Why are there so many wild animals in Romania?
Romania is wilder than most of Europe, partly because Ceausescu forbade hunting by ordinary citizens. Today Romania has 13 national parks, including the Retezat Mountains in the Carpathians, and more than 500 protected areas. The Carpathian Mountains are home to 60 percent of Europe's bears, 40 percent of Europe's wolves and 35 percent of its lynx. The hills are alive with stag, wild boar, badger, deer, fox and rare birds; the Danube Delta shelters small pygmy cormorants, the white grey egret and the white-tailed eagle. The Carpathian Mountains also boast the least-spoiled forests in Europe, rich in beech, sycamore, maple, poplar and birch. And some 1,350 floral species have been recorded in the Carpathians, including the yellow poppy, Transylvanian columbine, saxifrage and edelweiss.