Ten-year-old Matteo Walch has a remarkable relationship with marmots. It all started six years ago when his family visited the colony of marmots in Groslocker in the Austrian Alps.
Usually, when marmots encounter humans they will chatter their teeth as a warning to humans and then the marmots will whistle to let the others know that they should flee. However, when they see Matteo, they eagerly approach him and show affection to him, allowing him to feed and play with them.
Matteo and his family have been coming back to the area every year for a two week stay, and the marmots welcome him every time.
The friendship has lasted for six years now. Matteo’s mother, Michaela, stays distant but captures the special moments with her camera.
Michaela says, “It’s great that I have been able to document the marmot’s natural behavior around Matteo without making them afraid of me and my equipment. I wanted to capture the animals exactly the way I see them the way they behave among each other, in harmony with their surroundings.
What a wonderful friendship!
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