With editing programs like Photoshop, it’s quite easy to make anything look real. For example, have you ever seen the picture of the shark floating down the highway in Florida? The photo was “taken” after Florida was hit by a hurricane, and despite the fact that many people were shocked by its release, the photo was 100% Photoshopped. Recently, a photo of a very large wolf-dog was released, and people from all over are assuming that it’s fake.If you’re a fan of the hit TV show Game of Thrones, then you’re probably familiar with the infamous dire wolves on the show. While this animal might look like an animated creature from medieval times, he most certainly is not. Say hello to the beautiful Yuki the Giant Wolfdog, who lives at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.
Yuki was brought to the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida, when he was only eight months old. The 2.5-acre sanctuary is a home and rehabilitation center for wolf dogs and other exotic animals. “Yuki came to the sanctuary in very typical fashion. He became too much for his owner and was dropped off at a high kill shelter. The shelter called us and gave us a chance to evaluate. Yuki was very obviously a high content wolf-dog so we were able to pull him and give him a home in our sanctuary,” explained Jeremy Albrecht, one of the sanctuary’s directors, in an interview with INSIDER.
Yuki, who looks a lot like a dire wolf, is actually a wolf-hybrid. According to the Shy Wolf Sanctuary, Yuki is 87.5% Gray Wolf, 8.6% Siberian Husky, and 3.9% German Shepherd. Because of Yuki’s massive size, his photo recently went viral from people disbelieving that he is a real animal.
As you can see, Yuki is no longer that 8-month-old pup that was brought to the sanctuary many years ago. In fact, Yuki is now 12 years old, and he weighs a whopping 120 pounds. Brittany Allen, who is a volunteer at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary, helped Yuki gain his Instagram fame by posting pictures of him on her Instagram page.
Once the Internet got a whiff of Yuki, many people reached out to adopt the beautiful wolf-dog. But, unfortunately, Yuki is indefinitely off the market. “Sorry everyone, but I am not available for adoption. I am 12 years old and terminally ill so I will be staying at Shy Wolf with my pack friend Bella in our enclosure. However, you can sponsor me!” wrote the sanctuary on Instagram.
As it turns out, Yuki has been living with blood cancer for the past year. “We just are continuing business as usual and spending as much time with him as we can,” said Albrecht. The volunteers at the sanctuary aren’t the only ones trying to spend as much time as possible with Yuki.
Yuki especially likes spending his time with his best friend at the sanctuary, who just so happens to be another wolf-dog by the name of Bella. Yuki may be the male, but he certainly isn’t in control. “Yuki is much larger than her, [but Bella] is by far the dominant one,” explained Albrecht.
“Today, Yuki is one of the most interesting animals in the sanctuary. He is not an easy guy to get to know, but he does have a small number of volunteers he has bonded with. He has gained the nickname “Woowoo” because when he sees any of his chosen volunteers that is the noise he makes, beckoning that volunteer to come spend time with him,” said Albrecht.
Thanks to humans, wolf-dogs are often abandoned and left to die because they’re incapable of caring for them. But, with the help of sanctuaries like the one Yuki is at, the wolf-dog breed might just be able to make a comeback! It sure would be nice to see a bunch of Yukis running around, wouldn’t it?
As many people out there who would love to have a wolf-dog, humans are kind of the problem for this rare breed. “There are a lot more Yukis out there that we would like to rescue. That is why our biggest initiative is to build a much larger facility, and we are in the middle of a strong fundraising push to do that, but we can’t do it alone we need help from Yuki’s new friends all over the world,” said Albrecht.