These are the most beautiful animals to see in the wild


Statue of Deborah van der Schaaf

Go to Gibraltar for the Barbary macaques

For monkeys, you usually go to the zoo, but if you want to see them in the wild, you can also go to Europe. To Gibraltar, that outstretched finger that stubbornly points to Morocco in southern Spain. About two hundred Barbary macaques live on the Rock of Gibraltar, and they are the only macaques outside of Asia.

Exactly how ferocious these monkeys are is a matter of debate. It is not known exactly how North African monkeys gained a foothold on European soil. They were probably expelled from North Africa between the 8th and 15th centuries by the Moors who occupied Spain. In any case, DNA research confirmed a relationship between monkeys in Gibraltar and Barbary macaques from two North African countries.

It is also a fact that Winston Churchill was so attached to monkeys that he brought in additional animals in 1942 to save the colony on British soil from extinction. They are there to this day, receiving tourists with open arms – if they had not pulled up women’s skirts and stole bags with them.

About two hundred Barbary macaques live on the Rock of Gibraltar.  Getty Images

About two hundred Barbary macaques live on the Rock of Gibraltar.Getty Images

Watch the bearded eagle fly in the Pyrenees

Bird lovers can find specialties all over Europe, but since it’s a holiday, we opt for easy scoring. don’t play around kbv’s (small brown birds of indeterminate species), but they are on the hunt for Europe’s largest bird: the bearded vulture. It can be found in the Spanish Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa. There the scavenger spreads its wings, which has a wingspan of about 3 meters. With its weight of 7 kilograms, it can circulate in the air at temperatures for hours, without beating a single wing. So missing it is still quite an art, even from the hammock.

Brief description of the robber: his white chest is often covered with red clay; It can be recognized by its white head and long tail. The bird of prey feeds mainly on the bones of dead animals, which are a source of calcium and protein. It leaves large bones falling from the sky from above, crashing on the rocks.

The species almost became extinct due to persecution and poisoning in the last century. Due to protection and reproduction, the number of breeding pairs is now about two hundred. On average once a year, a bearded eagle derails or a trail of scent lures our way. In recent years it has been seen over Zeeland, northern Brabant and southern Holland. This saves the bird watcher a lot of travel costs.

Bearded Eagle Images Collection via Getty

bearded eagleImage Universal Images Group via Getty

Visit Plitvice Lakes in Croatia in search of bears, eagle owls and capercaillie

Google “The most beautiful nature reserve in Europe”, and nine times out of ten – live algorithms – Croatian Plitvice Lakes appeared. For its azure-blue lakes and waterfalls, and also for the richness of its fauna, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The European brown bear, wolf, and rare birds such as the eagle owl and capercaillie may cross your path.

The Dutchman no longer has to get out of bed for that wolf, but the brown bear and Capercailie remain special for now. In the wild, the bear is much less lovable than the classic bear Good night, little bear Written by Martin Waddell, Irish children’s author; Distance is required.

Capercaillie resembles black grouse, and the last (extended) specimens still occur in the Sallandse Heuvelrug, but are much larger. “If you come face-to-face with Capercaillie during springtime, you probably won’t forget about it for the rest of your life,” photographer Stefan Greets writes in Nature. the roots. In the mating season he saw the majestic black bird full of testosterone heading towards him. He can retell it.

Western Capercaillie Image Universal Images Collection via Getty

western capercaillieImage Universal Images Group via Getty

Encounter a humpback around the Dingle Peninsula (Ireland)

Admittedly, the humpback is a whale that also appears in the North Sea, but this remains an accidental mistake (or perturbation – scientists aren’t sure yet). A whale watcher who wants to increase the chance of a confrontation can take a walk around Ireland, whose western coast is on a steady migration route (up to 5,000 km one way) for fish. There’s the monster—which reaches 18 meters in length, and weighs up to 30,000 kilograms—appearing in search of krill, the shrimp-like staple on the humpback whale’s menu.

The World Wildlife Fund, the “happy and singing whale,” calls its website the humpback whale. To attract females, males can “sing” under water for hours. But watching the huge whale, recognizable by its large front fins and blister handles on its head, throw its massive body over the water, is a breathtaking experience, according to witnesses.

Humpback whale picture Select the picture

humpback whaleSelect the image

Head to the Swiss or Austrian Alps to see the Marmot Alps

For these cute rodents, you have to – do not expect them – in the Alps. It just so happened to me on the cable car that carried tourists up the mountains around Lake Garda, but Austria and Switzerland are often mentioned as places to see these cuddly bears in the wild. As long as you are above the tree line between 1800 and 2200 metres. In those cooler regions, it lives in tunnel systems, where it collects hay in summer for winter.

The alpine marmot, the squirrel family, is similar in appearance to the beaver. Those conspicuous rodents, thick fur and somewhat stocky appearance: it’s not for nothing that his lovable character looks good on countless odds and ends in souvenir shops.

Writer and hiker Cos van Sommeren drew a sketch in his collection to nature (2011) How his dog Stanley was on the alert for an Alpine marmot, “who signals it with a whistling, and thus alerts it to itself: ‘If they are far from their castle, they immediately run away (which always looks a little like burlap)’.”

Getty Images Getty Images in the Austrian Alps / iStockphoto

Marmot in the Austrian AlpsImage Getty Images / istockphoto

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