For fishing boats, finding icebergs off the coast of Labrador, Canada isn’t an uncommon sight, what these fishermen didn’t expect however, was finding any passengers on these icebergs, even if you did, you might expect a seal or walrus lounging on the icebergs, but what they found was something else entirely and they are glad they did as they got an opportunity to save a really precious creature.
Mallory Harrigan who was aboard the crab-fishing boat didn’t really think what they were seeing anything special when they first spotted an animal on a floating piece of a mushroom-shaped iceberg about 4 miles into the sea from shore. At best they expected to be a baby seal.
“We thought it was a baby seal,” Harrigan told The Dodo.
It wasn’t until they got closer that they realized this was no baby seal. In fact, it wasn’t anything that should be out a seat at all. they discovered they had found an Arctic Fox. Arctic foxes are quite popular as super hardy animals accustomed to living in the extremes. They can survive and thrive well even in temperature as low as –58°F in the treeless lands. Arctic foxes live in burrows and can tunnel through layers of snow even in a blizzard just to create a shelter for themselves
As part of their adaption to their favorite habitat, their coats are usually white or blue great in color during the winter. This helps them to stay well camouflaged in the snow. But for this particular snow animal, his camouflage would have worked against him because he would be harder to spot had Harrigan and her crew not been passing close by. their coats are also known to turn brownish or great to match the season when they are in the summer tundra.
Harrigan and her colleagues knew if left out there by herself, Fox’s survival was close to zero and they knew they had to choice but to try to save him if they could. They immediately pulled their boats up to the iceberg the fox was perched and after some initial resistance from the Fox, they were finally able to scoop him up and bring him aboard their boat.
“We were able to get him aboard even though he fought it,” Harrigan said. “We knew we were his only chance for survival, as the winds had changed and were driving all the ice farther out to sea.”
Once on board, they immediately tried to make the fox comfortable. They made the poor animal a makeshift bed on their boat. They also gave him some food to ear. Caught away from his usual habitat and in such terrible conditions, it’s easy to imagine how living things must have been for the poor animal. Harrigan and the crew also decided to give him some food to eat as well.
Their hope was that the fox would be able to regain his strength and get some much-needed warmth even as they journeyed back to land. Finally, they arrived on land and it was time to set the Arctic fox free. They got him a little bit more food to eat and they dropped him off in an old dog house.
“He shook himself off and that was it!” Harrigan said.