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"Leaders are born from survival."
"Experience the Incredible Story of How Mankind Discovered Man's Best Friend."
"Mankind Discovers Man's Best Friend."
In Upper Paleolithic Europe 20,000 years ago, a small tribe of hunter-gatherers prepare for a hunting expedition to hunt for the coming winter's food. Tau, its chief, trains his teenage son Keda, accepting him and another boy to join the hunting party. His wife Rho worries that Keda is not ready, but Tau believes he is and the hunters set out.
Tau tests Keda by having him kill a wild boar they've caught, but Keda hesitates. One night, the party's fire draws the attention of a large cave lion, which lunges through their circle, snatching Keda's friend before anyone can do anything. Hearing the fatal struggle in the darkness, the tribe gives him up for dead. The member is given a memorial service in the form of placing rocks to symbolize the passing of one's spirit to the afterlife.
The hunters eventually reach a herd of steppe bison, which they attempt to stampede off a cliff in relative success. Amidst the chaos, the chief bison rushes towards Keda and throws him over the edge, leaving him gripping the rough cliff edge with his hand. Keda loses his grip and falls to a further ledge where he appears to break his leg and is knocked unconsciousness. Tau attempts to climb down to him, but he is stopped by another member of the tribe who assures him in good faith that Keda is dead and there would be no way to reach him nonetheless. The tribe leaves and Tau performs another funeral ritual, stricken with grief.
Keda is awoken by a vulture who mistakes him for dead. Keda smacks the bird away and tries to climb the rest of the way down the cliff. A sudden heavy rainfall causes the ravine below to flood. Losing his grip, Keda jumps into the water. He survives and splints his injured foot before returning to the top of the cliff. Seeing the memorial cairn left by his tribe, he realizes he must travel back to the village by himself.
Keda is later attacked by a pack of wolves, but escapes up a tree and wounds one of them which the others leave behind. Keda takes pity on it and cares for its injury. Gradually gaining the wolf's trust, he gives it water and then food, establishing himself as dominant by feeding himself first. He sets out for the village without the wolf, but it follows him. Their relationship grows, and they learn to hunt animals together. Along the way, Keda names the wolf Alpha.
One night, they are approached menacingly by a pack of wolves. Upon seeing Alpha, who steps forward to greet them, they recognize her. The pack run off and with Keda's blessing, Alpha joins them.
Keda continues his journey alone as the season changes to winter. On a frozen lake, he encounters a pack of wolves feeding. Recognizing Alpha, he runs to them, but the ice breaks and he falls through. Alpha helps rescue him and they are reunited.
Continuing the journey together, they find a man who has frozen outside his tent and scavenge a bow and arrow from it. Later, they take refuge from cave hyenas in a cave where they are attacked by the same cave lion that killed Keda's friend. Alpha brutally fights the cave lion and Keda fires the arrow at the animal, killing it. However, Alpha is badly injured in the fight and now travels with difficulty. Meanwhile, an equally injured Keda begins to cough up blood. When Alpha finally cannot walk, Keda carries the wolf.
Keda eventually finds the village while nearly passing out from exhaustion and reunites happily with his shocked, but relieved parents; who are both amazed and proud of him. As the village healer tends to both Keda and Alpha's wounds, Alpha delivers a litter of puppies to Keda's surprise as Alpha is revealed to be a female. Alpha and her pups are formally welcomed into the tribe and grow up in the care of Alpha and Keda. In time, the tribe become one of both humans and domesticated wolves, hunting together.