A group of crab fishermen came to the rescue of an arctic fox this past week, as the fox drifted away helplessly on an iceberg with no way off.
Alan Russell and his crew were a few miles off the shore of Canada in the Labrador Sea when they noticed a furry creature atop an oddly shaped iceberg.
“We (saw) something on the ice. Wasn’t sure what it was,” explains Russell. “So we got up closer to it. It was a little fox, Arctic fox.”
Russell says seagulls were going after the tiny fox. The fishermen couldn’t coax the fox to come to the boat, so they had to use the vessel to knock the fox off the iceberg and then fish him out of the water with a net.
Once on board, the crew put the fox in a pen with some wood chips to help the cold, wet animal dry off. They were also able to feed him some Vienna sausages. Russell suspects the fox was searching for food and got caught on the block of ice as it broke off and started drifting aimlessly.
“He probably only had another day or so on the ice floe, or it would have foundered,” says
Russell. “The way that the wind was, the ice was probably never going to go back into land. He’s a pretty lucky guy.”
When the fishing crew got back to port, they continued to take care of the fox for a couple more days before letting him go. Despite being shy at first, the fox grew to like Russell and his fishing mates the more they fed him, showing no signs of being an aggressive wild animal.
The fox is now in much better shape and is exploring the tiny settlement of William’s Harbour, the home port of Russell’s fishing boat.
“He looks a lot healthier now. He’s running around everywhere,” says Russell. “He should be pretty good to go now.”