Wolves have long been misunderstood, inspiring fear and dread. Few people have been able to walk freely among wolves, let alone form special bonds with them. One of these fortunate people is Danielle, a wildlife worker at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. She’s managed to earn the trust and respect of several Timberwolves at the center, among them a large gray wolf named Kekoa and his sister Sakara.
In the video we’ve posted below, you’ll see Danielle enjoying an epic cuddle session with Kekoa (Sakara also makes a brief appearance). Although Kekoa was transferred from a wolf sanctuary in Florida, his name is the Hawaiian for “brave one.” Brave he may be, but he definitely has a softer side. The folks at the Wildlife Center say that he’s extraordinarily gentle around visitors and likes to give them kisses. This handsome wolf is certainly glad to see Danielle. He walks alongside her, contentedly wagging his tail. When she sits down in the snow, he gives her some affectionate nuzzling, bowing his head in submission. Next, he gives her face a good licking, a sure sign he thinks the world of her. Kekoa takes it a step further and rolls onto his back, offering Danielle a chance to rub his belly. For a wolf, this is the ultimate display of trust!
Although Kekoa allows himself to be vulnerable when he’s with Danielle, he’s still part-time and part-wild. A normal, fully wild wolf steers well clear of people. Wildlife Center staffer Michelle Smith explained, “Since he was raised by people and bottle fed from the time he was born, he is very well socialized, meaning he enjoys the company of people. This is not the same as domesticated or tame. He is still a ‘wild’ animal, and he does tend to show it when he is around his sister. A wolf in the wild would not act this way.”
Would you cuddle a wolf if you could? Let us know in the comments at Facebook. Be sure to like and share!