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Construction workers thought they saved a desperate dog, but they were in for a surprise

February 23, 2019

Dogs occasionally run out to explore a frozen lake. But they are seldom aware of the dangers. Thin ice is as treacherous for dogs as for us humans. When disaster strikes and they crash through the ice, they become desperate without finding a way to get back.

There are many stories about adventurous dogs on this web site, but this story from Estonia in Europe has a twist.. A group of construction workers noticed that an animal had fallen through the ice near Pärnu, a town in Estonia. The animal was swimming desperately round in the circles without being able to get up. They decided to rescue it, but once saved, what was it?  Look closely at the image … can you recognise the breed?

Seriously cold but recovering. EUPA

The distance to the beach was about 100 meters so the men broke the ice in front of the animal until it was able to swim back to the beach thought was a dog. The men thought it was a dog and lifted up the completely exhausted animal and wrapped it in the warm blanket. They then carried it to their car and drove away, taking it to a vet.

– It was completely at ease, slept in the car, head on my feet. When I wanted to move my legs a little, he lifted his head, said Rando Kartsepp to the Estonian reporter.

Exhausted and sleeping on its way to the animal shelter.

 A Very Big Dog?

Now the severely frozen animal was taken to an animal clinic in the town of Pärnu. Fortunately it did not seem to have suffered any really serious damages. But on inspection, the animal appeared somehow strange, unusually big. It did not seem to belong to any known dog breed. What was this?

The vet inspected the peaceful animal carefully, but he was not able to identify what it was exactly. However, he had a hunch. A local hunter was called in and he confirmed it. This big, strange animal was not a dog that had run away. It was not a dog at all. It was a young male wolf, about a year old.

When they realised that they had saved a wild, potentially dangerous animal, a wolf, it was time to take some precaution. The wolf was locked into the cage for safety. The tired wolf obviously needed some rest now, but it was recovering fast. The rescue team thought its wild nature would soon return with unpredictable consequences.

But the wolf stayed calm, made good recovery and regained its strength. After a day in its new and safe shelter there was no point in keeping it in captivity any longer.  Now it got a radio transmitter and was released back to nature. This was the right thing to do. His pack was waiting for him somewhere in the forest. There are hundreds of wild wolves in Estonia. Usually they avoid people.

Locked into a cage for safety. EUPA

I am sure this wolf will remember his frightening experience of falling into ice cold water and not being able to get out of it. I am sure he will remember humans too and the fact that they helped him out of the water and took good care of him. Will he remain grateful to humans for the rest of his life? How will he react to humans when he meets them next time in the forest? I just pray he will understand to run fast into hiding when the hunters arrive …


Read more: Here is another story about an animal stranded on a frozen lake