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05th Jun 2023

‘Dog’ saved from freezing river turns out to be a wolf

Charlie Herbert

Low blood pressure had made the animal docile

A group of rescuers were in for quite a shock after they rescued what they thought was a dog from a freezing river.

The group of men in Estonia were working on a dam in a river north of Pärnu when they saw the canine in the water.

After clearing a path through the ice, they manager to rescue the animal and wrapped him in a towel before taking him into the warmth of a car.

But when animal rescue services arrived and took the animal to a nearby medical centre, they were stunned to find out that the men hadn’t saved a dog from the river, but a wolf.

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.”

The men took the canine into the warmth of a car (EUPA)

“He was calm, slept on my legs. When I wanted to stretch them, he raised his head for a moment,” he added.

According to the Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals (EUPA), the freezing water had caused the wolf to suffer low blood pressure, which explained why it was so docile during the men’s rescue.

Once at a medical centre, a local hunter confirmed the suspicions of vets when he identified the animal as a year-old wolf (EUPA)

A local hunter who was familiar with animals in the region confirmed to vets that the animal was a year-old wolf.

The EUPA said it paid for the animal’s treatment, and that “luckily, everything turned out well”.

Within a day, the wolf had recovered and was released back into the wild, with GPS collar fitted by researchers.

“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 said.

Estonia is home to hundreds of wolves, and in 2018, a group of nature organisations in the country picked it as Estonia’s national animal.

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