Almo Nature’s “Wolf” project began in 2014 in the Apennino Tosco Emiliano National Park, when, alongside the WAC (Apennine Wolf Centre), we decided to support farmers who had chosen to defend their livestock from wolves with the help of Maremma sheepdogs.
Our intervention aimed to reduce the conflict between livestock activities and the presence of wolves in the region, both protecting the wolves and helping farmers by providing the dogs with food on a long-term basis.
The initiative sparked the interest of many national parks and several agricultural companies that also believed there was an alternative to the indiscriminate killing of wolves.
Since the project began, Almo Nature has supported more than 300 farms with the help of mediation from the National Parks in Tuscany, Liguria, Piedmont as well as Emilia Romagna and its recent collaboration with the Pollino National Park in Calabria.
In Liguria – the region most sceptical to the use of Maremma sheepdogs – we donated puppies to farmers ensuring an expert was on hand to provide comprehensive training.
Saving wolves: biodiversity and resources to be protected
The Wolf project is offered to farmers with one essential condition: their utmost commitment to the well-being of the dogs, respecting their nature. As part of this, we strive to periodically visit the sites to monitor the dogs’ health and living conditions as well as to check on the progress of their training for their work on the farms.
Our plan in Italy, aims not only to defend biodiversity but also to the enhance the country’s wealth.
We strongly believe that indigenous predators of Italian territories – such as the wolf – could serve as a resource, a real added value for all the products that agriculture produces in those areas. We propose a project to launch a real brand distinguishing these lands as those that allow the coexistence with wolves offering total respect for the natural ecosystem.
Associations such as the WWF, Lega Ambiente and L.A.V. applauded the initiative: “Almo Nature’s project teaches that there is always an alternative and that it is solely up to us to consider all the options. Our hope is that the project will continue.”
Just Freedom: the recovery centre for injured wolves
In 2014, we financed the set-up of the Just Freedom centre in the Tuscan Emilian Apennino National Park; the centre is the first European structure dedicated to the recovery, treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration of wolves back in to the wild after they have been victims of accidents, injured by poachers or poisoned.
The Just Freedom centre is linked the short movie ‘A Wolf Story’ (see below) that tells the story of two wolf pups found in desperate conditions that were treated at the centre and released back into the wild.
But we wanted to do more, we wanted to make people understand the importance of the wolf in our society and its role in our “human” history. Thus, The Promise, the short movie directed by Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores was born. A story about the discovery of an ancient promise made by man to the wolf: in exchange for collaboration of the pack – alluding to the fact that some ancient wolves evolved to become dogs – wolves would receive lasting respect. The Promise is an ode to the respect of all living species.
Our deepest respect and commitment to animals and the desire to contribute to the recovery of a natural biodiversity is what motivates us to carry out acts of solidarity to support wolves; to Almo Nature they are a value to be protected.