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Father defends girl's stunt with wolves (2)

By Shao Wei  (China Daily)

08:35, April 09, 2012

Like most girls her age, she is an avid reader and enjoys sports. However, she added, working with animals "is far more fun than school".

Her father keeps about 50 dogs and 10 wolves at his training base in southern Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Of course, working with wild animals always carries a certain amount of danger, Zhu Lin conceded.

"I can't remember how many times I've been bitten by my 'brothers' during exercises," the young trainer said. "The pain usually only lasts for a few minutes, and their teeth marks just look like those left by an electric cattle prod."

Bites are a natural part of the job, according to her father.

"The wolves bite us differently than if they were to attack a stranger," he said, as he pointed out a small scratch on his finger that had only moments before been caused by one of his animals.

"It (the wolf that bit him) doesn't like strangers," he said as way of explanation. "It wasn't a real attack, it was just a nip to show its irritation."

Zhu Lin said that the first time she was bitten was when she hugged the elder of the two wolves she helped rear.

However, she added that the animals can be "very frightening sometimes", recalling an incident in which her mother was mauled by one of her "brothers".

"She was feeding them and they started to fight. One of them accidentally bit my mother's leg," the girl said. "She needed 13 stitches and two weeks in hospital. I remember her cloth shoes were full of blood."

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