Romanian Wolf Legends

The Wolf in Romanian Mythology

With 15% of the total, Romania has one of the largest populations of wolves in Europe, Russia not included. So there must be a lot of Romanian wolf legends out there, right? For those willing to indulge in some serious wolf watching, this country is a true paradise. The wolf has been a part of Romanian history too. The Dacians who fought the Romans at the beginning of the 2nd century and lived on the ancient territory of what is now Oltenia and Wallachia were holding a wooden wolf head as a battleship flag. A lot of wolf legends derived from the Romanian’s ancestors appreciation of this animal.

Romanian wold legends the Dacian flag
A Dacian Wolf on Trajan’s Column 113 CE

As for the plethora of legends, things are only starting to get interesting. The werewolf, a fantastic incarnation of the wolf, has been present in Romanian mythology for centuries. A vârcolac or a pricolici is what we call a werewolf in Romanian. Popular belief says Vârcolaci (the plural) are shape-shifting evil creatures generated by human misbehavior. The Moon eating vârcolac is a mean person turned into a wolf. Legends say some humans remain vârcolaci even after death. They can fly, or their shade can reach the moon. When the moon is red, people say the vârcolaci are prowling through the woods.

Romanian wolf legends
A vârcolac drawing via desenez.net

The Wolf Fairy Tales and Fables | Romanian Wolf Legends

Some contributions from authors and storytellers to Romanian wolf legends are remarkable. But there is a particular fable that many Romanian children read. Not to mention, the book got a lot of illustrated editions. Below there is a glimpse into a version of it from my childhood. The famous fable called The Goat and Her Three Kids is a favorite among children book readers. In short, the three kids and their goat mother have to face the dangers of being eaten by the big bad wolf, who is their godfather. This is an inspiring rite of passage story with a happy end, eventually, in which the community plays a role as well.

Romanian wolf legends the goat
The Goat and Her Three Kids a fable by ion Creangă

Another notable Romanian wolf story is called Făt-Frumos și Lupul cel năzdrăvanPrince Charming and the Wonder Wolf would be a fair translation into English. However, this story is different than the previous one. It traveled the centuries as a folk story told by peasants until an editor named Petre Ispirescu collected a bunch of tales from popular sources and published them between 1862 and 1886. Of all the fairy tales and fables published by Ispirescu, the one that evokes the Romanian wolf legends is our favorite.

 

Wolf Watching Romania | Wildlife

Ideal for wolf watching Romania is quite a dreamland for wildlife lovers. The Eurasian wolf, also known as Canis Lupus, is a protected animal in Romania. There is an estimated number of 5800 wolves living in the Romanian Carpathians, according to the forestry administration. People used to hunt wolves in large numbers during the 20th century and continue to do it. Despite this human habit, the wolf population remained substantial over the years. Actually, Romania is hosting more than 2500 wolves in its forests. International large carnivores research programs have been focusing on preserving the Romanian wolf.

wolf watching Romania wolf hunter
Romanian wolf hunter via retrieverman.net

Wolf Watching Romania | Welcome to a Wildlife Experience

The experience of tracking and observing wildlife in Romania is made possible by teams of professional guides who organize tours. They also took part in conservation projects and are more than willing to share with you the wonders of ecotourism. The brown bear population receives the same mindfulness. Here you can find the best place for bear watching in Romania.

This tour guides you to the fantastic land of Vrancea county in Romania. Up and down the Vrancea Mountains of the Eastern Carpathians you can walk on the tracks of wolfs, bears and wild cats. You can also observe them in their natural habitat from wood shelters.

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Romanian wolves in Suceava county

Here is another tour, in the Transylvanian forest this time. This one is for travelers with a fitness condition, for there are four days spent in this adventure. To increase the chance of seeing wild wolves the tour is available during late autumn and winter. Wolves avoid exposure to humans, but for wolf watching Romania has the best spots. There are visits to local historical places included in the experience, such as Bran Castle and Peleș Castle.

If you want a chance to stay at a local guesthouse in Zărnești and taste the local cuisine along with home-made plum brandy, then this tour is for you. Small groups of people mean you can enjoy it with your family or close friends like a six-day adventure.

Wolves and People | Wolf Watching

Romanian wildlife spreads across the Carpathian Mountains, the Subcarpathian hills and of course in the Danube Delta. Wolves are among the animals that populate forests, and a lot of Romanian tales and legends include them as well.

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Romanian wolf

In 2016 Romania had banned trophy hunting of wolves, bears, lynxes and wild cats. We encourage wolf watching for they are shy animals that rarely attack humans. In fact, they fear them, and they are cautious with new territories.

wolf watching Romania wolf in bear sanctuary
Wolf in Bear Sanctuary

The city of Zarnești in Romania host a lot of tourists and travelers who seek bear watching and wolf watching. The bear sanctuary called Libearty Sanctuary is also home to a population of wolves that live far in the woods, with very few approaches to fences. Both children and adults can catch a glimpse of the friendship between wolves and bears at Libearty Sanctuary. It is definitely among the fun things to do in Romania.