After you have taken a look at Michael's beautiful photographs below, please click on the bottoms below to view some other delightful and amazing contributions for the I'm on the Wild Side project from other young people:
Michael Juiko Phang
I first started going to Royal Parks in London when I was bullied at school and then later at college. So I started bunking off classes and went straight to Saint James Park. My first day of going with a 2 kg bag of peanuts and feeding squirrels and pigeons by hand was a great experience.
Over the five years of doing this, I wanted to keep a memory of how many animals I have fed and how many different species of animals/wildlife I've been around, so I started taking photos with my mobile phone. It's an awesome experience being around wildlife almost every day. I spend every moment of free time I have with the animals in the park.
The photos I've taken and that friends have taken of me are just pure memories and to share my experiences with other people. Maybe, one day when they have the time, they may experience the joy I experience while spending time with wildlife.
I get rude comments about feeding pigeons, mainly from regular park goers but that doesn't stop me from doing what I enjoy. I don't have a job. I haven't had a perfect education experience, but I know exactly what I enjoy doing. It's what keeps me going. People have supported me because they enjoy my story of how I began my life with wildlife, to help me continue what I love doing. I've given a mixture of animal foods to tourists and locals for them to feed to the animals. As soon as they start doing what I do, some may begin to think that maybe they shouldn't have judged the book by its cover. Whatever else someone may think of me, being on the wild side is good.