According to National Geographic, determining the difference between a jaguar and a leopard is a hard task. Getting animals confused is a common thing, especially if you’ve never seen a particular animal in person. For three construction workers in Estonia, they dropped all instincts when they witnessed a creature drowning in the water. Being the kind people that they were, they had no clue what it was that needed saving. Continue reading to see how this insane story unravels; you’re in for a ride.
Three Men Make A Discovery
Three men by the names of Rando Kartsepp, Robin Sillamäe, and Erki Väli had an eventful day while working on the Sindi Dam located in Estonia. While doing their regular duties, something obscure happened.
It was early in 2019 when the guys heard an unusual noise. They’re used to hearing strange things given the business they’re in, but this was something that was unfamiliar. They had no choice but to take action and see what it was…
Approaching The Noise
Cautiously, the workers approached the Parnu River to investigate the strange noise they overheard. It wasn’t until they were about 100 yards out that they realized what it was.
As it turns out, there was an animal who looked like it was drowning. It wasn’t long before they understood the entirety of the situation and what needed to happen. What happened next was something that none of the men would’ve ever expected to take place.
They Couldn’t Believe Their Eyes
The culprit making the noise wasn’t a raccoon or anything like that, it turned out to be a dog! They knew right away this pooch was in trouble and things could escalate if they didn’t help in time.
It was an icy river that no person should’ve been in, so it was a bad situation for the poor dog. The way the dog looked, it was only a matter of time before things spiraled out of control.
No Hesitation Here
Like any other person with a heart, the men rushed over to the helpless canine. They jumped into the freezing water and swam as fast as they could towards the dog.
It was cold, so naturally, the ice became thick. Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli did a stellar job at carving a safe enough pathway to bring the dog to safety. It wasn’t easy, but they did what needed to happen. Were they quick enough to save the pooch?
A Shocking Discovery
Upon rescuing the dog, the men quickly wrapped the animal in a dense blanket to provide some much-needed warmth. It was at that moment that Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli realized they weren’t dealing with an ordinary “dog.”
After getting a good look at the canine, they saw how large it was. The guys also noticed it had thick fur and striking yellow eyes. This wasn’t your average house dog in any sense so they needed to do something.
There Wasn’t Much Time
The men knew that the unknown species was in terrible condition and that there wasn’t much time left. A thick blanket would only work for so long, and they didn’t have much time to admire its coat.
The blanket only helped for so long, and proper medical attention was the only option at this point. If they couldn’t get her to a safe place, then hypothermia would surely overcome the poor animal in a matter of moments.
Getting The Necessary Help
Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli quickly brought their new buddy to a pickup truck and laid him down inside of it. The shivering who knows what didn’t move as it tried to regain some heat that it needed.
The men quickly phoned their local animal hospital, which was the smart move. The hospital told them to bring him in as quickly as possible, so that’s what they did. Time wasn’t on their side in this situation.
Speeding To The Hospital
As you would imagine, the pickup truck sped all the way to the hospital so that the men could save their friend. The whole time there, the animal didn’t move at all. In fact, it slept the whole way there.
No, it wasn’t dead. Instead, it rested its head on Kartsepp’s lap! The animal might’ve been in a poor state, but that didn’t stop him from being a cuddler! That gave the guys even more incentive to get him to safety.
Arriving At The Hospital
After all the speeding and cuddling, the men and the animal finally arrived at the hospital, and not a second too late. As soon as they arrived, the veterinarians quickly made it to the scene and got to work.
They carried what the men believed to be a dog inside and nursed her back to health. The only thing is that it wasn’t a dog they had on their hands. It was something much more dangerous than that.
What Was It?
Unfortunately, the veterinarians didn’t even know what they had on their hands. They knew for sure that it wasn’t a dog, but they couldn’t figure this mystery out, so they made a call.
The vets phoned a local hunter and asked if he could share what he thought he was. Thankfully, the huntsman knew exactly what it is. Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli might’ve thought it was a dog, but it was really a wolf they ended up saving!
Dealing With A Wolf
The three men were in complete shock. They couldn’t believe that they misidentified the animal, but were even more appalled over having a live wolf in their vehicle! The thought seems scary, but you have to remember he was in bad shape.
If the wolf were in better condition, then that would’ve been a different story. If that were the case, then it could’ve easily made them a snack while driving and not even thought twice about it.
They Can Thank The Ice
Remember that the wolf was inside of a river that was freezing cold. The icy water ended up sedating the wolf, which is the reason behind it acting so calm and sleepy on the ride to the hospital.
While the men were lucky nothing happened while trying to save the life of the wolf, this calm demeanor wouldn’t last very much longer. After all, it is a wild animal. What do you think the vets did next?
The State Of The Wolf
The kind folks at the vet were able to report on the state of the wolf and describe what was going on with him. “At first, he was so done in for he didn’t resist at all. We simply kept him in this room,” said head clinician Tarvo Markson.
The key phrase in that quote is “at first,” because it wouldn’t be long before it would revert back to its animalistic ways. “But once he started to get an idea of the situation, I felt things might quickly take a turn for the dangerous.”
The Turning Of The Wolf
Sure enough, the wolf began to revert to his natural ways the moment he started to recover. It was a one-year-old wolf, so you can imagine how he acted in an enclosed space.
For the safety of the wolf and the doctors, they placed the healing little guy inside of a cage. They hoped that would contain him a bit better, but he’s a wild wolf, so the doctors didn’t know what to expect next…
Protecting The Beast
By the end of the day, the wolf had made a full recovery and the vets had no doubt that he would be able to go back into the wild. Still, they wanted him to be safe, so they came up with an idea.
