This is the wholesome tale of how an abandoned wolf cub and a kind woman became lifelong friends.
Meet Alida and her beloved wolf friend Kira
Kira's mother was abandoned by the family who used to keep her, and thankfully she was rescued by a shelter. Soon after, she gave birth to Kira, along with her other siblings.
This is baby Kira.
Unfortunately, Kira's mother didn't want to care for her new babies. So the shelter had to step in to take care of the new-born wolf cubs. They needed a solid plan, fast.
We have to remember that this isn't Kira's mother's fault. She was badly treated by her previous owners who didn't know how to take care of her and she finally ended up at a nursery at a shelter, pregnant, alone and very afraid. Shelter employees saw that Kira's mother had lost the ability to trust people. She was probably traumatised from her experiences with humans.
Kira was born in this nursery and not in the wild like she should have been. Because of her mother's rejection, Kira and her siblings had to be by humans by hand, being fed milk until they gained their strength. Alida personally took Kira under her wing.
Because Kira and her siblings were born into captivity without their mother teaching them how to be wolves, these cubs would not be able to make it in the wild because they did not know how to hunt and would probably die. This meant that these babies could not be released to the wild and would have to live their lives out in captivity.
Now that the cubs were strong enough getting the nutrition and care they needed, the shelter had to find permanent housing and care solutions for them.
Alida stepped in to take care of Kira and assumed full responsibility for her.
Kira was so small and helpless, she would have been lost in the wild all on her own. Thankfully, she had a guardian angel in Alida.
Alida adopted Kira when she just 28 weeks old.
And she had to start training this little cutie very soon. But it wasn't so easy!
Alida says that Kira is smart but also quite stubborn and training her was a challenge because of how wolves naturally behave and think.
“When making decisions, she focuses on herself, not me. From the very beginning, I began the process of her socialization. She saw a huge number of dogs, people, and children. We walked in different places so that she could study different smells, hear new sounds. Wolves have an innate neophobia, a fear of everything new. This is a very difficult process, long and tedious, but it is necessary so that Kira can live with me in an urban environment and feel comfortable.”
Doesn't Kira look adorable in her lovely red harness?
As hard as it was, with lots of time (and patience), Alida started seeing results. Kira was getting better and better at being a domesticated pet!
Alida says, “Upbringing, too, had its problems, but with age, it all goes away and the work bears fruit—Kira has a stable and mild psyche, does not react to aggression from other dogs, and does not provoke conflicts herself. She treats children very carefully and if the child is afraid of her, she doesn’t approach him.”
Looks like Kira was learning quickly and was really smart and well-behaved!
Kira' socialisation training meant she went to so many places with Alida, meeting new people and animals alike!
The socialisation training included getting Kira more exposure, hanging out with human adults and children, as well as animals like dogs and many others. This helped train Kira become friendly with strangers, both humans and adults, so that she wouldn't get scared.
Alida also took Kira to interesting places like coffee shops and parks to help Kira adjust to her new life as a wolf living in human cities. This gave Kira the chance to get rid of her natural wolf fear of new things, people and places.
With lots of love and care, Kira was slowly becoming well-adjusted to urban life.
Alida has a 7-year-old son named Bogdan and together, all three of them often go on walks outside together. “On the street, people generally react with curiosity, ask to be photographed, ask if it is dangerous to live with a wolf, and especially when there’s a child at home.”
At this point, Kira is a 1-year-old wolf and has almost perfected the art of being a domesticated wolf!
With Kira's loving family, she finally has a place where she is accepted and loved for who she is.
And it looks like Kira absolutely adores her family too!
Kira is just like any other house pet, watching you eat food hoping that you'd share some with her too!
Alida tells us that her son loves giving Kira lots of yummy treats. It must be amazing to have a little wolf sister!
People are always intrigued by Kira, both by her looks and the fact that she is a pet wolf.
Of course, not everyone has a pet wolf so it's normal to be curious. On their walks, Alida says people seem to be mesmerised by how gorgeous Kira is and that a lot of people ask her what it's like to live with a wolf and have one as a pet.
But some people have mean things to say about Kira and her wolfness.
Alida says that when people see and meet Kira, they usually don't have a problem with her and aren't afraid of her. However, she says that this is different on the Internet where people write mean things about her and Kira, even leading to reports that Alida was stupid to keep a predatory wild animal in her home.
I guess it's easy to say mean things on the Internet when no one knows who you are.
But none of that matters because Kira is happy in her little family and they all love her too.
Now Kira is a grown up wolf. Look at how majestic and glorious she is!
Here she is experiencing her first snow with Alida.
Kira photographs very well. Total model material!
With time, Alida's excellent training has equipped Kira with all the tools and skills she needs to interact safely with everyone, even little children.
Alida says that Kira knows how to tell the difference between adults and children and is always very gentle and extra careful when being around children. And since Kira recognises when a child is afraid around her or is calm, Kira knows just how to behave when a child is scared of her, and will slowly move away to help calm the child.
What a sweet and gentle wolf she is!
Apart from their regular family fun, Alida and Kira also take some really fantastic photos together!
Don't they look stunning together?
Here are some more! We simply can't get enough!
This shot in the sunset is probably one of my favourite photos of all time!
In all these photos, it is so obvious that they are very happy together. Clearly, Alida has taken a lot of care into making sure that Kira's needs are met while making sure that Kira won't be a danger to anyone she is with.
Alida says, “We live with her, breaking people’s stereotypes about wolves. Is it difficult to educate such a beast competently? Highly. But I knew what I was going for: before taking her, I studied a lot of articles and information, communicated with wolf owners and kennels.”
I'm happy to hear that Alida was very careful when adopting Kira and educated herself well to ensure that everyone, including Kira, was safe and happy. These kinds of pet owners are the best!
It makes me so happy to see that this little helpless wolf cub got the help and love that she needed. Alida stepping in to adopt Kira made all the difference for this wolf and gave her a much-needed second chance at life when it seemed like she wouldn't have a good future. We need more people like Alida. And Kira is a good ambassador who can educate people about the need for proper care for wild animals and exotic pets. These two are a wonderful pair and must be protected at all costs!