These fishermen were not looking for anything other than crabs when they set sail on Friday, but then they saw a small dark shape on top of an iceberg.
Alan Russell and his crew from Labrador, Newfoundland were roughly 4 miles (7 kilometers) away from shore when they spotted the critter perched atop of the makeshift raft. When they sailed closer, they found that it was a little Arctic fox, soaking wet and shivering from the cold.
Initially, the fishermen tried to pluck the fox from the ice, but it was too skittish to let them get close enough. The team then resorted to breaking the ice pan with their boat and fishing the fox out of the water with a net.
The crew looked after the fox, but it refused to eat anything that they offered it.
Russell’s boat eventually stopped for supplies at a nearby harbor where they bought a package of sawdust to help the fox dry off. Not only that, they finally found a treat that appealed to their rescued friend: Vienna sausages.
The crew managed to nurse the fox back to health by keeping it warm and feeding it sausages. By the time it was strong enough to be released back into the wild, it had developed a friendly bond with its human companions.
“He wasn’t aggressive at all,” Russell told CBC’s Labrador Morning. “After a while, when he was coming around, he liked us more, because we were feeding him. And he didn’t mind us after.”
Russell guesses that the critter had been hunting for food on the ice pan when it broke off from the mainland and floated out to sea.
“He probably only had another day or so on the ice floe, or it would have foundered,” he said. “And the way that the wind was, the ice was probably never going to go back into land. He’s a pretty lucky guy.”Source
A starving and cold Arctic fox clinging to a teetering iceberg has been saved in a daring rescue by a couple fishing for crabs.
Mallory Harrigan and her boyfriend Cliff Russell were four miles off mainland Labrador in William’s Harbour, Canada, when they spotted what they thought was a baby seal.
However, upon closer inspection, they realized it was a starving and helpless Arctic fox stuck on the iceberg.
Can you see the stranded Arctic fox on the iceberg?
At first, Mallory Harrigan and boyfriend Cliff Russell thought the creature (circled) they were looking at was a baby seal but soon realized it was a stranded Arctic fox
They used the vessel, the Northern Swan, to break up the iceberg before scooping up the fox, and bringing it safely on board (above)
Mallory Harrigan and her boyfriend Cliff Russell were fishing for crabs four miles off Labrador in William’s Harbour, Canada
The kindhearted crew, which included Russell’s son Alan, decided to attempt a daring rescue, using their vessel, the Northern Swan, to batter the iceberg.
They had to ram the ice to break it up, and then scoop the animal up from the cold water.
Harrigan told Bored Panda the fox ‘probably got stuck out there looking for a meal’.
She added: ‘Cliff says he thinks he got there to check out a bit of meat on the ice and it broke apart, sending him to sea.
‘He fought and fought to get away until he literally couldn’t move anymore.’
Harrigan, who lives in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, explained that her boyfriend, who owns the Northern Swan, led the daring rescue to bring the stranded animal aboard.
‘Alan Russell is his son, who was with us that day, and he caught him in the dip-net once we were able to get him in the water.
The soaked, cold animal cowering on the boat. Mallory Harrigan said: ‘Cliff says he thinks he got there to check out a bit of meat on the ice and it broke apart, sending him to sea’
The rescued fox was placed into wood shavings to help it dry and get warm again
The crew dropped off the fox at a dog house on a nearby island where there was food and shelter
‘I was able to feed and water him once he woke up.’
After refusing to eat the bread and crackers the rescuers initially offered, the Arctic fox finally succumbed to another treat – a tin of Vienna sausages.
She added: ‘We all then released him onto an island in our harbour.’
The crew dropped off the fox in a dog house on an island where Harrigan told vocm.com there were ponds and ‘lots of little critters and stuff’ to sustain it.