It seemed like an ordinary day for two Russian-speaking truckers as they drove along a deserted dirt track – but that was before they noticed a forlorn figure wandering around hopelessly at the side of the road. Concerned, then, they pulled their vehicle over to see if they could be of assistance.
The pair also had the presence of mind to film the incident, and in 2013 the clip emerged online – and has since touched the hearts of millions. The footage highlights the special relationship that can exist between humankind and wild animals and also holds a lesson that humanity should heed.
The footage begins after the truckers have pulled over – and we can probably assume that the dirt trail they found themselves on is in Russia, since both are conversing in the language of that country. Next, they climb down from their cab, surrounded by the silence of the wilderness, and then we see something in the distance.
As the men then approach what looks like an object at the side of the road, we realize that it is moving. It appears, in fact, to be a small or baby creature. Yet it is only when the camera moves closer to the animal that we can see something is terribly wrong.
The truckers appear to be Good Samaritans on a mission of wildlife mercy. Having pulled their vehicle over, they approach the critter slowly. Wild animals are usually cautious around humans, after all, and the men evidently don’t want to frighten the creature.
However, as the truckers get nearer to the animal, it begins to scurry to meet them. It’s as if the usually shy creature recognized that its situation was so bad that human help was its only chance. Indeed, it seems that the cautious critter was only too willing to put its trust in people on this occasion.
As the truckers then draw up to the animal, we can see that it is a baby fox – known as a kit – and also appreciate why it is so desperate. Yes, the poor creature’s head is completely wedged in a green glass jar – and it obviously has no way of escaping its see-through prison.
What isn’t clear, though, is how the jar first came to be stuck on the kit’s head. That said, it’s reasonable to speculate that the baby fox could smell food on the inside of the discarded glass container and then stuck its head in to investigate – only to realize too late that it couldn’t get it out again.
Kits usually stay with their mothers until they are about seven months old, and after that, they are ready to fend for themselves. However, their inexperience at this point in their maturity can often land them in tight spots – and few come tighter than having your head squeezed into a glass jar.
Luckily for this kit, two kindhearted people had found it in distress and were willing to help. The film subsequently shows one of the truckers attempting to yank the jar off the little fox’s head, but it proves to be on too tight. All that happens is the baby fox gets pulled, kicking and flailing, off the ground.
Then, after the initial attempt proves fruitless, a different method is tried. This time the kit is held firmly by the scruff of the neck with one hand, while another hand begins to heave the jar off the animal’s head.
Success! After a little struggle, the baby fox is finally freed. However, the kit doesn’t feel like sticking around to express its gratitude. Instead, we see it make a break for safety, and it runs off into the undergrowth beside the road.
The fox’s ungracious attitude seemingly doesn’t go down too well with its rescuers, either. “Where is the ‘thank you?’” we hear one of them joke in Russian as the kit makes its escape. However, deep down, the men were no doubt glad that they had been able to help the creature in need.
At the end of the day, if the truckers hadn’t bothered to stop and assist the baby fox, there is little doubt that it would have perished. After all, with its head encased in glass, the kit would have had no way of eating or drinking. And with its sight partially obscured, it would also have had difficulty seeing potential danger approaching.
So it was quite right that internet viewers of the clip hailed the men who helped the baby fox as heroes. Moreover, in a matter of days after the video was first shared online, more than 400,000 people had seen it. And since then, many hundreds of thousands more animal lovers have watched and shared the footage.
On one of the versions of the video on YouTube – which has attracted almost two million views – many commenters have expressed their gratitude to the men who came to the kit’s aid. “Thank you and bless you for saving him,” wrote one. “Poor baby. Thanks for helping one of our beautiful creatures that God created,” another added.
Meanwhile, some particularly observant viewers suggested that the kit had actually shown gratitude after all. “That little gesture at the end when it looked back one last time was like a ‘thank you,’” one user insisted. “Bless you for saving it.” ?
However, others were quick to point out that there is a lesson to be learnt from watching the film – namely, that although it was kind humans who saved the animal, it was careless humans who caused its trouble in the first place. “This is precisely why you shouldn’t litter your trash on the side of the road,” one person commented.
In an article on its website, PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – warns people of the dangers of such littering. And according to the animal rights organization, it is everyday items such as soda cans and jars that cause the most problems.
To help prevent other life-threatening incidents like the one the kit in the video endured, PETA advises people to wash out their jars. Then when people do come to discard them, they should do so responsibly – but also secure the lid back on to the jar. That way, it is highly unlikely that any inquisitive little animal heads will become stuck inside.