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The Wolf Man

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Wolfspark Werner Freund is a wolf sanctuary spread over 25 acres in western Germany. It is home to 29 wolves -- six distinct packs hailing from Europe, Siberia, Canada, the Arctic, and Mongolia. Researcher Werner Freund, 79, a former German paratrooper, established the sanctuary in 1972 and has raised more than 70 animals there over the last 40 years. He acquired the wolves as cubs from zoos or animal parks and has reared them mostly by hand. Werner has also taken to living closely with his wolves, behaving as an alpha male to earn their acceptance and respect. Reuters photographer Lisi Niesner recently spent some time with Freund and his wolves, capturing the interactions between these old friends. [18 photos]

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Wolf researcher Werner Freund lies on the ground next to Mongolian wolves as they devour a deer cadaver in an enclosure at Wolfspark Werner Freund, in Merzig in the German province of Saarland, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner)
Wolf researcher Werner Freund lies on the ground next to Mongolian wolves as they devour a deer cadaver in an enclosure at Wolfspark Werner Freund, in Merzig in the German province of Saarland, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner)
Wolf researcher Werner Freund howls while sitting in an enclosure for Arctic wolves at Wolfspark Werner Freund, in Merzig, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
An Arctic wolf howls in Wolfspark Werner Freund, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Werner Freund is approached by Arctic wolves in an enclosure at Wolfspark Werner Freund, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Arctic wolves gather near Freund, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Freund places meat in his mouth to feed Arctic wolves, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Freund feeds Arctic wolves with meat from his mouth, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
A wolf pulls meat from the mouth of Werner Freund in Merzig, Germany, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Arctic wolves stand in an enclosure at Wolfspark Werner Freund, in Merzig, Germany, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Wolf researcher Werner Freund, his wife Erika and their cat Max sit in the living room of their home near the wolf sanctuary, in Merzig, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
A dead deer hangs in a feeding prep room at Wolfspark Werner Freund, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Werner Freund stands next to deer carcasses to be used to feed some of his wolves, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Mongolian wolf Heiko licks the mouth of wolf researcher Werner Freund in a sign of acknowledgement, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Freund lies on the ground next to Mongolian wolves as they approach a deer carcass in an enclosure, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Freund bites into a deer leg beside a Mongolian wolf, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Freund lies on the ground beside Mongolian wolves as they devour a deer, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Werner Freund poses for a portrait at his wolf sanctuary in Merzig, Germany, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
Arctic wolves stand in an enclosure at Wolfspark Werner Freund, on January 24, 2013. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #

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