The Estonian national environmental agency elected to give the wolf a GPS collar for extra safety. They didn’t want the same thing to happen to him twice this time around on his own.
Back Into The Wild
The time arrived for the wolf to go back into the wild and the moment they opened the cage, it took off like a speeding bullet! It took a matter of moments for it to disappear into the wilderness.
Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli waved farewell as the wolf fled into the trees. It was a bittersweet moment but it made for an unforgettable day at work. It’s something that they would share with there co-workers.
A Positive Outcome
While things could’ve been way worse for both the men and the wolf, everything turned out okay in the end. This story could’ve gone in so many directions but everyone’s glad it didn’t.
“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,” said the Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals of the incident.
It Wouldn’t Be A Surprise
The thing about this incident is that it wouldn’t be surprising if it took place again in Estonia. This country houses a huge amount of Europe’s wolf population, so wolves getting themselves in sad situations can happen more than they should.
The funny thing is, the wolf became Estonia’s national animal only a few months before this incident took place. It’s not everyday people wind up saving such a special and beloved animal!
Surprise One Month Later
In one month’s time, the same wolf that Kartsepp, Sillamäe, and Väli helped, appeared again in the wild. He was a bit famous after getting photographed over 70 miles from where they released it.
The good thing about this news is that its great to know that he was stable and thriving. It would’ve been a sad story to tell if the little guy didn’t make it through that predicament, but thankfully, he fought through it.
Would You Get Confused?
Yes, we know what you’re thinking, “how could those workers confuse a dog with a wolf?” The truth is, people misidentify animals more than you think, so the three men mistaking a wolf for a dog isn’t out of the norm.
For the folks who are utterly clueless, the only downfall is that they might bring one of the lookalikes home as a pet! Certainly, they’ll find out the truth sooner or later if that’s the case.
A Small, Scurrying Animal
One day while dropping the kids off at school, a man by the name of Jostein Hansen couldn’t help but notice a small animal scurrying across the snowy road. What could it have been?
He was a curious father, so he did what most would do if they wanted to know what it is; he pulled over on the side of the road to figure out what it was. He was in for surprise…
Weaving Through Traffic
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out traffic-heavy streets and small animals aren’t a great mix. That’s when the father showcased speed and agility as he bobbed and weaved through traffic on foot to get to the animal.
He finally made his way to the creature before anything bad could happen. He could’ve ended up getting hit and the animal could’ve lost its life. It would’ve been a lose-lose situation.
It Was A Hamster!
As it turns out, Jostein discovered that the mysterious small creature was a hamster! Thank goodness he saved the little one, or that would’ve been a sad scene to see. His daughter at home had a hamster, so he had an affinity for the rodent.
“If some kids have lost it, then it will be seen as a disaster,” he said. “So I took the chance to try to catch it.” What a thoughtful and kind man.
Getting Out Of Harm’s Way
Jostein handled the hamster with the utmost care. He reminded himself how sad his daughter would be if her pet came up missing. That’s why he set out to find the owner of this tiny animal.
To keep it safe, he placed it in his glove box. That way, it couldn’t get lost again while he had it in his possession. The only thing is, how exactly would he find whom the hamster belonged to?
Limited Sources With Nowhere Else To Turn
Jostein was a man with limited sources. He didn’t know exactly where and how to start his search, but he knew he needed a little extra assistance. To find the proper home of the hamster he thought of an idea.
Jostein thought fast and reached out to the Norwegian newspaper, iTromso. It was his best bet at the time, and it wasn’t a bad tactic. That hamster was going to be safe soon enough thanks to this man.
Hello, Sanna Drogset Børstad
After bringing the story to the news outlet, the assignment editors decided to pass the story over to Sanna Drogset Børstad, a dog owner. She might have had a pet too, but this wasn’t exactly what she wanted to write about.
Think about it, as a journalist, the last thing you’d expect to land in your queue is a hamster that needs help finding the rightful owner. It’s not the most glamorous story.
Life sometimes leads us down paths that we wish we didn’t have to travel, and this was that for Drogset. She wasn’t going to win a Pulitzer searching for the owner of a lost rodent.
Still, she kept an optimistic attitude and met up with Jostein to discuss the matter at hand. She had no clue what might come from this, so she kept an open mind and a smile on her face as the assignment began.
Getting The Hamster To Safety
Jostein remained diligent on his mission to keep the hamster safe and find the owner. Next, the two went on a journey to the pet store affiliated with Animal Protection Norway.
That’s an organization dedicated to maintaining the welfare and the dignity of animals. Even with limited sources, Jostein sure did come up with some bright ideas. This was an important case for him to solve, and he didn’t care how many obstacles he had to go through.
Figuring Out The Truth
Finally, Jostein made it to the right place that would provide him proper help. While at the pet store, Jostein found out that the hamster wasn’t a hamster at all. It was a different species all together!
But what mysterious creature did it find? It looked exactly like a hamster, so finding out it was actually a wild animal must have come as quite the surprise!
While it wasn’t a pet Jostein chased down, it turned out that he committed a kidnapping. He picked up a Norway lemming, an animal indigenous to Norway that looks similar to hamsters.
It turns out it was only playing Frogger in the middle of the street. These animals do have a reputation for chasing each other off of cliffs! It was an honest mistake and Jostein could go home happy knowing he tried to do the right thing.