For centuries as dogs became our best friends, their wolf ancestor, has had a bad press. Negative myths and children’s stories have driven them to the brink of extinction even though they seldom attack humans and never dress up as grandmothers.
But today they are making a comeback in many parts of the world.
In the small German town of Merzig near the border with Luxemburg, Werner Freund, a 79-year-old former German paratrooper, has spent the past 40 years trying to dispel the negative image of the wolf.
Known locally as the Wolfman, Freund runs a 25-acre sanctuary where he walks among 29 wolves wearing a smock that smells strongly of animal fat and blood. In his sanctuary Werner transforms himself into the alpha male by getting meat and feeding the animals from his own mouth.
"To earn their respect, one must become a wolf, and that is what I am to them – their leader,” he says...
“Fairy tales, that’s what gave them a bad name,” he said. “Red Riding Hood and all that. These are beautiful animals and the person who says they shouldn’t be in the wild might as well not care about what happens to the elephant on the plains of Africa. We are all enriched by their presence, by the simple fact that they are among us."
Although the chance of a human being bitten by wolf is about the same as the chance of being bitten by a werewolf, Werner makes it clear that these beautiful animals are not just big dogs.
"They are wild animals and always will be."
Thanks to Denny