Last Wednesday, two construction workers in Estonia began hearing a peculiar noise while working on a dam.
Looking around, they noticed a big dog had fallen into a nearby frozen river.
The terrified animal was swimming around, apparently dazed and unable to flee the icy waters. The men sprung into action, diving into the icy water to save the canine.
The men wrapped the animal in blankets and loaded him into a car, taking him to an animal clinic for medical attention. But the heroes had no idea they weren’t actually rescue a dog.
After inspecting the animal, the vets informed the men that they had really saved a wild wolf.
Because the animal had been so frightened by his plunge into the icy waters, he had been considerably more docile than a wolf would normally be while curled up in the back seat of a car — which explains why the guys mistook him for a big dog.
Rando Kartsepp, one of the rescuers, said Postimees of the wolf, “He seemed peaceful.” “In the vehicle, he slept on my legs. He lifted his head for a minute when I asked him to extend them.”
Fortunately, once vets warmed up the wolf with blankets and heaters, his behavior returned to normal, and he was placed in a secure confinement for his own and the veterinarians’ protection. A medical examination revealed that the wolf was otherwise healthy, and he was allowed to return to the wild shortly after the event.
“We are extremely glad with the conclusion of the tale, and would to thank all the participants — notably these men who saved the wolf and the physicians of the clinic who were not scared to treat and nourish the wild animal,” said the Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals, which cared for the wolf. “Within a day, the wolf recovered from its brush with death and was released back into the wild after being equipped with a GPS collar by experts from the national environmental agency.”
After a near-fatal encounter, this wolf has been given a second shot at life — and it’s probable that he’ll be much more cautious around frozen rivers from now on.