Over the years, many studies have shown the marvelous benefits of socializing children with animals early on. In some cases, having a pet in the house when a child is young may help deter their development of allergies. Still, other studies have shown that children more readily develop social competency and empathy with furry friends around.

Indeed, the child-animal bond is something of a marvel, and it is this bond that becomes beautifully apparent in the photography of Elena Shumilova.

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Shumilova is a mother of two young sons – Yaroslav, 5, and Vanya, 2. Together, they live on a farm in Andreapol, Russia – an environment that not only photographs brilliantly, but also offers her sons the chance to get to know animals in very intimate, tender ways.

Since early 2012, when Shumilova obtained her first professional camera, she has been documenting the growth of her sons and their relationship with animals. The pair has developed a particularly special bond with the dog, cat, ducklings, and rabbits that they share their lives with.

According to the Daily Mail, her two sons “were immediately accepted by the animals from a young age and their incredible bond continues to strengthen as they get older.”

To witness the amazing, intimate bond that has grown deep between Shumilova’s sons and their animal friends, take a look at some of her photos below. Truly, this bond is a magical sight to see and Shumilova captures it beautifully.

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Elena Shumilova / Flickr

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Elena Shumilova / Flickr

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Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Elena Shumilova / Flickr

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Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Elena Shumilova / Flickr

Lead image source: Elena Shumilova / Flickr

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