Marmots are a large species of ground squirrels. They typically live in regions with mountains and are quite sociable with other marmots. However, they usually don’t go near humans, making it quite the surprise when Matteo Walsh struck an immediate friendship with the species. His family stumbled upon them when on a vacation in the Alps, where the surprising friendship took place.
The marmots hurry to greet Matteo when they see him, instead of warning each other by hitting the ground with their tails like they normally would when a human comes near them.
Matteo first found out about his connection with marmots at the age of four. Once his family figured it out, they planned annual trips so the boy could visit his buddies.
The species can weigh as much as 17 lbs. in the fall and can reach a height of 18 cm.
Their friendship has continued for more than four years.
Together, they spend time at Austria’s Hohe Tauern National Park.
The friendly creatures even let Matteo play with them and feed them.
The boy’s mother has said, "He loves those animals and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that."
His mother has been catching their interactions on film for years now.
Matteo very much enjoys his time with the marmots. He has even said he could “spend hours” with them.
This is just too cute for words.
We can all learn a little something from Matteo and his marmot friends. All it takes to grow a connection with others is a little bit of kindness and plenty of love.