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Any wild life safety concerns on the French Way??

2020 Camino Guides

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
The Camino Frances does not really pass through large areas of wilderness. The great majority is through managed farmland or forest. Theoretically you might encounter wild boar or venomous snakes but the huge number of people walking the Frances makes that very unlikely - they avoid human contact whenever possible. Wildlife is not a serious concern.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
No, nothing I can think of at all.

The 'large areas of wilderness' aren't really wild or large at all. There are villages very close together all along the trail. There is one 16km stretch with nothing much, but definitely not wild.

You will be fine!

Davey
 

steve 217

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances planning via del la plata
Sorry Icacos they were the only ones i knew the name of . When i asked in Roncevalles a waiter the name of the big birds i saw over the mountains ,his response was “senor we just call them big birds” it was very funny but i had to google it when i got back home . They are truly huge.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I got bitten by a Parrot in Vilar de Mazarife. Thing is it made me jump and I banged my head off a wall and got a nasty bump and a headache. Much to the amusement of my fellow pilgrims.

I visit Coco the *****y parrot every time I pass now. And sing it bad punk songs that it really hates.

Revenge is sweet.

Davey
 

Dromengro

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Partial Frances 1984
Frances (2020)
It seems that bedbugs will now probably be the only wildlife you have to worry about.

When I camped it in the 80s I was woken by the snuffling of wild boar and another time in the woodland a herd of cattle with a very large bull which sat on my tent. Also one area was infested with ticks, which I spent several days removing with the aid of a mirror.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness
Hi Maggie, and a big welcome to the forum. Ignore the wisecracks above – they love their fun and mean well.

The journey is a long walk through very civilized villages and towns – there is no wilderness: as in bears, wolves or venomous snakes, so no need to worry about any dangerous wildlife.

As one poster mentioned above, the biggest danger is probably from the manic cyclists who don’t warn us walkers that they are about to zip past you. (One crashed into me once when I suddenly experienced a stabbing pain in my knee and I fell sideways straight into an unknown cyclist behind me.)
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I plan to go on my 1st Camino (the French Way) in the last week of May to June of 2020. Watched many YouTube videos and reading the Forum. Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness, are there any danger with wild life?
In 3 caminos I saw a dead fox. Everything else was a pet, farm animal or bird.
 

Donjek

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
There are Brown Bears in Cantabrian Mountains.

There are poisonous vipers.

You're probability of encountering bears is not significant enough to assign a value.

You have to be aware that there are snakes even though its very unlikely to encounter any.

I saw a dead brown-colored snake that had been killed by someone stomping its head on the downhill side going to Roncesvalles.

Another pilgrim got a picture of a viper coiled up west of Leon.

Avoid getting bitten; no selfies with the snakes.
 
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RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
I encounted Wild Boar on two consecutive evenings between Logrono and Najera. The first was investigating my sleep apnea call ( thats why I sleep in a tent). The second came crashing through a vineyard( it may have been alarmed by my scent?). It was a massive beast that came to an abrupt stop only metres away and stared straight into my eyes. I raised both arms up and roared as loud as I could.
For a split second he stood still, It was then that I thought I had made a big mistake. Then he bolted off in the opposite direction like a scalded cat. I immediately recharged my spilled vino.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Yes, there is wildlife along the Frances but nothing to worry about at all. In fact feel graced and lucky if you see some. Several times on the Frances I saw deer at a distance feeding in the fields along a woodline. Was very nice.
I would call the Frances rural more than wilderness. None of it I consider a wilderness.
 

Onewithspirit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one begins August 13 2017!
I plan to go on my 1st Camino (the French Way) in the last week of May to June of 2020. Watched many YouTube videos and reading the Forum. Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness, are there any danger with wild life?
I have to say I was thrilled to hear I wouldn’t be encountering any bears!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
As background and FYI, Griffon Vultures are found all throughout the Pyrenees and northern Spain. This is their home range.

Their traditional menu was scavenging dead farm animals, mostly stillborns, or otherwise dead pasture animals, that is until the EU rules forbade farmers from leaving dead animals on pastures. This was done in an effort to stem diseases like Mad Cow and Hoof and Mouth disease. The farmers were made to retrieve deceased animals from high pastures and to bury or burn them, in a sanitary manner.

