Last week, group of men who were working near the defunct Sindi dam on the Pärnu river of Estonia noticed a dog trapped in the freezing river below. The workers immediately rushed to help the struggling dog and helped it break through the ice so the animal could be brought to land.
The workers took the dog to a heated car and put a towel around it, but the dog was freezing and had ice all over its fur. When they took the shivering dog to a nearby medical clinic, they found that the dog was a wolf.
The three workers, Rando Kartsepp, Robin Sillamäe, and Erki Väli, spoke to an Estonian newspaper after the rescue.
“It was swimming on its own, we cleared a path for it through the ice. We had to carry him over the slope. He weighed a fair bit. It was a bit difficult because the ice did not carry us and we could not get away from the shore. He was calm, slept on my legs. When I wanted to stretch them, he raised his head for a moment,” Kartsepp said.
“He had an unbelievable strong will and reached the shore by breaking through the ice,” Kartsep added.
When we got to the shore, the poor wolf was very exhausted, hypothermic and frozen. Young men quickly ran into the car, brought a towel and dried the animal. Then he took him to a warm car and called the animal protection Union. It was also a challenge for the union to think about what to do in the morning at 8 with a dog in [distress], who could also have been a wolf.
“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,” EUPA in a later statement.
Many experts think that the wolf acted more like a dog because he had low blood pressure which made him very calm. Thanks to everyone involved, the wolf was able to make a full recovery and be released into the wild in just over a day.
The national environmental agency placed a GPS collar on the wolf so researchers can track him and make sure he remains healthy.
Marju Kõivupuu, an Estonian folklorist said that the wolf is an important part of Estonian culture.
“Wolf is a natural part of our environment and leaves no one indifferent. The wolf is one of the most popular animals in our folk tales, there are over 500 names and stories written down about this animal. The wolf is a survivor. It is brave for protecting its family and territory from other wolves. Wolves respect their parents and love their family. Wolves appreciate privacy – they want to be left alone. The wolf is also charismatic. All these qualities are the reasons why the wolf is suitable for symbolizing Estonia and Estonians as a national animal,” Kõivupuu said.
Photo Credit: Estonian Animal Protection Union Facebook