The schoolboy, 8, who has struck up a remarkable friendship with a colony of alpine animals
But when these alpine marmots see Matteo Walch, they scuttle to his side and show him nothing but affection.
The eight-year-old built up a remarkable relationship with the creatures since first being taken to see them by his nature-loving family four years ago.
Special bond: Matteo Walch has struck up an unlikely friendship with a group of marmots in the Austrian Alps
The family return to visit the colony in Groslocker in the Austrian Alps for two weeks every year.
Matteo’s mother Michaela said: 'Their friendship has lasted for more than four years now.
'He loves those animals and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that.