An amazing pooch was reunited with his family after making a more than 150-mile journey across Alaskan sea ice.
Mandy Iworrigan and her family were visiting relatives on St. Lawrence Island in Alaska, when two of their Australian shepherd’s took off to the nearby tundra.
She sent her husband out to look for the dogs, but they had vanished. Iworrigan and her family eventually returned home without their canine companions.
Two and a half weeks later, one of the missing mutts, Starlight, showed up 37 miles away, but their one-year-old dog, Nanuq, wasn’t with her.
Iworrigan turned to Facebook to get the word out about Nanuq’s disappearance. A week later, her father reported that he saw a photo of a similar looking dog in a town that was over 166 miles away.
A Facebook group used by the people of Seward Peninsula had been posting photos of an unknown dog wandering through the area.
When Iworrigan viewed the images, she knew right away that the dog was Nanuq.
“I was like, ‘No freakin’ way! That’s our dog! What is he doing in Wales?’ ” she remarked.
Nanuq’s journey seems virtually impossible, as the only way to traverse from St. Lawrence Island to Wales was across more than 150 miles of sea ice.
“I have no idea why he ended up in Wales. Maybe the ice shifted while he was hunting,” Iworrigan posited.
“I’m pretty sure he ate leftovers of seal or caught a seal. Probably birds, too. He eats our Native foods. He’s smart.”
Though undoubtedly clever enough to survive, Nanug’s journey was definitely treacherous. He reportedly had two large bite marks on his body and a slightly marred leg in the aftermath.
“Wolverine, seal, small [polar bear], we don’t know, because it’s like a really big bite,” Iworrigan noted.
Nanuq was cared for by a brother and sister in Wales for several days, while Iworrigan figured out how to get him home to St. Lawrence Island.
She was eventually able to get him on a charter flight out of a nearby town and filmed her family reuniting with the dog on April 6, over a month after he had gone missing.
He is being treated for his wounds with medication donated from PAWS.