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A preparated Wolpertinger
The Wolpertinger


The Wolpertinger (Crisensus bavaricus) (also called "Wolperdinger", "Poontinger" or "Woiperdinger") is a fictional animal said to inhabit the alpine forests of Bavariamarker in Germanymarker. It has a body comprised from various animal parts – generally wings, antlers, and fangs, all attached to the body of a small mammal. The most widespread description is that of a horned rabbit or a horned squirrel. It is similar to the Rasselbock of the Thuringian Forestmarker, or the Elwedritsche of the Palatinate region, which is described as a chicken-like creature with antlers; additionally the Americanmarker invention of the Jackalope, as well as the Swedishmarker Skvader are similar creatures to the Wolpertinger.

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".

Origins

The Wolpertinger is not a typical cryptid, as local people likely never believed in its existence. Rather, it is some kind of traditional prank belief, as is evident from the many stuffed Wolpertingers displayed in village inns along with real hunting trophies, which have been fabricated deliberately in order to make fun of gullible foreigners who may want to go hunting for this remarkable animal.

Like the Jackalope, the Wolpertinger is thought to have been inspired by sightings of wild rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus, which causes the growth of antler-like tumors in various places on the rabbit's head and body.

A strikingly similar creature called the "rabbit-bird" was described by Pliny the Elder in Natural History. This creature had the body of a bird with a rabbit's head and was said to have inhabited the Alps. Its similar description and range are probably merely a coincidence.

Habitat

The Hunting and Fishing Museum in Munich has a permanent exhibition of wolpertingers. Occasionally, the museum has a special wolpertinger exhibition, mostly around Mardi Gras or April Fools' Day.

Appearances in popular culture

  • In the game World of Warcraft there is a small non-combat companion called Wolpertinger. It is obtainable during the fall seasonal event Brewfest (designed to parallel Oktoberfestmarker), after the completion of a short quest. The Wolpertinger is only visible to a player who is ingame 'drunk.'
  • In the Zamonia books of the German writer Walter Moers, wolpertingers are dog-like creatures with a great love for fighting. The book which is the most about Wolpertingers is Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures
  • In the game RuneScape with the required summoning level of 92 you may summon a Wolpertinger to help you fight. Wolpertinger uses a mage base attack. It also appears in the quest Wolf Whistle but is a Giant version of the one you can summon, in the quest you need to scare the giant Wolpertinger by summoning a spirit wolf.
  • In the videogame Scribblenauts for the console Nintendo DS you can invoke a Wolpertinger just typing "Wolpertinger" in the notebook menu.


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