Brown Bear - Ursus arctos
In the territory of Macedonia we can find isolated populations of the Eurasian brown bear subspecies. It has light or dark brown fur, but can also vary from reddish to almost black. The shape of the head is like a ball with small round ears, and the bear has a powerful bone structure and wide paws with large claws. In Macedonia this is a permanently protected species, and there is a ban on hunting in place since 1996.
It can be found in various national parks (Galichica, Mavrovo, and Pelister), and near Jasen. By taking a walk in the woods, bear tracks can be easily seen. The bear may leave the mountain in search of food, and thus can approach villages. The animal is almost a constant figure in Macedonian popular animal tales, and in Makedonski Brod a sculpture in the shape of a bear is found which dates back to the Neolithic period, providing evidence of its possible prehistoric cult.