Describe a Wild Animal: IELTS Speaking (3 Cue Cards With Example Answers)

In Part 2 of your IELTS Speaking test, you might be given a wild animal cue card. Let’s look at how you can describe a wild animal really well for a band-7 score.

First, we’ll look at some ideas for how to answer, then some vocabulary and idioms you could use. We’ll go over a few tips for Part 2 questions, and then we’ll look at the sample answers (go straight to the answers here). 

What You Can Talk About

First of all, think of any wild animal that’s easy to talk about. Perhaps it’s an animal you really like or have seen recently. Here are some examples to help you think:

  • Deer
  • Squirrel
  • Rabbit
  • Raccoon
  • Elephant
  • Gorilla
  • Lion
  • Tiger
  • Bear
  • Monkey
  • Bird (various species)
  • Fish (any kind of fish)
  • Fox
  • Hippopotamus
  • Kangaroo
  • Zebras
  • Giraffe
  • Chimpanzee
  • Cheetah
  • Wolf
  • Leopard

Then you can talk about:

  • Where you saw that animal before (zoo, park, TV, movie, garden, safari, mountains, forest, lake…)
  • What it looks like
  • The animal’s behavior
  • What kind of habitat it lives in
  • What you think about it
  • If you like it or not
  • How that animal makes you feel 
  • What you would do if you saw that animal face to face
  • If you want to see that animal in future
  • Anything else you can think of

Tell a Story

In Part 2, one easy way to keep speaking is to tell a story. Or you can even tell two stories!

For this question, try to remember the last time you saw this wild animal. Was it on TV? Or when you visited your local park or zoo?

Just saw what happened, what the animal was doing, how you felt about it, etc. 

A story is a wonderful way to keep speaking for 30 seconds or more and also show the examiner that you can use the various past tenses well.

If you prepare a story, you can also reuse it for many different Part 2 answers. For example, a story about going to the zoo could also be used to describe an interesting place you went on, or a day trip, or spending time with your family, etc. 

Here are some places you might have seen a wild animal before. Try to prepare a story about seeing an animal in one of these places:

  • Zoo
  • Local Park
  • On vacation
  • Safari park
  • A movie
  • A documentary on TV
  • A cartoon 
  • Aviary
  • Wildlife rehabilitation center
  • Botanical garden
  • Nature reserve
  • Aquarium
  • National park
  • Reptile house
  • Game reserve
  • Insectarium
  • Bird sanctuary
  • Marine reserve
  • Wildlife sanctuary

Focus on Vocabulary With a Word Group

In part 2, it helps to focus on ideas (what you’re going to say) and also vocabulary. 

If you prepare many word groups, you can use them to impress the examiner with excellent, interesting vocabulary. 

For this question, you could use a word group about an unusual object (an unusual animal) or perhaps an interesting event (visiting the zoo or a vacation where you saw a wild animal). 

You can see examples of word groups in the answers below. And read more about how to use word groups here. 

Useful Vocabulary for Wild Animals

Here are a few useful and interesting adjectives to use when talking about a wild animal:

  • Majestic
  • Fierce
  • Agile
  • Elusive
  • Ferocious
  • Predatory
  • Carnivorous
  • Endangered
  • Nocturnal
  • Stout
  • Stealthy
  • Lithe
  • Voracious
  • Wild
  • Regal
  • Mammalian
  • Sturdy
  • Furry
  • Gigantic
  • Vibrant

And here are some great nouns to use when describing wild animals:

  • Habitat
  • Species
  • Fauna
  • Predator
  • Prey
  • Hunting
  • Paw
  • Fur
  • Claw
  • Roar
  • Stripes
  • Mane
  • Tail
  • Hooves
  • Antlers
  • Teeth
  • Whiskers
  • Horns

Example Answers

Read through the following example cue cards and answers. Notice the word group each answer uses, and see if you can borrow some ideas and vocabulary for your own answer. 

Wild Animal Cue Card 1

Describe a wild animal.

You should say:

  • What the animal is
  • What is interesting about this animal
  • Where you learned about it

And say why you like or dislike this wild animal

I’m going to talk about monkeys. In my opinion, monkeys are really weird and wonderful creatures. I remember visiting the zoo as a child and seeing monkeys swinging from tree to tree and climbing up the sides of their enclosures, it was totally entertaining and fascinating for me as a kid. I remember that I was struck by how similar their behavior was to that of humans and how different at the same time.

Monkeys are really exotic and rare, with their strange habits and peculiar way of behaving. Their movements and expressions are truly extraordinary and I could watch them for hours. Watching them as they play and interact with one another, you can’t help but think about how human-like they are. You can even understand their facial expressions.

One of the things that makes monkeys so unique is their dexterity and ability to use tools. It’s what sets them apart from other wild animals. Also, all their delightful and funny antics make them really exceptional. 

While monkeys are definitely strange and have many unusual habits, I think it’s these traits that make them so interesting. In my country, we don’t have monkeys in the wild, they are few and far between. You only normally see them on TV, so I think it’s really cool and a real treat to see them at the zoo, or at least I did when I was a child. 

