Prejudices and negative stereotypes about wolves have existed throughout human history. Most people see these majestic creatures only as dangerous threats and ruthless killers of livestock. Fortunately, however, there are situations that help break or at least reduce those stereotypes.
Meet Ivan and Seryi
On May 8, 2017, farmers in the Astrakhan region found a wolves’ lair with cubs and were going to put them down. Luckily, Ivan, a 46-year-old massage therapist bought one of these puppies from the farmers when it was just 3 or 4 weeks old. He called it Seryi (“gray” in Russian). Seryi is the only survivor of the 6 cubs found in the lair.
He gets help from his daughter.
They remained in Astrakhan for a while, but today they live in Volgograd. His daughter, Alexandra, is now 19 years old, and is a dog trainer who helps her father to take care of Seryi.
Having a wolf as a pet is a complex task.
Currently, Seryi is 2 and a half years old, 70 cm (28 in) tall and weighs about 45 kg (100 lbs). Ivan told us that his pet needs to walk a lot, regardless of the weather, so having a wolf at home is a very demanding task. He hardly has any free time, though, as he says: “You can’t fool a wolf twice, but you can persuade him,” to at least have a moment of rest.
Seryi is almost like any other dog.
Although wolves are considered wild and ferocious animals, Ivan says his pet is just like any other dog. He is often scared, he is afraid to cross wide roads and go near objects that are unknown to him, like boxes or other objects — where a person could fit and hide. Ivan does not let strangers take pictures with Seryi because they scare him, and also because he is not an exhibition animal, but part of his family. The animal only walks through the streets on a leash and without a muzzle.
Wolves are friendly animals.
Before Seryi, Ivan already had dogs at home. For the wolf, they are the older members of his new pack. Like any other dog, Seryi bites when he’s stressed or bored. When they go for a walk, the wolf gets along well with those of his height or those that are like him, but he ignores the smaller sized ones.
Ivan is the pack leader.
Although Seryi is a somewhat demanding pet, he sees Ivan as his pack leader. Seryi gets along well with Ivan’s daughter, but Ivan is the only one who can pick Seryi up or give him medicine.
Seryi consumes about 1.2 kg of meat or chicken per day, but he also doesn’t mind eating vegetables, fruits, or berries. From time to time, they also give him cookies, nuts, and honey to supplement his diet.
Wolves are curious and intelligent animals.
Ivan says that Seryi looks after his other dogs. He’s even trained Seryi to open windows and flip on light switches.
Some tips from Ivan
Ivan’s first piece of advice about adopting a wolf is: don’t do it. They are very demanding animals, require a lot of time and energy, and are not easy to care for. But, if for some reason you end up with a wolf at home, spend a lot of time with him to generate a better relationship: feed him yourself, sleep together, walk for hours, and try to provide him with an enclosure to avoid any problems with other people (but make sure he has plenty of room to move).
What do you think about this story? Would you dare to have a wolf as a pet? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.