This deprived the Griffon vultures of their usual diet. As one consequence, the birds got clever and started going after anything they could catch. This included cats, dogs, foxes, squirrels, and anything else small, furry and warm blooded that they could catch and kill.

In one notable incident, reported in the media at the time, a French day hiker was partially consumed by these birds after she fell off a trail in the Pyrenees. One day late in April 2013, two women were day hiking in the Pyrenees, east of Saint Jean Pied de Port (NOT on the Camino). One women lost traction and fell down a steep slope with her rucksack on. This frequently results in a broken neck.

This happened just as I started my first Camino in late April 2013, from Saint Jean Pied de Port.

Her hiking partner immediately called 112. In the 45-minutes it took the emergency responders to arrive at the lower location to retrieve the women, the Griffon Vultures had consumed all exposed or accessible flesh. The subsequent post mortem exam revealed that the woman had indeed died from a broken neck in the fall, and was well dead when she hit the bottom of the slope some 35 meters below.

There is no danger whatsoever from these huge and beautiful birds. Just don't take a nap in the open... just sayin...

I know is it late for Halloween... Sorry about that.... But this is a true story, I saved the links to the media reports at the time.

Hope this helps...
 
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MaggieQYogini

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
End of May to June, 2020
I'm already experiencing the joy of meeting people all over the world through this forum. Thank you all for the responses. Love the wise cracks and photos! Can't wait to be actually on the Camino and run into you "crazy" bunch!

P.S., I asked the question because I was bitten on the arm by a dog and had to be taken by ambulance to ER. This was back in 2014. Dogs can sense my fear even though I try to be act tough.
 

CathyCamino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
It seems that bedbugs will now probably be the only wildlife you have to worry about.

When I camped it in the 80s I was woken by the snuffling of wild boar and another time in the woodland a herd of cattle with a very large bull which sat on my tent. Also one area was infested with ticks, which I spent several days removing with the aid of a mirror.
On ticks —- can anyone identify tick prone areas? As someone who has paid for a small house in Lyme treatment, I do not want a reprise...
 

Ronald Boivin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug 2015
I plan to go on my 1st Camino (the French Way) in the last week of May to June of 2020. Watched many YouTube videos and reading the Forum. Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness, are there any danger with wild life?
If it’s the Camino from Saint Jean Pieds de Port to Santiago, the answer is no. (Especially if you stick to the trail.) There use to be a wild dog problem but that was resolved 3 years ago.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I'm already experiencing the joy of meeting people all over the world through this forum. Thank you all for the responses. Love the wise cracks and photos! Can't wait to be actually on the Camino and run into you "crazy" bunch!

P.S., I asked the question because I was bitten on the arm by a dog and had to be taken by ambulance to ER. This was back in 2014. Dogs can sense my fear even though I try to be act tough.
Typically, on the Camino, if you are using hiking poles, just raising one to lay on your shoulder as you walk by is enough to cause most all of these digs to cower or shrink away in fear.

In this part of the world, it is a common practice to use a staff or stick to whip young dogs as part of their conditioning to work on a farm. Consequently, they have an innate fear of anything that looks like a stick that was used to beat them. I do not condone this, but, it was explained to me that that is or was the custom...

DO NOT wave the stick at them as this might set off their fight response. Just calmly raise the stick over one shoulder so they see it.

I usually do this while calmly calling out to the dogs in soft Spanish... "tu es un buen perro, tranquila...or silencio... you are a good dog, be calm...be quiet..." If they start following me, I follow with "va a la casa... go home!"

I have never had to defend myself using a stick in six Caminos. I have on occasion felt VERY badly when I had to toss stones in the general direction of a following dog who I thought was going to follow me out of town... THAT is very bad as it leads to lost dogs and strays.

As long as you do not bare your teeth, raise your voice or make sudden movements at any dog, you should be just fine.

