This young woman was making her way through the woods unassumingly when she was approached by a fearsome animal. All alone with no one else around, the woman was staring into the face of a wolf. However, instead of running away in fear she did the most unexpected thing!
20. Gray Wolf
Kekoa the gray wolf and his sister, Sakara, both live at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. The pair were born in Florida and were transported to the Colorado location when they were young. The center felt that the wolves would be a perfect addition to their sanctuary.
The center was founded by Darlene Kobobel back in 1993. She was inspired after she rescued her pet, Chinook, from a kill shelter. The shelter was going to euthanize Chinook because he was a “wolf-hybrid.” Since that rescue, Darlene has been dedicated to the species.
18. Huge Area
Image: Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
The center is around 35-acres and has all sorts of cool features. At the center you’ll find a visitors’ center, an amphitheater that is used for educational purposes, and tons of hiking trails. However, there are also tons of areas where wolves live!
17. Declining Populations
The gray wolf population has been steadily declining throughout the years. The wolves are native to the North American and Eurasian areas. This is why the sanctuary plays such an important role…
Without dedicated individuals like Darlene, the gray wolf population would stand no chance at survival. Sanctuary areas provide these wolves with a safe haven. Darlene uses her center to education individuals on wolves and how to interact with them and it’s crazier than you might have imagined.
15. Educational Tools
When Kekoa and his sister arrived at the sanctuary, Darlene was incredibly excited. She had hoped that she could use the two of them as ambassadors to help educate visitors. However, the wolves had other plans…
14. Not For It
“They were both adopted from a facility in Florida called Seacrest Wolf Preserve,” Michelle Smith from the wildlife center told The Dodo. “We had hoped they would be ambassadors. But sadly, like most wolves and high-content wolf dogs, once they reached maturity they became very shy and ‘retired’ at the ripe old age of two.”
13. Different Personalities
Wolves act very differently around humans than they do in front of their packs. In front of humans, wolves are often shy. However, they are quite social in their packs and love to interact with each other. One sanctuary worker was completely mystified by this!
12. Learning More
This change in personality really intrigued Danielle, a sanctuary worker. Danielle had been working at the sanctuary for years and loved every minute of it. She had no problem with the less than thrilling parts of the job too, like cutting up raw meat.
“I have always had a passion for nature and animals,” Danielle stated. “These wolves have my heart and I am honored to have been accepted into their pack.” Danielle managed to create a very close bond with the wolves that was pretty mind blowing.
10. Strong Bond
The closest bond of all is the one Danielle shares with Kekoa. The wolf was recognized around the premises as the one with the distinct silver coat. For the most part, Kekoa kept to himself, but that all changes when Danielle is around.
9. Video Footage
The bond between Danielle and Kekoa took everyone off guard. In fact, Danielle was one of the only people that Kekoa allowed close enough to him. Then, footage appeared online of an interaction between them and it was incredible.
Image: Animal Channel
In the video, you can clearly see Danielle walking toward Kekoa and Sakara. In the midst of the snow, Danielle leans down and gets face-to-face with the wolves. Sakara begins to sniff her face…
Image: The Dodo
Once Kekoa sees his sister sniffing Danielle, he begins to follow her lead. Then out of the nowhere the unbelievable happens! Kekoa begins to lick Danielle’s face and shower her with kisses. Danielle then begins to pet Kekoa in return.
Image: White Wolf Pack
Eventually, Kekoa leans back and lays on his back. Danielle then begins to pet his belly and give him tons of love. The interaction is almost like that between a human and a dog. The videographer then speaks out and makes an interesting observation.
“And Danielle you’re an average sized person,” the videographer says, pointing out that Keoka is huge in comparison to Danielle. The interaction continues and Kekoa seems happier than ever. However, the sanctuary has a clear message associated with this unusual interaction.
4. Sweet Greetings
Kekoa “loves to greet visitors with wolf kisses,” according to the sanctuary’s website. “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,” shelter staff Smith told The Dodo.
3. Not Domesticated
“This is not the same as domesticated or tame,” Smith added. “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.” Despite all of this information, the video caught the attention of tons of people!
2. People’s Reactions
Image: The Dodo
The video became a viral sensation and everyone was going wild over the way Kekoa behaved. Some people even stated that they wanted a pet wolf for themselves. However, the sanctuary advises against this.
1. A Wolf
“We believe wolves should be wolves and dogs should be dogs,” they write on their website. “However, if your intent is to own a wolf dog, you should take full and total responsibility of that animal.” Still, the interaction between Danielle and Kekoa is an amazing sight to take in!