Lion in Bulgaria

National Animal of Bulgaria: A Very Surprising Symbol!

Do you love Bulgaria and are you curious about the national animal of Bulgaria?

When you think of Bulgaria, you might think of its long and interesting history, its beautiful landscapes, and its tasty, fragrant food. But what about the national animal of Bulgaria?

The country’s national symbol might really surprise you! This regal animal is usually linked with the wide-open savannahs of Africa, but it has a strong connection to this European heartland. It’s my favorite animal!

So, why is this national animal so important to the people of Bulgaria? Let’s start this interesting trip together!

What is the national animal of Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is a country with a lot of history and culture, and the lion is its national symbol, which sounds a bit surprising, right? This powerful and majestic animal, which is often shown roaming the vast plains of Africa, is a source of pride for the Bulgarians!

It’s not just any lion. It’s the powerful one with the golden hair that roars with power and authority. It might seem strange for a European country, especially one where lions don’t live in the wild, to have such a symbol.

national animal of Bulgaria - The Lion
The Lion

But the lion has a very important place in Bulgarian history. This beautiful animal has been a sign of courage, power, and royalty for a long time. For Bulgaria, the lion is a symbol of these traits. It shows how brave and strong the people of Bulgaria are.

So, even though lions aren’t seen in the wilds of Bulgaria anymore, their impact is still deeply rooted in the country’s heart and will always be a symbol of its strong will and rich history.

Why is the lion the national animal of Bulgaria?

The lion, a brave and strong animal that Bulgarians respect, has a special place in their hearts and history. Even though lions don’t live in Bulgaria to this day, they have been a sign of the nation for a very long time.

Lions used to be on the shields and flags of brave Bulgarian troops from a long time ago. This wasn’t just there to look pretty. The lion showed that these fighters were strong, proud, and not afraid of anything.

Example of an army badge
Example of an army badge

Even if they only had a picture of the lion with them, it was like they had the power of this strong animal with them in fight. Over time, the lion came to represent Bulgaria’s pride and strength.

The Bulgarian people chose the lion as their national animal to honor their brave past and the heroes who fought for their country. It’s like saying; We are as brave and strong as the lion, and we will always stand up for our land and our people.

Did lions ever live in Bulgaria?

When you looked at the land of Bulgaria a long time ago, you might have been surprised to see lions! Lions used to live in this part of Europe, which is hard to believe. The Balkan lions were a type of lion that was pretty unique.

They weren’t exactly like the lions we see in Africa. Things changed over a very long time. These lions started to change because of the weather, the land, and the way people lived.

People killed them, so there were less places for them to live and find food. All of these changes meant that Balkan lions could no longer live in Bulgaria. They slowly moved away from this land.

In case you wondered, lions don’t roam around Bulgaria anymore, but stories and old writings tell us that they used to. Anyway, no need to fear them when visiting Bulgaria!

Unique animals in Bulgaria

There are a lot of interesting animals that live in Bulgaria. Here are four that are different:

  • Brown bears: They are big, furry animals that like to live in Bulgaria’s woods and mountains. They stay warm because of their thick, dark fur, and they often look for food and fish to eat.

    People don’t see them very often because they are quite shy and try to avoid places with lots of people.
national animal of bulguria - The brown bear
The brown bear
  • Golden Eagles: These are big birds with sharp eyes and wide wings. They fly high above Bulgaria and look for small animals to eat on the ground. With their golden-brown feathers and strong beaks, they are beautiful to look at.

    This is actually the national animal of Albania and it’s a very powerful symbol!
national animal of Bulgaria - The Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle
  • Lynx: This is a wild cat, but not the kind you might keep at home. Lynxes have pointy ears and beautiful, spotted fur. They move quietly through the woods. They are very good hunters, and because they like to hide, they can be hard to find.
national animal of Bulgaria - The Lynx
The Lynx
  • Balkan Chamois: This animal looks a bit like a goat, but it is more quick and can climb steep mountains with ease. They have strong legs, short horns, and a brown coat that helps them fit into the rocky places where they live.

