Thursday 28 November 2019

Monk and wolf

This is 12th century Kovilje Monastery, located Western Serbia, near the village of Smiljevac, under the mountain Javor, on the right bank of the Nošnica River 

The monastery was destroyed and rebuilt many times, but some 13th century frescoes managed to survive to this day 

During mid 20th century the monastery was almost abandoned. But then a young monk who took the name Amvrosije arrived to the monastery and started the renovation of this ancient sacred place. 

In 2008 local villagers brought a few days old she-wolf cub to the monastery. The mother was probably killed by hunters. Monk Amvrosije, who then lived alone in the monastery, nursed the cub, first feeding her milk every four hours, and then later giving her ground meat.

Through time a very strong bond developed between the monk and the she-wolf. The monk named her Alfa, and she stayed in the monastery and became monk's constant companion. On this picture Alfa was 10 months old.

But in 2010 Alfa was removed from the monastery by order of the local bishop because "she-wolf would attract a pack of wolves which would then attack villagers". The head of the Belgrade zoo and many other people protested against this terrible decision but to no avail...

Alfa was moved to some animal shelter, put in a cage and sterilised...And soon she died after being bitten by an infected tick...Monk Amvrosije stayed in the Kovilje Monastery where after Alfa's "abduction" his only company was his pet raven...

Since then Monk Amvrosije has rescued, nursed and tamed many other injured wild animals including a fox, an eagle, a snake, a rabbit, an owl...

A documentary about Monk Amvrosije and his wolf Alfa in two parts can be found on youtube here (in Serbian but worth watching anyway for amazing scenes of human and animal bonding)

Documentary part 1
Documentary part 2

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