Wolves are famously recognized as aggressive and formidable beings, and the prospect of encountering one in person is enough to instill fear in numerous individuals, myself included.
Danielle’s first encounter with the large gray wolf, Kekoa, indicates that the creature is named after a Hawaiian word that represents “courage and bravery.”
Kekoa stands out from typical wolves and doesn’t conform to common stereotypes.
Despite commanding respect, she displays a remarkable level of reverence towards people, especially a woman named Danielle.
Residing at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center near Colorado Springs, Kekoa enjoys a comfortable existence, just like the other inhabitants of the sanctuary.
She calls this place home due to her inability to thrive in the wild like her fellow creatures.
Danielle, a staff member, has forged an extraordinary bond with the massive wolf.
The moment I witnessed Kekoa and Danielle engaged in playful interaction, I was utterly astounded. It was a truly enchanting and otherworldly spectacle, particularly when considering the stark contrast in size between Kekoa and Danielle.
Despite his brave and majestic appearance, he has a remarkably gentle and affectionate demeanor, even though he is incredibly massive. With a weight of 115 pounds, he reaches an impressive height of approximately 7 feet when he playfully rests his front paws on someone’s shoulders.
And just when you believe you’ve witnessed everything, another wolf named Sakura emerges, desiring affectionate snuggles as well.
During an interview with The Dodo, Michelle Smith, a staff member at the wildlife center, explained,
“As he was raised by humans and received nourishment from a bottle since birth, he has become highly socialized and enjoys human companionship. However, it’s important to note that this is different from being domesticated or tame. He remains a ‘wild’ animal, and his behavior may differ when he is in the presence of his sister. In the wild, a wolf would not exhibit such behavior.”
You can watch the incredible video clip here:
Since the 1940s, wild wolves have been absent from Colorado; however, it appears that their comeback is on the horizon.
The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center conducts informative guided tours, educating over 40,000 individuals annually about the significance of wolves in ecosystems.
Spread the word about this story to increase awareness about wolves and contribute to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center’s efforts in making a positive impact!