    They like to eat grass and plants and can run or jump very quickly.
national animal of Bulgaria - The Balkan Chamois
The Balkan Chamois

All of these animals are unique to Bulgaria and show how rich and varied the country’s nature is.

Dangerous animals in Bulgaria

Even though many animals in Bulgaria are friendly, you might want to be careful around some of them. Here are just three:

  • The European Adder: This is a snake, but it’s not very big. It has a design on its skin that looks like zigzags and can be brown, grey, or even reddish. It might bite if it feels scared. It can hurt, but if you get help quickly, it’s generally not too dangerous.
  • The Grey Wolf: This is a wild dog that lives in the woods. They have sharp teeth, and their hair can be grey, brown, or even white. They avoid people most of the time and hunt animals in the wild.

    But it’s best to be careful and stay away from them, especially if they have babies with them.
  • Wild Boars: They look like big pigs because they have thick skin and sharp teeth. Most of the time, they do their own thing and look for food in the woods. But if they feel threatened, especially if they are with their young, they might charge at you.

    It’s best to stay away and just look at them from afar because they can be unpredictable.

It’s good to know that these animals don’t want to hurt you most of the time. If they are scared or feel trapped, they might act out. When you’re in nature, it’s always a good idea to give them and their space the space they need.

National animal of Bulgaria: FAQs

The information below is related to the national animal of Bulgaria and will give you more great insights about other symbols of the country!

Bulgaria national symbols

Bulgaria is a beautiful country with a long history. It has many symbols that tell stories about its people and their traditions. The rose is one of the most well-known symbols. There’s a special place in Bulgaria called the Rose Valley, a lot of roses grow here.

People pick these roses every year to make rose oil, which is used in perfumes and other nice-smelling things. The Martenitsa is another important national symbol. It is a small decoration made of red and white threads.


In Bulgaria, people wear it in March to welcome spring and wish their friends and family good health. There’s also the lion, which, as we’ve already talked about, is a big symbol for the Bulgarian people of power and bravery.

The country’s flag is another important symbol, of course. It has white, green, and red colors. Each color tells a different part of the story of Bulgaria.

All of these symbols, and many more, help show the world what Bulgaria is all about and how happy its people are of their beautiful country.

What is the Bulgarian royal symbol?

The royal symbol of Bulgaria shows the history of Bulgaria’s ruling family. The main part of the coat of arms for the Bulgarian royal family is a roaring lion on a shield.

This shows again how important the lion is to the history, society, and identity of Bulgaria.

Motto of Bulgaria

Every country has a special motto that reminds its people of what’s important. Unity Makes Strength is that special motto or phrase for Bulgaria. I think it’s a very strong national motto.

It’s like telling everyone that people get better when they work together and help each other. It’s like how it’s simple to break a single stick. But if you put a lot of sticks together, it’s hard to break them.

In the same way, Bulgaria’s motto tells its people that they can get through anything if they work together, stay united, and help each other. The Bulgarian people have used this saying for a long time to help them through both good and bad times.

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    The Wrap-Up: National animal of Bulgaria

    The lion is an important part of Bulgaria’s character. It is more than just a symbol; it tells the story of the country’s past, present, and future.

    This bond is a symbol of Bulgaria’s pride and history, from the time when lions roamed the country to the ideals they stand for today.

    Whether you’re walking through the streets of Bulgaria or learning about its history from afar, the lion’s role in Bulgarian culture is a powerful reminder of its spirit and history. I believe it’s a good match!

    If you love this topic (just like me), you can check out my other posts about the national animals of Poland, Hungary, and Croatia!

    For more national symbols, you can check out my other post about the national flower of Romania.

    And if you happen to love beer, check out my post about Beer in Bulgaria!

    Your restless voyager,


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