Year of birth: 1975
Place of residence: Bodenmais in the Bavarian Forest
Occupation: Photography and animal whisperer
Shoe size: 10 (UK)
“Rush when you are in the woods, and you’ll miss most things anyway. However, anyone with an inquisitive sense of adventure will be amazed how much you can discover even in just a small area.”
For Wolfgang Schreil – alias ‘Woid Woife’ – this is no cliché. It’s his maxim. And not just since he started to appear on German children’s television.
He lives in Arberwald near Bodenmais in Bavaria, Germany. He spends a lot of time walking through the trees of the Bavarian Forest and is always finding interesting things on his adventure hikes.
It’s the animals in the woods that interest him most. He knows where the deer rut in clearings hidden deep in the forest. He knows which ponds to find snakes in: “As a child, I used to read piles of books about animals and learn all about how they behave.”
Woid Woife sees things that others don’t. Or rather, he sees things that many people have maybe lost the ability to see.
Woid Woife says he’s not sure where he got the nickname ‘wild animal whisperer’ and anyway “It’s nothing to do with magic. I’ve just been watching wildlife for years and I’m open-minded about all the animals in the woods.”
On the edge of the forest, he has an old trailer where he can watch the animals in peace. And he gets plenty of curious visitors. Pursing his lips, he produces a bird call. He’s answered by an excited twittering in the trees: “Now the birds know I’m here – and that there’s food for them.”
Despite the pouring rain, there’s plenty of action at his feeding stations. It’s almost as if all of Germany’s forest animals have come to eat at Wolfgang Schreil’s bird table.
Little did he think that one day, he would be sharing his expertise in fauna and flora with visitors from all over Europe.
To be happy and healthy. To be able to love somebody. And to receive love in return.
Definitely a brown bear! And I’m sure I will see this dream come true. In the Carpathian Mountains. Why? Because, I’ve always considered bears as the most fascinating and powerful animals. Everything about them is impressive.
I can’t say that I have ever been afraid of an animal. I did encounter a wild boar sow with her young a few years back – I certainly trod very carefully. I was afraid once: I wanted peace and quiet and I was afraid that I would be interrupted by people. (He says with a wink.)
It’s best to try not to disturb wild animals. I mean to remain quiet, to watch and wait – and to put animal welfare first. Everything else will just fall into place.
I don’t really have one as such. “Mia gfoid einfach das Leben.” (I just love life).