Russian Man Shares One-Room Apartment with Full-Grown Pet Wolf

A Russian man has become so attached to a wolf that he adopted as a small pup that when he had to leave his old home and move into an apartment in the big city of Volgograd, he took the wolf with him.

Ivan L. and his daughter have been sharing their home with Gray, a full grown wild wolf, for several years now. It was easier when they lived in Astrakhan, but things got considerably more complicated when they had to move into a one-room apartment on the first floor of a nine-story building in Volgograd. Still, despite facing many challenges, they managed to make it work, and Ivan says he couldn’t imagine his life without his beloved pet.

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Ivan told Russian newspaper Vpravda that he met his unusual pet a few years ago, when he was invited to accompany a group of hunters on a hunting trip in Astrakhan. At one point, the hunters followed their dogs deeper into the forest and he was left by himself. It was then that two cute wolf pups came out of some bushes in front of him. He recalls standing there in a daze unsure how to react, but luckily one of the animals took the initiative and approached him. When it got really close and Ivan crouched to greet it, the small pup started licking his hand. Ivan claims that he was familiar with animal communication, and he knew that the two wolf pups were asking for his help.

The man took both pups back with him to Astrakhan, but he couldn’t keep both of them in his apartment, so he gave one of them to some friends in the countryside and kept the one who had licked his hand. Unfortunately, Gray’s brother couldn’t adjust to a domestic lifestyle. He stole chickens, harassed cattle, and when his owner’s patience finally wore out, he got rid of it. Ivan didn’t say whether that meant the wolf was simply chased away or put down.


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Gray on the other hand seemed to have no problem adjusting to life among humans or to the confines of an apartment. Ivan and his wolf slept in the same bed, went out for walks in the city and everything was fine. Then, the Russian man got a job in the city of Volgograd and the family moved into a small one-room apartment there. It was barely large enough for Ivan and his daughter, let alone a full-grown wolf, but leaving their pet behind was never an option.

To make life easier for Gray, Ivan turned the balcony of their first-floor apartment into a grated enclosure for the wolf, where he could get fresh air and see what’s going on outside. It wasn’t not ideal, and the some of the neighbors weren’t too happy with having to walk past a real wolf, but at least they were together. He also walks him on a leash around the neighborhood, and although most dogs are nervous around him, Gray isn’t aggressive towards them. In fact, he shares the apartment with two dogs that Ivan brought with him from Astrakhan.


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Ivan recalls Gray’s incredible reaction when he first saw the two dogs on his territory. He says that the wolf looked at them, then at his master and understood everything. They’ve been getting alone wonderfully ever since. As for his behavior around humans, Ivan says that Gray seems to dislike being around other men, but is very calm when he meets women and children.

Disgruntled neighbors sent complaints to various local authorities, and Ivan L. has lost count of the many times he was visited by police officers regarding his pet wolf, but he refused to part with Gray.


Ivan L. Told Vpravda that he appealed to animal behavior experts and even dog handlers to study Gray, and his remarkable adjustment to life among humans, but so far no one has shown any interest. His hope now is his daughter, who recently quit pedagocical university to focus on canine studies at a veterinary college.

Animal behavior experts advise against keeping wolves as pets, as they can be unpredictable, even when raised as pups. Unlike dogs, wolves have lived as wild animals for around 10,000 years, so they are much more likely do give in to their predatory and territorial instincts despite being raised as domestic from a very young age. But if Ivan’s words are to be believed, Gray does sound like an exception.

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