Meet Yuki: Giant Florida wolfdog who's taken internet by storm

Some of you might have heard of Yuki, but do you know the full story?

Brittany Allen, of Shy Wolf Sanctuary, with Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf).
Brittany Allen, of Shy Wolf Sanctuary, with Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf).

There’s no other word that so accurately sums up this wolfdog: He is ginormous.

This is Yuki, by the way. Have you met Yuki?

Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)
Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)

The wolfdog -- yes, that’s a real thing, not just some magical creature in a “Harry Potter” book, and we’ll get into those details soon -- is quite popular on Instagram, seeing as Brittany Allen, a volunteer at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida, just loves posting pictures with this good boy.

In fact, one of her recent posts, a short video clip, had collected nearly 82,000 views, at last check.

Allen has also clapped back at commenters who say Yuki’s photos have been altered.

“The face we make when people say Yuki’s picture is Photoshopped,” she posted. “It’s just his fat angle, guys. We all have one.”

She speaks the truth.

And yes, Yuki is most certainly real, insists the animal sanctuary that now cares for him. Yuki arrived at Shy Wolf in 2008, after becoming “too much” for his previous owner. This is very typical, the sanctuary said. He was first dropped off at a kill shelter before transferring to Shy Wolf.

“Many people believe if they raise a wolf from a pup that it will grow up acting like a dog,” sanctuary officials said. “But then they act like the wolf they are, and it becomes an issue.”

Shy Wolf ran a DNA test on Yuki, for what it's worth, and confirmed his breed: 87.5 percent gray wolf, 8.6 percent Siberian Husky and 3.9 percent German shepherd.

A wolfdog is simply a breed mix of wolf and dog -- just like it sounds. Yuki’s DNA test didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone at the sanctuary.

“We (knew) he would be close to pure wolf,” Shy Wolf said.

Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)
Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)

Yuki weighs about 120 pounds.

Yes, he is one of the sanctuary’s larger animals, officials said, but “it is pretty typical for one of our wolves or wolfdogs to take up as much space as Yuki.”

As for how much he eats, Yuki consumes up to 10 pounds of raw meat four times a week -- so up to 40 pounds each week.

Yuki lives with a female wolfdog named Bella. Yuki is bigger, but surprisingly enough, she’s the dominant one, officials said.

Yuki is almost 12 years old, so when he isn't doting on one of his favorite volunteers or being fed, he spends his time relaxing in the sun and responding to people as they walk by. The wolfdog loves Allen, along with a small number of female volunteers. He seems to live a great life, day to day.

Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)
Yuki (photo provided by Shy Wolf Sanctuary)

The sad news is, Yuki is not in great health, but the sanctuary said what would bring him the most joy would be the simple pleasures of a larger place for him to roam and play with his darling Bella and all the other animals.

Anyone who wants to support Yuki and his friends can do so through a GoFundMe page set up by Shy Wolf.

With the funds, the sanctuary mostly wants to move, seeing as it’s been making the most of a 2 ½- acre lot in residential area since 1993. Shy Wolf has simply outgrown the space, officials said. The sanctuary is looking for new land -- about 40 acres, to be exact -- and also said there are a lot of other gorgeous yet displaced wolves, wolfdogs and other exotic animals out there in desperate need of rescue. “We need this new facility to save them.”

As for wolfdogs, considering the sanctuary specializes in the breed, officials at Shy Wolf are often asked about common misconceptions.

“Number one without question is that they make good pets,” officials said. “(We) try to never speak about animals using absolutes because there is always some individual out there that will prove you wrong, but wolfdogs are extremely difficult animals to manage, and while it has been done successfully in a home, 99.99 percent of people are not capable of being successful.”

And there you have it. We'll leave you with one final photo of Yuki -- one that's guaranteed to blow you away. What a lapdog! (Lap wolf?)


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