In June 2018, three crab fishermen from Labrador, Canada got the surprise of a lifetime when they spotted an unusual creature stranded on an iceberg.
At first, Mallory Harrigan, Cliff Russell, and Alan Russell thought the creature was a baby seal. It made the most sense—they were miles from shore, and seals were usually the only animal they spotted this far off the coast.
But when the fishermen got closer, they realized it wasn’t a seal. It was an arctic fox!
“It had probably got stuck out there looking for a meal,” Mallory Harrigan told Bored Panda. “Cliff says he thinks he got out there to check out a bit of meat on the ice and it broke apart, sending him out to sea.”
The three fishermen wanted to help this fox find his way back to shore. And so, they approached the iceberg, moving slowly so they didn’t startle fox. Then, they attempted to get him onto their boat.
The fox was scared, and he fought his rescuers as they tried to get him on the boat.
“We were able to get him aboard even though he fought it,” Harrigan told The Dodo. “We knew we were his only chance for survival, as the winds had changed and were driving all the ice farther out to sea.”
The three fishermen finally got the fox on the ship. He quickly retreated to a corner, and the fishermen began the long journey back to shore.
“We scooped him up and he retreated to the corner,” Harrigan said. “He was too weak to do anything when we brought him aboard, he slept most of the way! When we came to he was a bit nervous but once we fed him he was pretty calm.”
The fox slept most of the journey, and when he woke up, he was starving. The rescuers fed him the only food they had on board: a tin of Vienna sausages.
When they reached the shore, the rescuers gave the fox a little more sausage. Then, they released him back into the wild.
Harrigan says that she still sees the fox from time-to-time—he enjoys exploring old dog houses in the city of William’s Harbour. The fox hasn’t gone on any more impromptu sailing trips. From now on, he’s sticking to dry land.
“We’re glad to have saved an animal,” Harrigan said.
Alan Russell posted about the fishermen’s rescue mission on his Facebook page. The post was quickly shared hundreds of times—everyone was amazed by the fishermen’s brave actions.
Was on the way in for bait and ice and seen this arctic fox stranded about 4 miles off land.. hopefully we can gain his health back and save the little feller!
This little fox was in a bad situation—he wasn’t going to be able to get back to shore on his own. Thankfully, a group of kind fishermen found him and saved him!
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