For nature lovers, did you know that there are several places in Romania where you can observe wild animals roaming free? Nothing beats seeing an animal in the wild. So why not meet them? Of course, do not disturb them and do not interfere too much in their natural habitat. Nature lovers, photographers or curious hikers, here is a guide to explore wildlife.
Once a widespread species in Europe, the bison, Europe’s largest land mammal, was classified as an endangered species a year ago due to intensive hunting and loss of its habitat. Disappeared in the wild in the early 20th century, bison are now making a comeback thanks to extensive breeding and reintroduction programs that have taken place over the past 50 years. Today, bison are no longer considered an endangered species, but are now classified as a “near endangered” species. In Romania there are several reserves that allow you to observe this impressive animal that can reach 3.5 meters in length and weigh 800 to 1000 kg!
- Dragos Voda Bison Reserve (Neamt Department), one of the largest bison reserves in Europe
- Hațeg Slivuț Bison Reserve (Hunedoara County), the first place where European bison reappeared in Romania
- Bucsani Bison Reserve (Dambovita Department)
- Valea Zimbrilor Nature Reserve, in the municipality of Vama Buzăului (Brașov County)
- Măgura Zimbrilor Reserve, in the municipality of Armeniș (Caras-Severin County), at the foot of the Țarcu Mountains, where WWF-Romania and Rewilding Europe implemented a reintroduction program that made it possible to have the largest stock of bison in the wild from Romania .
Download LiBEARty Bear Sanctuary (Brasov)
Not far from the town of Zărnești, on an area of almost 70 hectares covered with forest of oaks and hazelnuts, lies the largest brown bear reserve in Europe, which has become home to more than 100 bears and cubs and a few. wolves and deer. The sanctuary was founded in 2005 through a private initiative and is a refuge for animals that have been kept trapped in parks, private gardens or zoos. Bears can enjoy greater freedom and living conditions close to their wild natural environment. Knowing that most of these animals have been trapped for most of their lives and lack the skills to integrate into the wild life of the Carpathians, the reserve offers them a great alternative. Various guided tours, including one with a small tourist train, allow you to discover this reserve to learn a little more about each bear’s history. Interaction with animals is prohibited as the sanctuary tries its best to preserve their tranquility and natural living conditions. More info here.
Izvoare Wildlife Park (Harghita)
Located in the department of Harghita, in the heart of the eastern Carpathians, the Ivó / Izvoare Zoo is a picturesque region crossed by streams and surrounded by mountains. Here, hundreds of wild animals live freely in their natural habitat, stretching over 320 hectares, where human changes are minimal: the beauty of nature has only been completed by a few paths and fences. Equipped with binoculars, you get the chance to see deer, roe deer, mouflons, rabbits, foxes or wild boars in their natural environment. Some animals are so used to humans that they eat out of your hand. The park can only be visited on foot, in all seasons, during a walk of about two hours, with a guide. More info here