Archer where Lana and Archer are in a jungle of Colombia. They hear a roar and Archer immediately assumes it was from a tiger. Lana correctly points out that tigers don't live anywhere near Colombia but, when they get captured, they find out that the tiger is part of a group of animals captured from different parts of the world to hunt them (between the captured animals there are also a rhino, a panda and an ostrich; again, none live anywhere near Colombia).
  • Over the Garden Wall: Not only does Miss Langtree have to deal with the school's financial problems and her no-good fiancé Jimmy Brown abandoning her, but there's also a wild gorilla chasing people around the Fantasy Americana setting! It turns out to be Jimmy Brown in a Clingy Costume.
  • In The Blue Racer episode “Love and Hisses” the titular character mentions he’s in Japan, he encounters an elephant and a gorilla, neither of which are native to Japan.

    Real Life 
  • Time to spoil the ending of every single "brain teaser" set in Australia, ever. There are no bears or wolves or whatever other misplaced animal the story featured heavily in Australia (well, there are dingoes...). The guy telling the story is a blowhard.
  • Thanks to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, word got out that oil companies (not just BP) drilling in the Gulf of Mexico merely duplicated their recovery plans for spillages occurring in Alaska. This includes guidelines about how to assist walruses and polar bears endangered by a spill.
  • Scott of the Antarctic took guns and ammunition to fight off polar bears. They observed that some penguins were covered in scars and deduced the existence of predators. Luckily for the explorers, the predators in question are killer whales and leopard seals; given that leopard seals are man-eaters, cunning hunters, and bloody swift, the armaments were a good idea anyway.
  • Beavers, long extinct in the British Isles, have recently been reintroduced into Scotland using stock imported from continental Europe.note  Some people are getting excited by the idea of re-introducing wolves and bears: the last native British wolf was killed by hunters in Suffolk in the 1500's.
    • This inspired the placename Woolpit celebrating where the last wolf was killed. Congleton in Cheshire is also known as Beartown for similar reasons.
    • A bird species, the Great Bustard, is the subject of current attempts to re-establish a thriving population in the UK. The reason for their local extinction, however, is that they tasted great...
    • There are said to be populations of wild boar, another formerly native species, in the New Forest of Hampshire. These are descendants of escapees from farms rearing them as a luxury meat, from examples imported from France. Hunted to extinction for sport and food, it is thought that poachers are active in depleting the new population...
  • Humans have both deliberately and accidentally caused countless examples of "misplaced" wildlife around the world, by bringing all manner of animals with them when traveling around the world. While sometimes the new arrivals have been harmless (or even beneficial in the case of introducing horses to the Americas), in other cases the invasive species have been catastrophic to native wildlife. This is particularly true on islands that previously had no mammalian predators, and thus the native birds had no idea how to defend themselves or their eggs from such predators. Human settlers have invariably brought pet dogs and cats with them deliberately when colonizing new lands, while rats and mice are basically impossible to keep out of ships' cargo holds and thus went along for the ride to previously isolated islands.
    • A famous recent example are the "cocaine hippos" of Colombia. Drug kingpin Pablo Escobar had built a private zoo with various wild animals imported from all over the world, with the hippos allegedly being his favorites. After his death the animals were all transported to more legitimate zoos. All except the hippos, since the government lacked the resources to move such huge animals. The hippos proceeded to break out of their enclosure and take over the rivers of Colombia. While the government initially wanted to kill the hippos (which can be very dangerous to humans, to say nothing of their environmental impact), they're actually very popular among the Colombian people and thus the current plan is to tranquilize and castrate them so they can't reproduce. This has turned out to be easier said than done: hippos are notoriously difficult to tranquilize: their thick skin means that it's hard to successfully dart them, they have a habit of fleeing into the water which places them at risk of drowning once the drugs start to kick in, and their large size means that it takes a significant dose to actually put them under. On top of that, due to being semi-aquatic, male hippos have internal testes which makes it very hard to perform a successful castration procedure. So far, efforts have been unsuccessful.
  • During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Chicago Aquarium, which had to be closed to visitors in the interim, decided to maintain a public presence by having their penguins touring the viewing halls which large windows of the various water tanks, including one with beluga whales. As it turns out, the two species of completely different hemispheres of the world find each other a fascinating sight.
  • In 2007, a minke whale was found 1000 miles up the Amazon river. Scientists weren't sure how it had ended up that far from the ocean but suspected it may have become disoriented due to illness or injury near the Amazon's mouth and subsequently become lost.


Video Example(s):


Skunks in Alaska

Justified. When Moon points out that skunks aren't native to Alaska, Wolf explains that they filmed a Noah's Ark movie a while back and some of the skunks brought for the shoot got loose and mated like crazy.

How well does it match the trope?

4.33 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / MisplacedWildlife

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