(but they steer clear of mouth-to-mouth)By Nick Pisa
12th January 2012
Animal experts gave a drowning wolf heart massage and oxygen in a dramatic bid to save its life after it was found trapped in an icy river.
The operation was caught in a series of photographs taken by members of the team, and they show the blanket-covered male wolf being carried away on a stretcher after being pulled from the freezing water.
A specialist animal rescue team had been called to the woods after a walker spotted the wolf struggling to drag itself out of the river. It had somehow managed to fall in the water and had been quickly overcome by the affects of hypothermia.
Scared and suffering: A wolf that had been struggling to get out of a freezing lake near Bologna, Italy, is subdued b a tranquilliser before animal experts move in
Safe and warm: After receiving life-saving cardiac massage and oxygen, the wolf was wrapped up in blankets and stretchered to a nearby veterinarian clinic
Finally, and despite risks that the wolf could slip under the surface and not re-emerge, the team decided to use a tranquilliser to subdue him.
It took almost an hour to bring the animal out of the water at woods in Camugnano, near Bologna.
Once out and on the safety of the bank, a member of the team gave the critically ill creature life-saving heart massage as well as oxygen before it was rushed to a specialist veterinary centre.
Group effort: Now sedated and sleeping off his ordeal, the wolf is carried to a waiting vehicle for further treatment
Caught on camera: Members of the team took time out to record their colleagues' efforts as the rescue unfolded near Camugnano, Italy
'In the end we used an anaesthetic dart to put the wolf to sleep so that we could approach him safely, and once out of the water he was given cardiac massage and oxygen.
'He was on death's door but with the help of the emergency treatment from the team he was rushed to the animal centre and is now expected to make a full recovery.'
Officials say that around 100 wolves live in the woods near Camugnano, and base their estimate on the number of half-eaten animal carcasses they have found.
The rescued wolf will be released back into the forest once recovered.