A short country walk ended up potentially saving a human life due to an extraordinary set of circumstance in the central Estonian town of Paide which, thanks to the appearance and then disappearance of an elk, led to a man finding his own mother, who had got into trouble after going walking the previous day and been out all night, regional daily Järve Teataja reports.
The saga started when local Paide resident Marko Haug took a walk Tuesday morning, the paper reports (link in Estonian) and spotted what he thought might be an elk lying by a track close to an artificial lake just east of the town but, not sure that the animal was not in fact a bear – an animal which has also been spotted in the district – Haug summonsed a local nature photographer, Jan Vuti, both to take photos and verify exactly which large mammal they were looking at.
By the time Vuti arrived, camera in hand, the beast was nowhere to be seen, leaving only an indentation where it had been lying, but there was a much more important, and as it turned out, potentially life-saving discovery, namely a woman who had gotten stuck in the same ditch and had been unable to extricate herself.
Priit Söörd at the local Paide police station confirmed to Järva Teataja that around 10 a.m. Tuesday the station had received a missing persons call to the effect that a 71-year-old woman had gone out for a walk the previous morning and not returned, and that she was later found by two men trying to take a nature photo – the Haug and Vuti of our story.
However, that was not all, as in a set of coincidences some might describe as almost Dostoevsky-like, the missing woman, who had been out overnight, in wet conditions, and was suffering the effects of exposure only staved off by the thick jacket she was wearing, turned out to be Jan Vuti's own mother.
Vuti immediately called an ambulance and the story had a happy ending thanks to the mysterious elk, as Vuti noted: "The most incredible thing about this story is that the elk lingered in exactly the same place where my mother was lying in the ditch ... signaling or drawing attention [to her]," adding that some sort of divine intervention might also have been at play.
Editor: Andrew Whyte