The footage, documented by Abruzzo local Paolo Forconi in southern Italy, shows three tenacious wolves nipping at the pup’s heels as it looks for an escape along a barbed wire fence.
The canine — likely a livestock guardian or working ranch dog — made a final run for it along the fence with the wolves on its tail. Miraculously, he was able to find a large enough opening in the fence to jump through. After the escape, the pooch books it out of there, sprinting to safety as the trio looks on. From what we can see, it looks like the tenacious dog made it out relatively unscathed.
Forconi noted that wolves were rarely sighted in the area in previous years, but have been recently drawn to livestock and pets in the area.
Italian wolves, also known as Apennine wolves, are a subspecies of grey wolf native to Italy. The canids were decimated by widespread poisoning campaigns and shootings following World War II, dwindling the population to less than 100 individuals
Strict protective measures were launched in the early 1970s, and a healthier population of an estimated 2,000 wolves now roam the country, mainly inhabiting the Apennine Mountains and the Western Alps. They do, however, still face threats including illegal hunting and persecution; and farmers continuously push for culling of animals that interfere with their livestock. The European Commission now compensates farmers and livestock owners for “damages” caused by large carnivores like wolves.