Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wild and Free

I’m concluding Sweden with a post on critters. When it comes to spotting wildlife, you’ve probably heard of Africa’s “Big 5,” (lion, elephant, buffalo, black rhinoceros and leapord), but did you know Sweden has a “Big 5” too? Those doing the Swedish version of a photo safari keep an eye out for the following creatures:

1. Brown Bears: Sweden's largest predator dines primarily on berries, ants, shrubs, voles and salmon, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to get up close and personal!

2. Wolverines: These shy predators are members of the otter/badger family, but can get pretty vicious when confronted…so don’t. Mostly, they are hard to find and are Sweden’s most threatened species.

3. Wolves: These beautiful animals were driven to extinction in Sweden in 1970, but started appearing again seven years later. Back from the brink, there are now about 130.

4. Golden Eagles: One of the largest birds of prey, these eagles can be found primarily in the north of Sweden.

5. Lynx: Skillful hunters, Lynx are Sweden’s only form of wildcat. They are as elusive as they are beautiful, and few people have the opportunity to see one in the wild.

Well that concludes the “Big 5,” but I can’t end this post without adding one more creature because it’s one of my very favorites: The MOOSE! Who can resist those deep brown eyes, that big velvety muzzle? So for myself and moose lovers everywhere, here’s a pic!

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