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.”