Estonian workers shocked to find dog rescued from ice is actually wild wolf
Men bundled animal into car and drove it to a clinic before vets told them of their mistake
A group of Estonian construction workers were surprised to find that the dog they rescued and bundled into the back of their car was in fact a wild wolf.
The men were working by the Parnu river when they spotted the animal struggling in the freezing cold water.
After managing to retrieve what they thought was a frozen dog, they took the animal to a clinic for medical care.
The Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals (Eupa) said the wolf had low blood pressure when it arrived at the veterinarian's office, “which may have explained its docile nature after the men carried it to their car to warm it up”, reports the BBC.
Speaking to the Estonian newspaper Postimees, one of the men, Rando Kartsepp, said: “We had to carry him over the slope. He weighed a fair bit.”
“He was calm, slept on my legs. When I wanted to stretch them, he raised his head for a moment,” he added.
Veterinarians had some suspicions about the animal, but “it was a local hunter, familiar with the region's wolves, who finally confirmed it for what it was: a young male wolf, about a year old”, reports the BBC.
Armed with this new information, “clinic staff decided to put the wolf in a cage after treatment - in case it became less docile once it recovered”, adds the broadcaster.
The Eupa said it paid for the animal's treatment, and that “luckily, everything turned out well”.
The wolf recovered from its near-death experience within the day and, after being fitted with a GPS collar by researchers from Estonia's national environmental agency, was released back into the wild.
“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 Eupa said.