It’s hard to believe, but it’s the naked truth: in Merzig (Germany) a man lives among wolves, as a member of the pack, feeding and acting like them. With the appearance of Werner Freund, it seems that stories of the werewolf have come partially to life. The man built a wolf sanctuary, known as The City of Wolves, almost 40 years ago. He dedicated his life to taking care of them and living among them as one of their own.
Four decades ago, Werner Freund was a paratrooper and a professional gardener. During that time, Wener started loving wolves. There was a wolf, later named Ivan, who was rescued by Werner and released into an enclosure. There Ivan mated with a female, which gave birth to a few cubs.
Ivan than took a cub in his jaws and left the cub in front of Werner, as a sign of respect and gratitude. It was then that Werner saw the wolf not as a predator, but as a creature of harmony. This gave him a passionate ambition to help preserve these creatures, in an era when countries like Russia, Canada and Norway have been hunting them for years to reduce their numbers. Germans have been also hunting down wolves since the 20th century. It was a bit of a challenge for Werner to start building his dream in 1972 and bring it to where it is today: from 6 wolves to 29, divided into 6 packs.
During the past 41 years Werner has raised and looked out for over 70 wolves, feeding with them and learning their language. Reporters who met Werner Freund have noticed the close relationship between him and the animals. One of the reporters witnessed a tender moment between Freund and one of the male wolves, who gave the German a slight kiss, as a sign of acceptance into his pack. Another reporter saw Werner biting from a deer’s leg and spitting the meat out, while the wolves around him were shy and approached carefully to feed, acknowledging Werner’s alpha position among the pack.
Asked how he managed to understand them, Werner answered: To earn respect, one must become a wolf. And that is what I am to them – their leader. We bet Werner Freund is the best leader they could have ever had. Would you take up a life like this?
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