Exploring a country will never be complete without getting yourself acquainted with some of the local gyvūnai or animals that can only be seen in that specific country. In this post, we will have a look at the animals in Lithuania to add more Lithuanian words to our collection.
Despite being one of the smallest countries, Lithuania has some of the most diverse wildlife as compared to neighboring countries. Wild boars and wolves (the biggest group) are among the various animals that live in the area as well as badgers and ermine. Elk, stags, and deer also live in the deeper parts of the forests, as well as beavers, mink, and water rats. There are hundreds of bird species in Lithuania too including white storks, duck and goose populations as well as a variety of cormorants and herons.
While I can continue enumerating the unique selection of animals in the country, it would be wise if you get yourself acquainted with the two major categories: wild and domestic animals. To help you get started in learning about this group of words, I have prepared the direct translations below. Read more below to find out.
White storks are traditionally considered Lithuania's (and another two countries') national bird. White Stork in Lithuanian is called Baltasis gandras (Baltieji gandrai for plural). Lithuanians usually just call it grandas.
Have you ever heard of the European folktale about storks delivering babies? It is still a common bedtime story for the Lithuanians. They even have a day dedicated to the storks! They hold that storks can bring peace and harmony to the family whose land they nest on.
Stork Day is commemorated with a variety of ceremonies, including the hanging of gifts for children attributed to storks, such as fruits, chocolates, toys, and many others.
Pretty big attribution to the storks, right? Not a surprise since Lithuania has the world's highest known stork nesting density.
Wolf in the Lithuanian language is called Vilkas (Vilkai for plural).
Wolves are quite rare to be sighted in Lithuania. There are only a few hundred of these mammals left in the forests of Lithuania and most of the packs can be found in Dzukija National Park. But they are very much alive in Lithuania's mythology, pop culture, and even the government.
Iron Wolf is a mythical character in Lithuania who appears in old mythology about Vilnius' origin. (capital city of Lithuania). The Lithuanian military uses the same character as a mascot.
Bison is also known as Bizonas (Bizonai for plural) in Lithuanian.
Did you know that the European Bison was on the verge of extinction once in the 1920s? Though, now they are thriving in the Lithuanian forests and other European countries.
These big creatures are known to shatter ice with their hooves to drink in the winter, an action only possible due to their size and weight. If you want a glimpse of them, you can visit the Krekenava Regional Park on your next vacation.
Deer in Lithuanian is named Elnias (or Elniai for plural).
If you miss Bambi maybe you could visit one of the wildlife parks in Lithuania. Bambi is a Fallow deer, you can distinguish them by looking at the spots on their hide; there are about 21 000 of them in the country. Meanwhile, the Roe deer, with a count of 120 000 of them, is the most common wild mammal in Lithuania, aside from smaller mammals.
Foxes are considered the most common predator you can find in the dense forest of Lithuania. In Lithuania, it is called lapė or lapės for the plural form.
Here are some wild animals that can be found in Lithuania as well as their names in Lithuanian.
|White stork||Baltasis gandras|
|White storks||Baltieji gandrai|
These are domestic animals that mostly can be found on a farm, or as house pets.
Many of the wild animals are actually endangered species. There are actually some species native to Lithuania that is already considered extinct, like the Aurochs. Hence the government is taking extra measures in ensuring these wild animals are undisturbed by providing them sanctuaries or placing them in national parks.
Lithuania has five national parks that safeguard nature and animals in all of the country's regions. The most well-known is the Curonian Spit National Park. This strip of land is a long and narrow Baltic Sea peninsula that straddles two nations, Lithuania and Russia. Pine forests surround the sand dunes, and it is the house of many exotic animals.
Some other places you can visit to get a glimpse of these animals native to Lithuania.
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