Dances with wolves, Russian style: Man keeps a whole WOLF PACK as pets (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
A Russian man with a burning passion for animals has a wolf pack living on his estate as pets. It’s not all fun and games with his toothy and clawy friends however, as he hopes to establish a center for wild animal rehabilitation.
The wolves have been living with the businessman from the Urals city of Ekaterinburg for three years already. A couple of them, a female grey wolf Alpha and male black wolf Ugolek (Russian for a ‘piece of coal’), were adopted by Kirill Potapov as puppies.
The wolf couple appear to be very tame, and Potapov’s Instagram is full of videos of them playing together, munching on carrots and hunting for their owner’s sneakers.
Potapov, however, insists that the wolves are not his pets but rather his pack – and says they are quite different to dogs and that one has to make friends with them instead of trying to dominate them.
Potapov also says that the alleged aggressiveness of wolves towards humans is a myth and that on the contrary, the animals are very afraid of people as a result of centuries of wolf-hunting. Thus, he never raises his voice at them or shows aggression so as not to destroy the fragile bond.
Two other wolves in the pack – Akella and Raksha – came from local zoos. As they were adopted at an older age, they are not as friendly as his favorite couple – yet they still show him affection.
This spring, Alpha and Ugolek had puppies, but unfortunately only one survived. As Alpha’s recovery was quite difficult, Potapov had to feed and raise the puppy, a female black wolf called Vita, himself.
Now, Vita is a young thin wolf who seems to share the same passion for Potapov’s sneakers as her parents.
Apart from the wolves, Potapov owns other domestic and wild animals, including various dogs, a raven and even a lynx.
The businessman has participated in several wildlife protection and research programs, and now he’s planning to set up his own center to rehabilitate orphaned and injured wild and domestic animals, as well as victims of abuse at zoos and circuses. The initiative has been supported by the authorities in the Sverdlovsk region and a local agricultural firm, which donated a 100-hectare plot of land to Potapov. The center is expected to launch late this year.Also on rt.com No more crocs, bears or lions as pets in Russia
Potapov’s Instagram account has over 100,000 subscribers who watch the relationship between the wolves and the man developing. The audience appears to be very invested in the joys and woes of the wolves’ lives, and many say they'd love to take Potapov's place as owner of the pack, or at least spend a day with the magnificent beasts. Who wouldn’t, after all?
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