Hope this helps.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
In this part of the world, it is a common practice to use a staff or stick to whip young dogs as part of their conditioning to work on a farm.
I believe that you are making gross generalizations here. I believe the assumption that Spanish farmers are more stupid or crueler to animals than people/farmers are anywhere else in the world is wrong or at least unsupported, except maybe from what “was explained” to you by somebody.
 

grumerz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago April - June, 2016
Lions, tigers and bears...oh, my! Perhaps ruby slippers, or boots, should be the footwear of choice; banging the heels together to instantly go home when the nasty beasts appear. Does Merrill make some in their "Defender Series?"

Sorry. I'll let myself out.
Ruby boots.png
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I believe that you are making gross generalizations here. I believe the assumption that Spanish farmers are more stupid or crueler to animals than people/farmers are anywhere else in the world is wrong or at least unsupported, except maybe from what “was explained” to you by somebody.
I totally agree.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
On ticks —- can anyone identify tick prone areas? As someone who has paid for a small house in Lyme treatment, I do not want a reprise...
I am sure that there are some populations of ticks on the Frances, but that would be in the woods, high grass, brush etc and I am sure if you go off the Frances Camino path (which overall is improved/semi-improved roadway of some sort) you could possibly get a tick on you. I never encountered ticks on the Frances and never met anyone that did.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I am sure that there are some populations of ticks on the Frances, but that would be in the woods, high grass, brush etc and I am sure if you go off the Frances Camino path (which overall is improved/semi-improved roadway of some sort) you could possibly get a tick on you. I never encountered ticks on the Frances and never met anyone that did.
I've never seen ticks on any route in Spain.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I'm already experiencing the joy of meeting people all over the world through this forum. Thank you all for the responses. Love the wise cracks and photos! Can't wait to be actually on the Camino and run into you "crazy" bunch!

P.S., I asked the question because I was bitten on the arm by a dog and had to be taken by ambulance to ER. This was back in 2014. Dogs can sense my fear even though I try to be act tough.
Dealing with dogs on the Camino is an issue that has been discussed quite a bit on this forum, and I myself have had a couple of encounters with dogs, but was never bitten.
My best advice is carry trekking poles. They aid in walking efficiently and are a pretty good deterrent from being bitten by a hostile dog. One hard whack and they will leave you alone. They also do not like being hit by a thrown rock and will run away.
I have found that just giving them a wide berth avoids any problems. They are territorial and have an invisible boundary that if you do not enter they do not care.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
In this part of the world, it is a common practice to use a staff or stick to whip young dogs as part of their conditioning to work on a farm. Consequently, they have an innate fear of anything that looks like a stick that was used to beat them. I do not condone this, but, it was explained to me that that is or was the custom.

Hope this helps.
This is simply NOT true. The stick is used to drive cows, but you don' t need to be cruel to do that job. I know that quite well because I took care of cattle in Galicia when I was a boy.
The stick is never used to teach farm dogs but is true that they know that a stick can be dangerous for them because they are clever.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I've never seen ticks on any route in Spain.
I read here on the forum that ticks can be an issue on the Salvador - there were quite a few places where the trail is overgrown, and I was walking through some pretty tall grass and vegetation.
 

mikebet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
I got bumped off a narrow place on the path by a passing cow one time, but IIRC that was on the Sanabres.
 

Dennis Ferguson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016
I plan to go on my 1st Camino (the French Way) in the last week of May to June of 2020. Watched many YouTube videos and reading the Forum. Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness, are there any danger with wild life?
Ive walked the French Way and not encountered any wild life that needs to be worried about.
Just enjoy the Camino.
 

512

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
My wife and I were "charged" by a small dog while walking through a village on the Norte. I pointed my hiking pole at it, just to keep it away from my ankles, and the owner intervened.
Not sure who he was yelling at. He said either "Cabron! No hacen nada!" or "Cabron! No hace nada!" Couldn't really tell... 😐
 

mikebet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Not sure who he was yelling at. He said either "Cabron! No hacen nada!" or "Cabron! No hace nada!" Couldn't really tell...
LOL...nobody calls a dog "cabron." If there wasn't a goat in the vicinity that doesn't leave many suspects.
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
I plan to go on my 1st Camino (the French Way) in the last week of May to June of 2020. Watched many YouTube videos and reading the Forum. Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness, are there any danger with wild life?
Actually, crossing and walking alongside high speed motorways is the real “wild life”.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Then there’s the processionary caterpillar. Interesting, and something to be aware of.

