4 min read

Heroes Save Drowning 'Dog' From Frozen Lake — Then Realize He's Not What He Seems

He was so thankful, he even fell asleep on their legs 💛

While working on a dam last Wednesday in Estonia, two construction workers began hearing a strange noise.

Looking around, they realized a large dog had fallen into the frozen river nearby.

The panicked animal was splashing around, clearly stunned and unable to escape the frigid waters. The men jumped into action, leaping into the ice-cold water to bring the canine to safety.

The men bundled the animal in blankets and packed him into the car, rushing him to an animal clinic for medical care. But little did the heroes know — they weren’t technically saving a dog.

When the veterinarians took a look at the animal, they informed the men that they had actually saved a wild wolf.

Because the animal was so shocked by falling into the frozen waters, he had been much more docile than a wolf would typically be while wrapped up in the back seat of a car — which explains why the men thought he was just a large dog.

“He was calm,” Rando Kartsepp, one of the rescuers, told Postimees about the wolf. “He slept on my legs [in the car]. When I wanted to stretch them, he raised his head for a moment.”

Luckily, once veterinarians got the wolf warmed up with blankets and heaters, his behavior started to return to normal, and he was placed into a secure kennel for his own safety and that of the veterinarians. A medical check confirmed the wolf was otherwise healthy, so he was able to go back to the wild shortly after the incident.  

"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 Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals, which looked after the wolf, told the BBC. “The wolf recovered from its brush with death within the day and, after being fitted with a GPS collar by researchers from the national environmental agency, was released back into the wild.”

After a very close call, this wolf has a second chance at life — and it’s likely he’ll be much more cautious around frozen rivers from here on out.