A group of Estonian construction workers was shocked to find out that the dog they’d just rescued from an icy river was actually a wolf.
Would it have made a difference if the construction workers had known the poor animal drowning in a frozen river was actually a wolf and not a dog? We’d like to think not--nobody deserves to die that way, whether it be man’s best friend or their closest canine counterparts.
Last week, a group of construction workers was working on Sindi Dam near southwestern Estonia’s Parnu River when they heard frantic splashing. Upon further investigation, they noticed what appeared to be a dog trapped in the river by floating icebergs that had created a virtual maze on the flowing water.
It was clear the pooch wouldn’t last long without intervention as the water was well below freezing and ice could already be seen covering the poor thing’s fur. So they created a path through the ice and hauled the shivering dog to shore.
He was generally quite placid as the workers drove him to the nearest animal clinic. Being half frozen to death probably had a lot to do with that.
Veterinary staff was suspicious of the creature in their midst, noting it didn’t look like any dog they’d ever seen. When a local hunter showed up, he was able to confirm that what the construction workers had rescued was not a dog, but was, in fact, a one-year-old grey wolf.
In pictures released by the Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals, the wolf seems about as confused as the construction workers were.
Luckily, Estonia is a country of animal lovers and they didn’t hold being a wolf against the frozen pup. After a day of warming him up and feeding him, he bounced back from the brink of death by hypothermia. Officials then fitted him with a GPS collar and took him back to the forest so he could be released back into the wild.
According to the Associated Press, Estonia has roughly 200 wild wolves within its borders, with a few being collared for research and tracking purposes.