Men rescue 'wild dog' from the ice before realising it's actually a wolf
A group of workers plucked what they thought was a frozen wild dog from the ice, heroically carrying it to a nearby vets for treatment - before realising all too late they had actually inadvertently rescued a wolf.
Workers in the Eastern European country of Estonia were working on the Sindi dam in the Parnu river when they came across the canine stuck in the icy water.
Working diligently to free the frozen animal from what otherwise would have been certain death, one of the workers revealed how calm the animal was at the time, taking the animal in his lap to help to warm him up.
"We had to carry him over the slope. He weighed a fair bit," explained Rando Kartsepp, one of the men who discovered the animal in the ice. "He was calm, slept on my legs. When I wanted to stretch them, he raised his head for a moment," revealed the dam worker, which made the truth about the animal all the more shocking.
When they took the animal to the nearby veterinarian's office, the professionals there expressed a degree of doubt as to what the animal was, but it was a hunter who confirmed it: the animal they'd rescued turned out to be a young wolf - believed to be a one-year-old male.
Tarvo Markson, who heads up the clinic where the wolf was taken, said the animal was suffering from severe hypothermia, adding that they put him in a cage as he recovered in case his aggression returned once his health improved.
"At first, he was so done in for he didn’t resist at all. We simply kept him in this room. But once he started to get an idea of the situation, I felt things might quickly take a turn for the dangerous. We got him into a cage."
Once he had been nursed back to full health - a process that took little more than a day - the wolf was released back into the snow, fitted with a GPS tag to keep an eye on him.
The Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals (EUPA) say the wolf might have been suffering from low blood pressure from the ice when he was found - which would go some way toward explaining his docile nature.
EUPA also expressed their delight at the outcome of the tale, praising the vets as well as the workers for their hard work and kindness. "We are so happy for the outcome of the story, and wish to thank all the participants – especially these men who rescued the wolf and the doctors of the clinic who were not afraid to treat and nurture the wild animal," the animal rights group said.
Estonia is home to hundreds of wolves, most of which stay away from humans. Back in 2018, wolves were voted the National Animal of Estonia, beating the beaver, badger, fox and hedgehog in the process.