The Big 5 (animals) in the Netherlands

The wildlife in Holland is very diverse and there is the Big5 animals in the Netherlands.

Most of the Big 5 we have heard originates from Africa. However what we might do not know is that the Netherlands (Holland) is also having it’s own Big 5 in the animal Kingdom. In this short blog, we are going to explain who they are and where they live.

Most of the Big 5 animals are found inside the boundaries of national parks and protected reserves outside of big cities such as Amsterdam. In the Netherlands there are a handful of such reserves such as the Hoge Veluwe national park and the Oostvaardersplassen. These are territories where these animals roam around freely. Moreover, as a visitor, you can come across them while taking a walk in the park. If you come across these beautiful creatures, observe them carefully without disturbing them and giving the animals them their own space.

Highland cows in the Netherlands.
Highland cows in the Netherlands.


This is a robust type of cow, originating in Scotland. These cows have long hair and horns and also can be bred in different colors such as brown, black or white. The distinguishing characteristic of the highland cow is the crown of hair below the horns.

The red deer is a close relative of the Asian Sambur deer.


the red deer is a big hoofed mammal. These deer are active throughout the day, but in areas of high human activity, they show up early in the morning and late in the evening. In the morning they usually roam to to the grasslands to graze.

Wild boar is another name for the wild pig, as called in Europe.


The wild boar is an animal who is spread all across the world. In Europe people call this animal as wild pig. It has a brush-like coat that is darker and longer in the winter. In the spring, the winter hairs shed and they get a shorter and light coat of fur to carry on in the summer. They have a short and firm body and a flattened strong snout.

Roe deer is a close relative of the spotted deer


The roe deer has a saddle yellow to reddish brown summer coat. In the winter this is more gray-brown blackish in color. Adults do not have spots. The white to yellowish hull spot is the only clearly visible patch. This spot is however unclear with the males during the summer. The nose is black and the chin is white.

The European fox can survive harsh winters because of the coat of fur.


The fur of the fox is generally brownish red but also can change to beige or dark red color. The ears are black color in the back while the socks (term for the hinge legs) are also the same color. Some foxes also have a distinguished spot at the edge of their tales.

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