The Wolpertinger is a legendary hybrid creature said to live in Bavaria, Germany and claimed to have various different animal features like antlers, wings and fangs.
This cryptid is often compared to the American Jackalope as its appearance is often described as like a rabbit with antlers.
The Wolpertinger was named by Bavarians and is supposed to be a very timid creature that lives in the Bavarian forest. The legend has also crossed the border into Austria, where it is known as the Raurakl.
It is believed to only come out during a full moon, adding to the legend that it is very difficult to catch one.
The name is thought to have originated in a town called Wolterdingen, which is famous for making shot glasses in the form of various animals and calling them wolterdinger.
Bavarians view these creatures as being mischievous, not dangerous or life-threatening. Most families have stories that go back generations and the legend is still just as strong today as it ever was.
These creatures are tiny – certainly in comparison to most cryptids. They have the body of a rabbit, with antlers on their heads and wings on their backs. They also tend to have prominent fangs.
In fact, they are very similar in appearance to the USA’s Jackalope. Other descriptions indicate the small beasts can have the legs of a pheasant.
Some of these diminutive hybrids have been said to have webbed feet like a duck and a head like a fox. They are said to feed on other small animals, roots, and herbs.
You can, apparently, only see these creatures if you are drunk, which does lend a certain amount of doubt to the veracity of any reports of sightings. It is said that the animals are attracted to the scents of the beer festivals.
Legend says that the best way to catch a Wolpertinger is to be a beautiful young woman, or at least to be in the company of a beautiful young woman, since the Wolpertinger is thought to have a penchant for the female form.
The woman should venture into the forest on a night when the moon is full. She should find a secluded area where a Wolpertinger is likely to be. Then, when the Wolpertinger comes out of hiding, the woman should expose her chest, thereby causing the creature to be transfixed, allowing it to be easily caught.
Another way to catch a Wolpertinger is by putting salt on their tail, although quite what you do after this is unclear.
The Wolpertinger has an interesting claim to fame in that the Brothers Grimm mentioned it in their book, The German Legends of the Brothers Grimm.
Some ancient engravings and woodcuts of Wolpertingers have been found, with some dating back to the 17th century.
There is, however, some debate about whether these depict Wolpertingers or just rabbits infected by papillomavirus. This virus causes bony, antler-like tumors to grow on the rabbit’s head and body, giving it a slightly unnerving appearance.
The Wolpertinger resembles some other creatures from German folklore, including the Rasselbock of the Thuringian Forest and the Elwedritsche of the Palatinate region, described as a chicken-like animal with antlers.
The Swedish Skvadr also has similarities to the Wolpertinger, while Austria has its own version called the Raurackl.
Sightings and Tales
Although the legend is hundreds of years old, reported sightings of Wolpertingers are very hard to come by.
Wolpertingers have, however, become a huge part of Bavarian culture, and the legend has been used to inspire characters in video games such as World of Warcraft and RuneScape.
The world of taxidermy has also benefitted from the Wolpertinger, with stuffed versions appearing in various inns throughout Bavaria and others being sold to enthusiastic tourists, and the creature has even made it into a museum, the Deutsches Jagd-und Fischereimuseum (German Hunting and Fishing Museum).
In fact, some have blamed/credited taxidermists for inventing the legend of the Wolpertinger by splicing dead creatures together, much like Dr. Frankenstein. This is cited as the reason why descriptions of the often cryptid involve body parts from many different animals.
|Other Name/s||Woipertinger, Woiperdinger, Wulpertinger|
Where to find
Wolpertinger-Museum: A museum in Mittenwald, Germany, devoted to the Wolpertinger
munich-greeter.de, “What is…? – a Wolpertinger,” accessed August 31, 2017,
hoaxes.org, “Wolpertinger,” accessed August 31, 2017,
Germany.info, “Word of the Week: Wolpertinger,” accessed August 31, 2017,
fandomania.com, “5 Awesome Cryptids You’ve Never Heard Of,” accessed August 31, 2017,
spajzgirl.wordpress.com, “Do you want a “Wolpertinger” as a pet?” accessed August 31, 2017,
europeisnotdead.com, “European Creatures,” accessed August 31 2017,
revolvy.com, “Wolpertinger,” accessed August 31, 2017,
https://www.geo.de/geolino/natur-und-umwelt/6083-rtkl-fabelwesen-wolpertinger, “Wolpertinger,” accessed March 15, 2023.
- A drawing of a Wolpertinger from 1836. Pic credit: Anonymous
- The Wolpertinger has become a fun part of Bavarian culture. Pic credit: EM80/Pixabay
Last modified on March 15th, 2023 at 2:53 pm