Should I Be Worried About Wild Animals in Croatia Whilst on Vacation?

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If you’re considering visiting Croatia, but you’re a bit worried about wild animals, never fear! I felt the same before my visit.

Fortunately, with just a bit of know-how, you can avoid any wildlife that might pose a danger! 

How many wild animals live in Croatia?

According to reputable sources, Croatia contains some 50,000 to 100,000 species of both plants and animals, some of them completely unique to the country.

However, it is unclear how many of these species are specifically classified as “wild animals.”


Perhaps the most dangerous of the animals to avoid in Croatia is the bear.

Bear in Croatia

This is because bears are not only enormous, and extremely powerful, but also because they’re unpredictable.

A bear may pass through peacefully, or it may become curious (especially if you’ve got food) or hostile.

If a bear has cubs with them, it will almost certainly be defensive and probably aggressive.

What to Do if You Encounter a Bear

  •  It’s advisable to raise your arms and move them slowly. Remain as calm as possible and allow the bear to recognize you as a human. 
  • Once you’re able to (if the bear has backed off) retreat to a vehicle or building for safety. 

Fortunately, bears are primarily found in Krk, so if you want to avoid them, simply avoid this island! 


You may have heard that there are lynxes in Croatia. These are beautiful, medium-sized wildcats that it makes sense to be wary of.

Lynx in Croatia

They’ve got enormous teeth and paws, and are full-blooded predators. Fortunately, you probably won’t have to worry about lynxes in Croatia.

Why? Because there are only 40-60 in the entire country. I’ve visited a couple of times, and been hiking frequently, but I never came across one of these elusive creatures myself!

What to Do if You Cross Paths With a Lynx

  • If you find yourself facing a lynx, the best move would be to act bigger than the lynx and back away slowly. 
  • You could also try spraying the lynx with water from your water bottle. 

But, to meet a lynx in Croatia, you’d need a lot of (good or bad, depending on what you want) luck!

Sea Urchin

Sea urchins are largely responsible for Croatian folks wearing water shoes in the summer!

Sea urchin in Croatia

These sea animals reside in rock cavities, to avoid strong currents and predators.

Sea urchins protect themselves with spines.

They have venom that can cause symptoms varying from pain and inflammation to serious allergic reactions and even death.

Needless to say, you’ll want to avoid them if you can. How?

How to Avoid Sea Urchins

  • Water shoes will protect you not only from sea urchins but also from rocks and other underwater objects and creatures that might puncture your feet.
  • Sea urchins tend to hang out in tiny caves underneath rocks and boulders, so don’t step near these if you can help it.

These two precautions should go a long way toward protecting you from sea urchins.

If you do happen to come in contact with one, and get poked, make sure to remove the spikes immediately.

This will make sure that they don’t dig deeper or get infected!

Black Widow Spider

One of the most dangerous animals to avoid in Croatia is the Black Widow Spider.

Black widow spider in Croatia

Don’t worry, though, because coming in contact with one of these elusive spiders is pretty rare.

You can identify them by their medium-large, black bodies, long spindly legs, and – their most distinctive feature – a red mark in an hourglass shape on their belly!

Black Widow Bites are quite painful and also poisonous, requiring medical care immediately. 

How to Avoid the Black Widow Spider

Like most spiders, Black Widows like to hang out in bushes and under rocks.

Try not to place your bare hands or feet in locations like this, to avoid brushing up against a Black Widow Spider!


Scorpions look a bit scary, and some of them live up to their appearance by being aggressive and/or venomous.

Scorpion in Croatia

Luckily for us, the scorpions that live in Croatia are not deadly.

If you get stung, it won’t be much worse than an ant bite, with a bit of pain and swelling, but nothing worse. Hopefully, this will come as some relief!

I’ve seen several scorpions in Croatia myself. They are much more frightened of us than we are of them, and to avoid a sting, simply give them their space.

How to Prevent a Scorpion Encounter

  • Check your shoes before you put them on. Scorpions are often looking for cover, and a shoe might seem like a private, cozy spot to a Scorpion or spider. Just in case, check your shoes before you put them on, especially if they’ve been outside.
  • Avoid placing your bare hand or feet in rock crevices or bushes, as this is where scorpions tend to hang out (and they’ll sting if you poke them, most likely).

Wild Boar

You may not have expected it, but Croatia is home to the wild boar. In fact, boars are quite common in this country.

Wild boar

They are moderately dangerous, as they can be aggressive and tend to hang out in herds.

Luckily, Wild Boar attacks aren’t very common, and it’s even rarer for their attacks to be deadly. If you do find yourself confronted by Wild Boars, you should:

What to Do If You’re Confronted by a Wild Boar

  • Get to higher ground. Boars are not nimble or capable climbers. They depend on their speed in order to face threats, and they can’t reach you with their tusks if you climb up a tree or onto a boulder!
  • Specific sounds may frighten Wild Boars, such as gunshots, dog barks, or the sound of other Wild Boars in distress. You can try to mimic these sounds to scare a Wild Boar off!


There are roughly 200 wolves in Croatia. They’re a protected species and they hang out around the border of Slovenia.


Wolves tend to keep their distance from humans, making them a bit less dangerous than, say, a bear.

Still, if you encounter a young wolf (these tend to be more aggressive), or a wolf with her cubs, you may be in more danger!

Fortunately, to protect yourself from wolves, there are a few things you can do and avoid:

How to Protect Yourself from a Wolf

  • If you encounter a wolf, stand tall and maintain eye contact. Back away slowly.
  • Should a wolf cause you to feel threatened, you can throw objects like rocks and sticks at them. Just make sure not to bend down overly much, and remain standing tall!

Horned Viper

The Horned Viper is one of the most dangerous animals to avoid in Croatia, although it is seldom deadly.

Horned Viper in Croatia

A Horned Viper bite is quite venomous and can cause swelling and shock, and prevent blood from coagulating properly.

You can identify a Horned Viper quite easily, by the two horns over its eyes.

How to Avoid the Horned Viper

Like most snakes, Horned Vipers like to take shelter in bushes and rocks. To avoid accidental bites, keep your eyes peeled!

General Advice if bitten

If you get bitten by a wild animal in Croatia, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Wild animal bites can be dangerous and may cause infections or transmit diseases.

You should wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, and cover it with a clean, dry dressing.

It is also important to try to identify the animal that bit you, as this may help with treatment and prevention of disease transmission.

You should report the incident to the local authorities, who may be able to provide further guidance and assistance.

A few more animals and insects to consider

Hornets in Croatia

Some other dangerous animals in Croatia that were not mentioned on the list include:

  1. Vipers: There are several species of venomous vipers in Croatia, including the nose-horned viper and the common viper.
  1. Hornets and wasps: Croatia is home to several species of hornets and wasps, including the European hornet and the common wasp, which can be aggressive and deliver painful stings.
  1. Jellyfish: Some species of jellyfish found in the Adriatic Sea, such as the mauve stinger and the Portuguese man o’ war, can deliver painful stings that may require medical attention.
  1. Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes in Croatia can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and can be a nuisance during the summer months.
  1. Ticks: Ticks in Croatia can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis, so it is important to take precautions when spending time outdoors.

Final Words

So, as you can see, while you don’t need to worry about them, there are still some animals in Croatia that you’ll want to be aware – and wary – of!

Fortunately, they are easy enough to avoid. Don’t fret, just be smart and keep your eyes peeled!

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