A family of wolves: Pictures show family and wolf pack happily coexisting

A family in Russia have tamed a wolf pack - which now lives with them

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The Independent Online

There are unusual family pets and then there is the Selekh family’s pack of wolves.

A few hundred miles north of Minsk, Russia, the Selekh family have raised the wolves from cubs after Oleg, the local gamekeeper, brought them home five years ago.

Now, the wolves are so domesticated Oleg’s ten-year-old daughter, Alisa, rides them through their garden in Zacherevye.

As the pictures show the animals appear completely at ease with people – licking and playing with Alisa, their behaviour seems at odds with many peoples’ view of wolves.

The scenes appear to total contradict normal behaviour associated with the carnivorous predators.

Wolves are instinctively wild and contrary to popular belief not dangerous. They tend to flee at the sight of humans.

However, domesticated or hybrid wolf breeds do pose a serious threat to humans as the loss of their natural fear can make them unpredictable. Despite appearances, wild wolves can be dangerous to children as their behaviours are genetically encoded and cannot be fundamentally changed by socialisation or training.

Wolf packs survive by a strict hierarchy. Unusually, rather than being dominated by a single ‘leader’, as is traditional with most packs, a wolf pack is led by an alpha male and an alpha female on equal footing.

A beta wolf, either male or female, is below the pair, with an omega wolf at the bottom of the pile – a scapegoat figure. Although there are weaklings and leaders, the pack works together to ensure survival, for example often allowing the weakest to eat first.