Estonian workers hurried to rescue an animal from a freezing river, thinking it was a dog that had fallen into the water. They didn’t realise that it was actually a wild wolf that they helped.
By Published on 5 Mar 2019
While the workers were carrying out construction work on the Sindi Dam in Estonia, they noticed an animal caught up in the freezing waters of the river Parnu. Thinking it was a friendly dog, they quickly cleared a path through the ice and pulled the animal out of the chilly river. The men bundled the frozen animal into the back of their car, and headed to an animal clinic. What they didn’t realise at this time, was that they had in fact rescued a wild wolf!
The animal was suffering from hypothermia
It was only when the vet carried out an examination of the frozen beast, that he confirmed it was actually a young wolf. A local hunter was able to confirm that the animal was a male wolf, around one year old. Because the animal had been in the freezing river for a while, his blood pressure had dropped dramatically, keeping the animal in a docile state. One of the rescuers, Rando Kartsepp, commented that the animal had weighed quite a lot as they had to hoist him out of the river and up a slope to the car.
The wild wolf is caged for everyone’s safety
Although the canine was quite calm in the car, even lying over one of the worker’s legs, at the vet's surgery, the young wolf was placed into an animal cage for their safety. They were rather concerned that once the rescued wolf came round after his chilly experience, he may not be so docile and quiet. A GPS collar was placed onto the wild wolf by researchers from the national environment agency, as a means to tracking his whereabouts in future.
The wolf is released back into the wild
It only took one day for the wild wolf to fully recover from his ordeal. He was then released safely back into his natural environment. Estonia is home to many colonies of these wild wolves, with only a handful being given GPS tracking collars during recent years. This species of wild animal generally steers well clear of humans. It was a very lucky day for this young wolf that the workers rescued him from the freezing river, thinking it was a dog!