Happy rescued wolf enjoys belly scratch

By Daniel Uria  |  May 25, 2016 at 11:43 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- After being found abandoned in the wild, a wolfdog with a reputation for being antisocial bonded with a woman over a belly rub.

YouTube user Sarah and the Wolves shared a video of her petting the wolf named Lakomi, who appeared to smile while allowing Sarah to rub her belly.

Sarah explained that Lakomi had been found in the wild at eight months old before rescuers discovered a harness around her neck, which indicated she had been raised in captivity at some point.

"Her skin had grown over the harness and removing it took hours of surgery and months of medication to fight an infection that nearly took her life," Sarah wrote.

Following her surgery sanctuary workers described Lakomi as "crazy" and kept her in 14-foot high enclosures, due to her tendency to climb fences and hang by her jaw at the top.

Sarah worked with Lakomi at the sanctuary for several months to help her reach the level of socialization seen in the video.

"Since I began working on socialization with her that behavior has stopped," she wrote. "She took about two months of daily exposure before she would allow physical contact, but once that wall came down she quickly became playful, sweet, loving, and my personal favorite animal in our charge."

Sarah marveled at Lakomi's drastic transformation from wildly attempting to scale the tall fences of her enclosures to calmly enjoying a belly scratch with no signs of aggression.

"Lakomi is a gorgeous example of the redemptive power of love, and being able to know her is one of the greatest privileges of my life," she said.

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