Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#SteveReviews: Untamed Romania

This is going to be the last Netflix orientated review for a while, as I delve into the wonders of Amazon Prime Video. There is no particular reason other than the fact that I’ve exhausted all of the wildlife and nature documentaries that I want to watch on Netflix and so I want to see what other streaming services have to offer. Thankfully Untamed Romania is available on both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix – so if you like this review, go and check it out!

To me Romania is one of the last wildernesses left in Europe, home to the mouth of the Danube River and the Carpathian Mountains. It is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit due to the sheer amount of wildlife packed into such an accessible package, not just for the reptiles and amphibians either but they would be the icing on the cake! Untamed Romania takes us on a tour of the country, to every habitat possible focussing on brown bears, wolves and other charismatic wildlife that draws tourists to the country (as I hope to one day).

Something I wasn’t expecting was the strong focus on the herpetofauna of Romania. There are segments on the European fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) and marsh frog (Pelophylax ridibundus) which are full of vivid colours and action. The sequence that literally blew my mind was of dice snakes (Natrix tessellata) hunting for fish in rivers. I knew they did it, they’re semi-aquatic like my study species the barred grass snake (N. helvetica) but I never thought you’d be able to get everything on camera. I’d recommend Untamed Romania for just this part alone!

In all, it is a beautiful documentary that highlights the diversity of wildlife the wildernesses in Europe would have looked like before we decided to rage wars and develop most of them. Towards the end, it also highlights what is at stake especially if we lose these wild spaces across Europe. It has also cemented my desire to travel to Romania when the opportunity arises, hopefully some time next year.

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