Marmots are generally very skittish animals, normally making a run for it every time a person shows up unexpectedly. Eight-year-old Matteo Walch, on the other hand, is the one exception to this rule. When he goes to visit a small group of alpine marmots in their Austrian habitat, the creatures rush up to him as if to embrace an old friend.

"Their friendship has lasted for more than four years now," said Matteo's mom, referencing the time he first met the marmots on a trip to the Austrian Alps. "We go there every year now for two weeks -- it’s amazing to watch the connection between a boy and his animal friends."

During his visits at the Hohe Tauern National Park, the marmots scurry up to Matteo and let the boy feed and play with them. If someone ever wanted to create a TV show called 'The Marmot Whisperer,' now is the time and this is the man for the job.