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Bavarian folklore tells of the wolpertinger (also called wolperdinger or woiperdinger), a mythological hybrid animal allegedly inhabiting the alpine forests of Bavaria in Germany. These mythological creatures are known by every Bavarian as being mischievous.
It has a body comprising various animal parts — generally wings, antlers, tails and fangs, all attached to the body of a small mammal. The most widespread description portrays the Wolpertinger as having the head of a rabbit, the body of a squirrel, the antlers of a deer, and the wings and occasionally the legs of a pheasant.
Stuffed "wolpertingers", composed of parts of actual stuffed animals, are often displayed in inns or sold to tourists as souvenirs in the animals' "native regions". The Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum in Munich, Germany features a permanent exhibit on the creature.
It resembles other creatures from German folklore, such as the Rasselbock of the Thuringian Forest, or the Elwedritsche of the Palatinate region, which accounts describe as a chicken-like creature with antlers; additionally the American Jackalope as well as the Swedish Skvader somewhat resemble the wolpertinger. The Austrian counterpart of the wolpertinger is the raurakl.
In popular culture
- Wolpertingers feature in the MMORPG RuneScape as creatures that can be summoned. It is depicted as a combination of a rabbit and a wolf.
- Wolpertingers are the main characters in the novel Rumo by Walter Moers. The novel depicts them as anthropomorphic dogs with small horns.
- Wolpertingers and Skvaders appear in "Adventure Path #61: Shards of Sin" for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game as encounters and also as new familiar options for spellcasters.
- A wolpertinger features on one of the special animal tiles in the Winter Edition of Carcassonne.
- The wolpertinger features as a monster in Here Be Monsters. The game can also be found on Facebook.
- Wolpertingers are an obtainable pet in the MMORPG World of Warcraft during the Brewfest event.
- Wolpertingers are an obtainable mount in the MMORPG Tibia.
- Wolpertinger is the German translation for jackalope in the game Guild Wars 2.
- The Wolpertinger is a monster encountered in the jungle in the text-based MMORPG Improbable Island.
- Wolpertingers are common background creatures in the Land of a Thousand Fables adventure in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine.
- The San Francisco storytelling group Odd Salon uses a Wolpertinger (named Harvey) as their mascot.
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