Meeting Kekoa: A Different Kind of Wolf

Wolves are often portrayed as aggressive and fearsome creatures, causing many of us to feel a sense of trepidation at the mere thought of encountering one. But not all wolves fit this stereotype, and there are some remarkable exceptions that defy our expectations.

One such exception is Kekoa, a magnificent grey wolf with a name that means “brave one” in Hawaiian. Kekoa resides at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, an animal sanctuary near Colorado Springs. Unlike her wild counterparts, she is unable to survive in the wild.

One person who has formed an incredible bond with Kekoa is Danielle, a staff member at the sanctuary. Witnessing their interactions is truly a sight to behold. Despite the stark contrast in size between Kekoa and Danielle, their connection is undeniable.

Kekoa may appear fierce and commanding, but she also possesses a gentle side. Weighing in at a staggering 115 pounds, standing at an impressive 7 feet tall when she rests her front paws on someone’s shoulders, Kekoa embraces her role as a protector. She is a remarkable example of the bond that can form between humans and animals.

But Kekoa’s story doesn’t end there. Another wolf named Sakura also seeks out cuddles from Danielle. These heartwarming moments capture the essence of the unique relationships that can develop between humans and wild animals.

In an interview with The Dodo, Michelle Smith, a staff member at the wildlife center, shared insights into Kekoa’s behavior: “Since he was raised by people and bottle-fed from birth, he is very well socialized and enjoys human company. However, it’s important to remember that he is still a ‘wild’ animal and behaves accordingly, especially when his sister is around. In the wild, wolves do not exhibit the same behavior.”

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center plays a crucial role in educating the public about wolves and their significance within ecosystems. Through guided tours, they engage with over 40,000 people each year, spreading awareness about these remarkable creatures.

Watch this incredible video clip to witness the extraordinary bond between Kekoa and Danielle. It serves as a reminder of the importance of wolves and how we can make a difference in their conservation efforts. Let’s share their story and contribute to raising awareness about wolves and supporting the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. Together, we can help ensure a brighter future for these magnificent animals!