Wild Animals, Birds, and Dangerous Animals
No, we have no monkeys and primates here outside of the zoo. Some individuals in the city may look and behave like primates but they are not. We have some animals however.
In the city
The most popular wild animals in the cities are cats and stray dogs. The first aren't a problem but stray dogs can be nasty. There are not one and two stories where people were attacked by dogs. Avoid them when they are in packs.
Sometimes you can of course see mouses and rats, insects, and birds. Birds are abundant even in the cities so we'll talk about them separately at the end of this post.
Squirrels can be noticed sometimes in the parks.
In the villages
Villages, especially remote ones can see more wild animals occasionally. Some villages in the Rhodopes have frequent problems with bears visiting them. Wolves, foxes, polecats, martens, moles, mole-rats, and wild rabbits are not unseen.
Inside the gardens and on meadows there is a slight risk of snakes in the summer. See the "dangerous animals" section below for more info on snakes.
Don't expect however that by visiting a random village you'll see many wild animals. Besides cats, dogs, and domestic animals the others do not walk on the streets all the time. To see wild animals you must go to the mountains and the woods.
In the woods
Your best chance to see wild animals are far of the big cities. Deep in the forest you may be able to glimpse a deer, bear (not recommended to go close to it), wild boars, a wolf, a fox, or why not a brock, a jackal, or even a lynx. Unfortunately most of these animals are not abundant and you may be walking for hours without seeing anything but birds. So coming here with the whole idea to see wildlife might be a disappointing venture. Unless you want to see birds which are plentiful especially in the summer.
We don't have many dangerous animals here. One that was already mentioned are the stray dogs in the cities. Sometimes they can be aggressive. Such cases are not often but you should still be careful with them. Read this page for more info.
If you go out in the wild there is a little bit more risk:
- Poison snakes - viper and adder. They are not as deadly as tropical poison snakes and there are very few cases if any of fatalities caused by poison snakes here.
- Insects, bees and wasps are not much different than anywhere else in Europe.
- Bears are one of the very few real dangers in the woods and mountains. There are not many bears and your chances of meeting one are low. If it happens it can be really dangerous of course.
- Wild boars are the other real threat for those who go deep in the mountains. The chance to meet them is also rather low.
- Wolves can sometimes be dangerous but they will usually run away from you.
- Insects like mites can cause a lot more trouble than the large wild animals.
Birds and bird watching
There are a lot of birds here and many of them can be seen even in the big cities. The hot season - somehwere from April to September - is richer on birds. Many of them fly South in the winter. A lot of companies offer bird watching tours here. I have no idea of the quality of the service so I will not recommend a specific company. I guess you can find plenty of birds entirely by yourself but if you prefer a tour, have in mind they are not cheap. Several days bird watching tour often exceeds €500.
Maybe you'll prefer to first learn what kind of birds you can find here. This is a really good site that will help you.
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