We studied transfer of metals from soil to tissues of selected free-living animals: small mammals (Myodes glareolus, Microtus arvalis, Apodemus flavicollis), Parus major and red fox (Vulpes vulpes), inhabiting Veliki Vrh, Slovenia. At the same time, we assessed the risk for these organisms on the basis of comparison with metal levels in plant and animal tissues to effect concentrations for liver, critical levels of metals, defined in Slovene legislation and Hazard Quotient calculation. The exception was Parus major. This passerine bird was replaced with Turdus merula which feeds on earthworms. Our results show that meadow and forest ecosystems at Veliki Vrh, which was exposed (especially in the past) to high levels of pollutants (including metals) from thermal power plant, are moderately polluted with Pb (forest soil, animal tissues), Hg (forest soil, animal tissues) and Cd (meadow soil, roots of grass and clovers). Nevertheless, the risk for selected free-living animals was in general insignificant, since the levels of Hg, Pb and Cd were below critical (small mammals, red fox) and lethal levels (earthworms). However, there is a probability of risk due to the intake of mercury in red fox through Myodes glareolus and of Pb in Turdus merula through earthworms, if these food sources would constitute at least half of the diet of these organisms.