 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I HAVE seen small vipers on the Aragones route, by the way. But never on the Frances.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
My wife and I were "charged" by a small dog while walking through a village on the Norte. I pointed my hiking pole at it, just to keep it away from my ankles, and the owner intervened.
Not sure who he was yelling at. He said either "Cabron! No hacen nada!" or "Cabron! No hace nada!" Couldn't really tell... 😐
He called you a "cabron"? 😮
Hmmm....being called that might have led me to tee up with my trekking poles on the little mutt lol.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Mozarbe/Via de la Plata 2014
Portugese 2015
Del Norte 2016
Via Francigena 2017
Saw a nice viper In a sunken lane on the CF in Galicia in 2013. It disappeared up the steep bank before l was able to take a photo. Have also seen snakes on the Portuguese in 2015 and the Levante this year.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
I saw this pair in the Célé valley in 2014. I think they were having a cuddle. In any event, they paid no attention to me.

Chemin June 2014 022.JPG
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
We’ve been delighted to see foxes, deer, storks, vultures, wild horses, snakes (dead and alive), slugs the size of a shoe, cuckoos.....less enamoured with last year’s dog bite, the 2014 tick who cadged a lift to NZ on my son’s body and the bedbugs we’ve fed.
If you walk the MAdrid route you’ll see all sorts of warning signs in the forests - and even one about frogs!! Can’t be too careful I suppose.
 

Nick B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - May/June 2018
Portugese - (2019)
Norte - (2020)
Heard the sounds of cuckoo birds on the Frances through the forest and I'm sure the sounds of wild boar in some of the Albergues while I tried to I sleep...…..
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Hopefully Via de Bayona/Burgos to Ponferrada/Camino de Invierno
I plan to go on my 1st Camino (the French Way) in the last week of May to June of 2020. Watched many YouTube videos and reading the Forum. Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness, are there any danger with wild life?
What they all said 😉😁
But... there are wolves on the Sanabrés 😎
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I believe that you are making gross generalizations here. I believe the assumption that Spanish farmers are more stupid or crueler to animals than people/farmers are anywhere else in the world is wrong or at least unsupported, except maybe from what “was explained” to you by somebody.
Okay, so maybe I got it wrong. But in my direct experience, farm dogs out in the boonies were always more aggressive and strained at their leashes or chains, if they had one one.

They ONLY calmed down if I stopped using my walking sticks, holding them over my shoulder or just silently by my side as I walked beyond their territory. Speaking to them quietly and calmly did always help however.

When I later mentioned this behavior, that is when I WAS TOLD BY SPANIARDS about how farm dogs were typically trained. If I got it wrong , I APOLOGIZE. But I am am only repeating what I was told.

I like dogs, cats and most other living creatures. So, I did not embellish this.

All said, I stick by my advice to stop swinging your poles in any manner, do not raise them in a threatening manner, and speak quietly to the dogs as you pass through their territory. It has never failed me.

Hope this clarifies.
 

Davybhoy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (August 2019)
Portuguese (planned August 2020)
Can't believe no one has mentioned the caterpillar forest outside Zubiri (or Larrasoana?), nor the copious amounts of fieldmice particularly in Fromista.

We also saw a deer and a dead snake, but the annoying wildlife were the pockets of flies that hung around for kilometres on end...
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
I plan to go on my 1st Camino (the French Way) in the last week of May to June of 2020. Watched many YouTube videos and reading the Forum. Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness, are there any danger with wild life?
The most dangerous creature you will meet are fellow man ;) or people who will trick on pilgrims pretending that they are pilgrims too.
In Spring / late spring the next most dangerous creatures are caterpillars known as procession spinners.
Do not touch them! If you see a row of caterpillars, warn others that they will not be harmed. Report your found to the local administration.
Be aware that free roaming cattle can be dangerous!
Most snakes are not poisonous!
Bedbugs are annoying and can easily travel with you. If you find fresh red spots on you, report it to the hospitalero(/a). They will offer a solution.

I hope your camino will be as pleasant as mine, I did walk this year in July.
 

