Although this story and the photos are heart-warming and cute, we do not encourage our readers to feed wildlife. Feeding wildlife interferes with the balance between wildlife populations and their habitat and could lead them to be reliant on humans for survival, amongst other problems. If you find an animal in need, contact a local wildlife rehabber/rescuer or veterinarian ASAP, or call a rescue hotline. Here are some that might help!

Unlike adults, children don’t have the same inhibitions or apprehension when it comes to interacting with animals. Children are highly empathetic and surprise us everyday with their willingness to put the needs of the animals they love before even their own. While some adults maintain this compassion for animals, it seems to be a rare occurrence. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t all take a page from the children’s book of compassion!

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This little boy, Matteo Walch, has some pretty unusual best friends. Unlike other children who might call a dog or cat their companion, Matteo calls a group of Alpine Marmots his friends.

Marmots are typically very wary of human-beings, and it is rare that they will willingly interact with people.

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

However, this group of Marmots have been the companions of Matteo for around four-years now. 

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

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Matteo does not keep these furry creatures as pets, rather his family takes two-week vacations to the Austrian Alps every year to visit.

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

When Matteo comes to visit his friends, they run up to him and show him nothing but affection.

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

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Matteo’s mother, Michaela explains, “He loves those animals, and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that. We go there every year now for two weeks, it’s amazing to watch the connection between a boy and his animal friends.”

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

Michaela Walch has documented Matteo’s interactions with the Marmots for four years now and is always amazed by the perfect harmony between these animals and her son.

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

 There is something so beautiful about seeing the pure curiosity of a wild animal in the presence of an equally curious and careful individual.

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

Isn’t the comfort between these friends just astounding?

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

We imagine these two are chatting about all the exciting things that have happened over the past year.

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

Learning to interact with wild animals in a correct manner can result in beautiful relationships. It is important to respect wildlife and to be aware of their hesitation towards humans. Not every Marmot will be as open to making friends with humans as these ones, but it is clear that Matteo and his friends have developed a very special connection grounded on mutual affection.

Little Boy Has Some Pretty Unusual Best Friends ... Hint: They're Covered With Fur

 

All image source: Imgur