Estonian Construction Workers Go To Rescue A Dog From Ice But End Up Saving Wolf

Dogs are man's best friend, so it makes sense that humans would want to help if they ever saw a dog in distress. That's exactly the situation that arose recently in Estonia. The beast was rescued — but this story comes with a twist ending: it wasn't a dog at all, but a wolf.

Estonia's a relatively small country on the Baltic Sea.

Wikipedia | Tõnis Saadre

Much of its landmass is wilderness, and it's pretty chilly in winter. Because of these two factors, cold-weather animals like lynxes, bears, seals, deer, boars, badgers and moose all thrive in Estonia.

Oh yeah, wolves too.

Unsplash | Grégoire Bertaud

Like many northern countries, Estonia is home to a population of grey wolves. They're a threatened species, and they tend to avoid humans if they can help it, so they're not seen too frequently.

This encounter happened along a river.

Wikipedia | Kristian Pikner

The dam located on the Parnu River in Sindi, Estonia, isn't exactly in a metropolis. But it is situated in an area with a few thousand people, so it isn't exactly the first spot you'd expect to see a wolf.

Dam workers noticed something in the water.

Unsplash | Morgan Von Gunten

They saw what appeared to be a dog struggling in the icy waters of the Parnu River. Hypothermia can kill quickly during the winter months, so the workers sprung into action.

They brought the dog safely ashore.


It was touch-and-go for a bit as the canine was freezing cold and barely responsive. But they bundled him into the car. "We had to carry him over the slope," said one of the workers. "He weighed a fair bit."

He was taken to the vet.

Postimees | Erakogu

Fortunately there was a vet in nearby Pärnu. The dog, warmed by the car's heater, slept peacefully during the ride to get him checked out. "He was calm, slept on my legs," said the worker.

He was given a checkup.

Postimees | Erakogu

The vet was focused mostly on the animal's vital signs rather than wasting time identifying what kind of animal it actually was. "We hoped he will be fine," explained the worker.

Eventually, they figured it out.

Postimees | Mailliis Ollino

A hunter correctly identified the beast as a wolf, which helps explain why it was so big, so heavy and so...wolfy. Because wolves are not exactly domesticated, the decision was made to put the wolf in a cage.

Things could have gotten dangerous.

Postimees | Mailliis Ollino

While this wolf looks absolutely adorable, looks can be deceiving. "Once he started to get an idea of the situation, I felt things might quickly take a turn for the dangerous," explained the worker. "We got him into a cage."

This pup's a long way from being an alpha wolf.

Postimees | Mailliis Ollino

He was identified as a young male, about one year old. It's crazy to think about how big this wolf is, and then consider the fact that wolves get even bigger.

What to do with a rescued wolf?

Facebook | Terveks Loomakliinik

The kind-hearted workers and veterinarians made sure to nurse the wolf back to health. While the situation had been dire not long before, the young wolf was able to bounce back.

He's cute, but he's no pet.

Facebook | Terveks Loomakliinik

If this had been a dog as originally thought, this story would probably end with one of the workers adopting him as a pet. But wolves aren't meant to be domesticated.

He was released.

Postimees | Marko Kübarsepp

He's a young male wolf with a clean bill of health, so he was fitted with a GPS tracking collar and released back into his natural habitat to live out his days.

What a story!

Postimees | Erakogu

It must have been quite a shock when everyone realized they were dealing with a full-blown wolf. How would you react if the cute, kinda freakishly big dog you rescued turned out to be a wolf?