MaggieQYogini

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
End of May to June, 2020
Can't believe no one has mentioned the caterpillar forest outside Zubiri (or Larrasoana?), nor the copious amounts of fieldmice particularly in Fromista.

We also saw a deer and a dead snake, but the annoying wildlife were the pockets of flies that hung around for kilometres on end...

NOOOOO! I only have one phobia-- caterpillars. Not a joke!! Hope I find someone to pass through area together. Yikes!!
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
When I went in the Spring all I saw was 1 deer in the distance, a dead boar in the bush and as for the “dangerous dogs” I met one crazy humping dog which was the day I learned bugger off dog is the same in English as Spanish.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Many, many little flies that dance around your head, before Astorga, in October. The apparently don't bite, but may drive you crazy. I moved wildly my arms to keep them at distance; for an observer, I probably looked as dancing "Macarena". I tried also to run to let them behind me, but sooner or later they caught with me again.
They fortunately disappeared when I reached higher terrain.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
NOOOOO! I only have one phobia-- caterpillars. Not a joke!! Hope I find someone to pass through area together. Yikes!!
I think that the caterpillars are seasonal. I haven't seen any on any of my Caminos.
 

Doughnut NZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
I saw a fox crossing the trail a couple of metres ahead, lots of mice and enormous slugs, one snake, hundreds of midges, one dog that chased me (but gave up when I ignored it and didn't run away from it) and something small bit me on the side of my heel and caused the injury in the photo. I don't know what it was but I suspect a bee or a spider.IMG_20190608_152742759.jpg
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
Actually I was very disappointed that there wasn't more wildlife to see. My first camino I saw lots of birds and one rabbit. (And it was a nice rabbit - not like the one in Monty Python and the Holy Grail ;))
Oh, in July I did see mice (many mice), storks, a few vulptures in the pyrenees, lizards (somewhere between Leon and Astorga), a snake, few times deer, a fox and heard some boar in the night outside my albergue in Ponte de Campaña.

Nothing to fear about.
 