Word Group Used: Unusual Object

During this answer, we focused on describing monkeys as an unusual thing. This allowed us to use lots of good words and idioms from the ‘unusual object’ word group:

  • Strange
  • Weird
  • Weird and wonderful 
  • Exotic 
  • Extraordinary 
  • Outlandish 
  • Peculiar 
  • Unexpected 
  • Exceptional 
  • Strange habits 
  • Rare
  • Curious way of behaving 
  • Out of the ordinary 
  • Out of this world 
  • Like something from another world 
  • Couldn’t make heads or tails of it
  • Few and far between 
  • Took a while to get to grips with it

Read more about how to use word groups here. 

Wild Animal Cue Card 2

Describe a wild animal.

You should say:

  • What the animal is
  • Where this animal usually lives
  • What it eats

And say where you’ve seen this animal before.

I’m going to talk about squirrels. Squirrels are one of the most adorable creatures that you could come across. With their fluffy tails and wiggly whiskers, they never fail to make me smile. Squirrels are cuddly, hugable creatures that are hard not to love. The way they scurry around, gathering acorns and running up trees, is really endearing.

Squirrels have soft, shiny fur and big bushy tails. Their little beady eyes are full of mischief, making them seem playful in my opinion. They’re usually gray in color in my country, but I’ve also seen squirrels with red fur when I was traveling. 

I recently had the opportunity to see a squirrel in the park. It was such a cute sight to see. It was scampering about. I’m not sure what it was doing but I like to think it was gathering nuts and storing them away for the winter. Its movements were so lively and playful that I couldn’t help but smile. It was such a treat to watch this energetic little creature in action.

Squirrels are not just cute, they are also really quite interesting creatures. Their living habits are fascinating. They are experts at storing food, and as far as I know, they have a remarkable memory, which helps them to find their hidden food caches when they need it. They are incredibly skilled climbers and are always on the lookout for danger too. Yes, I really like squirrels. They might be my favorite wild animal. 

Word Group Used: Cute Object

During this answer, we focused on describing the squirrels as cute, which allowed us to use the ‘cute object’ word group. Here are some interesting words from that group:

  • Adorable
  • Charming
  • Cuddly
  • Hugable
  • Darling
  • Endearing
  • Fuzzy
  • Gorgeous
  • Lovely
  • Precious
  • Roly-poly
  • Sweet
  • Whimsical
  • Winsome
  • Cute
  • Fluffy
  • Cutesy

Wild Animals Cue Card 3

Describe a wild animal.

You should say:

  • What it looks like
  • Where it lives
  • What it eats

And say why you like this wild animal.

I’m going to talk about the black mamba snake. The black mamba has a dangerous reputation, and with good reason. These snakes are potentially lethal and have a menacing presence that can give anyone chills. 

In terms of appearance, the black mamba is all teeth and claws, with a long, slender body that can reach up to 14 feet in length. Its glossy black skin is beautiful, but to my mind, it only adds to the snake’s dangerous image and reputation. Black mambas are known for their venom, which is extremely toxic and can kill a human within hours if not treated.

They have quick movements and a killer instinct that makes them really quite terrifying. The first time I saw a black mamba was at a reptile house, and I have to say it was an unsettling experience. The mamba was slithering around its enclosure and even though there was glass between us, I kept a safe distance from it.

Here in Kenya, black mambas are known to reside in various habitats including forests, savannas, and rocky outcrops. They are also commonly found near human settlements, which is why it is important to be careful and to stay alert, especially when walking in the bush.

I actually encountered a black mamba in the wild one time. I was on a hike with some friends on the outskirts of Nairobi when we stumbled upon a snake basking in the sun. At first, I thought it was a harmless tree snake, but as I got closer, I realized it was a black mamba. I have never run away so quickly before! It was a terrifying experience, I can tell you.

Word Group Used: Dangerous Object

In this answer, we focused on describing the black mamba as dangerous. And we used many words from the ‘dangerous object’ word group:

  • Dangerous
  • Potentially dangerous 
  • Hazardous 
  • Lethal 
  • Menacing 
  • Threatening
  • Poisonous 
  • Venemous 
  • Nasty 
  • Killer instinct 
  • Quick as a snake 
  • All teeth and claws 
  • Wouldn’t want to meet it in a dark alley 
  • Scary
  • Terrifying 
  • Gave me chills 
  • Made me jump out of my skin 
  • Kept a safe distance from it 

Now, Your Turn To Answer

Try to answer this question yourself. 

First of all, memorize 10 or 15 words from a word group that could be used to talk about a wild animal. 

Then turn on your voice recorder, start your timer, and read one of the cue cards above aloud. 

Write notes for one minute: only think of ideas on what to talk about and vocabulary ideas. 

When the minute is finished, listen to your answer. 

Better yet, write down what you said. This way, you’ll notice mistakes really easily. 

And then… try it again! 

Keep trying to improve a little each time you do this process.

It’s an excellent way to prepare for part 2 of your IELTS Speaking test.

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