Sleeping wolf in Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany
© Raimund Linke/Getty Image
Wake me when it warms up. Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany
There aren't a lot of things that beat a cosy winter nap. This Eurasian wolf agrees, having been lulled to sleep by the serene surroundings of the Bavarian Forest National Park, or perhaps just the comfort in knowing they're an apex predator. This national park—Germany's first, established in 1970—comprises the largest area of forest in Central Europe. The softly rolling mountains, such as Great Rachel, Little Rachel and Little Arber, make for modest challenges for hikers who wish to wander through the abundant stands of Norway spruce. They aren't alone in the park though—the forest teems with life, including lynxes, bears, pygmy owls and Eurasian wolves. These wolves form a close-knit pack led by an alpha pair and have only recently been spotted regularly in the park after decades of being hunted out of Western Europe.