Derick Nichols

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2019
I plan to go on my 1st Camino (the French Way) in the last week of May to June of 2020. Watched many YouTube videos and reading the Forum. Being the journey treks through large areas of wilderness, are there any danger with wild life?
We walked the Way at the same time this year and had no problems with wildlife at all.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
When I later mentioned this behavior, that is when I WAS TOLD BY SPANIARDS about how farm dogs were typically trained. If I got it wrong , I APOLOGIZE. But I am am only repeating what I was told.
A farm dog that works with cows (that´s the case of Galicia) doesn´t need a particular training, because the job is very easy for a shepherd dog.
When herding them to a prairie/meadow the owner is always present and older cows understand orders as Forward, Stop, Right and Left. They also know most times the way to the destination and of course their own names.
So, I repeat the work with cows for a shepherd dog is easy and they learn it just watching and listening to the owner.
Other case is hundreds of sheep (Castilla y León) where I think the dog could require a particular training depending on the environment conditions, but even in that case I can't imagine how you could train a dog using a stick as a whip !! . Maybe the Australians members could help.
And, in Galicia don't say PERRO because dogs don´t understand that word. The word there is CAN, If I were you I simply would say GO that sounds similar to HO (stop for animals).
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Hopefully Via de Bayona/Burgos to Ponferrada/Camino de Invierno
A farm dog that works with cows (that´s the case of Galicia) doesn´t need a particular training, because the job is very easy for a shepherd dog.
When herding them to a prairie/meadow the owner is always present and older cows understand orders as Forward, Stop, Right and Left. They also know most times the way to the destination and of course their own names.
So, I repeat the work with cows for a shepherd dog is easy and they learn it just watching and listening to the owner.
Other case is hundreds of sheep (Castilla y León) where I think the dog could require a particular training depending on the environment conditions, but even in that case I can't imagine how you could train a dog using a stick as a whip !! . Maybe the Australians members could help.
And, in Galicia don't say PERRO because dogs don´t understand that word. The word there is CAN, If I were you I simply would say GO that sounds similar to HO (stop for animals).
I love those shepherd dogs, they saved us from a few encounters with unruly cows 😳🙂 Quick as a flash. So good at their jobs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 StJdP to Logrono
2016 Logrono to Hospital de Orbigo
2017 Orbigo to Santiago
Sorry Icacos they were the only ones i knew the name of . When i asked in Roncevalles a waiter the name of the big birds i saw over the mountains ,his response was “senor we just call them big birds” it was very funny but i had to google it when i got back home . They are truly huge.
I was delighted with the different birds of prey on the first day to Roncevalles and the Tourist Office beside the monastery had a free guide leaflet on the birds of prey of the region. Mind you on the hill up to Orisson I thought the vultures were circling for me!
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I love those shepherd dogs, they saved us from a few encounters with unruly cows 😳🙂 Quick as a flash. So good at their jobs.
Never be afraid of cows. The younger ones can stare at you in an "agressive" way. Then raise your pole/stick and say (loud) GO, she'll understand HO (means stop) and run away for sure. The only caution with cows is with kids under 6.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Never be afraid of cows. The younger ones can stare at you in an "agressive" way. Then raise your pole/stick and say (loud) GO, she'll understand HO (means stop) and run away for sure. The only caution with cows is with kids under 6.
That and don't walk BEHIND them or you can get kicked! Often the cows come to you because they recognize you as a human who is going to feed them. Bulls are another matter. Some can be quite territorial, especially in mating season. But I don't recall encountering many bulls.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Bulls are another matter. Some can be quite territorial, especially in mating season. But I don't recall encountering many bulls.
Way back in another century the Camino Frances ran across fields not far from Roncesvalles. My first full day in Spain and a huge bull came lumbering across the field and stood right in the middle of the path looking at me. Bull??? In Spain??? No sign of any aggression - just curiosity - but I still walked in a very big semi-circle around him making very polite noises as I did so. :cool:
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
That and don't walk BEHIND them or you can get kicked! Often the cows come to you because they recognize you as a human who is going to feed them. Bulls are another matter. Some can be quite territorial, especially in mating season. But I don't recall encountering many bulls.
Yes some cows kick, be carefull.
The only bull breeds that I encountered in Spain are Limousin (brown/blond) and Charolais (white) . Both are tame and quiet.
So, no problem with them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2014), CF (2015), CP (2016)
While I do appreciate the seriousness of your question, I really only have one reply.

The only wildlife that we encountered was the Party-Wine festival that began in Hontanas at around 9am. It lasted until Leon one week later. The only attendees all perambulated upon two legs. As loud as we were, anything with four legs and/or fangs cleared out long before we saw them...

We did see/pass herds of cows and sheep, which can be unpredictable but I am sure that was not
your question.

Best wishes and Buen Camino!
 

TAF

Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug 2019 Logrono to Sahagun
May 2020 SJPP to Logrono
I saw loads of field mice, a weasel, a rat, deer and birds of prey. In late July hundreds of storks - a fabulous sight especially when they are airborne. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Bores, not boars.
 

Nomad Pack

Tough times are coming, you need to open your eyes
Camino(s) past & future
Everywhere with Donkeys and Dogs
I'm a bit perplexed as to "why" this question was even asked.
I mean, did you expect a Grizzly to try and eat you?

We do have some bears still roaming the mountains in Cantabria... maybe they'll come down the slopes when they smell peregrino.... and don't forget the wolves, there's loads of them all over northern Spain and the Pyrenees, you wouldn't want a pack of them sneaking up on you.
And then there's the Iberian Lynx, not many of those guys left but they are very good at hiding in bushes and snatching passing pilgrims.
We also have several breeding pairs of Golden Eagle in the Pico's, with a 6 ft wingspan they've been known to carry away the smaller pilgrims.

And be careful of the donkey's
And flowers
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
This question was asked when I was very green with the Camino planning. In Southern CA, we do have mountain lions and rattlesnakes to be aware of. Also I was attracted by a dog before.
Do enjoy the humor .....
True,

Remember, a few years back when the mountain lion grabbed a woman.

The lion and the woman’s friend had a tug-of-war with the woman as a prize.

Luckily, the woman won and saved her friend, whose face was in the lion’s jaw.

Anyway, how is your camino planning going?
 

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