1-Year-Old Australian Shepherd Survives Epic 150-Mile Trek Across Frozen Bering Sea
A 1-year-old Australian shepherd named Nanuq recently made headlines when he took an epic trek across 150 miles (241 kilometers) of frozen Bering Sea ice in Alaska. His adventure included being bitten by a seal or polar bear before he was safely returned to his home in Gambell.
The Disappearance of Nanuq
Nanuq disappeared with his family’s other dog, Starlight, while Mandy Iworrigan and her family were visiting Savoogna, another St. Lawrence Island community in the Bering Strait. While Starlight turned up a few weeks later, Nanuq was nowhere to be found.
The Mysterious Journey of Nanuq
About a month after Nanuq disappeared, people in Wales, which was 150 miles (241 kilometers) northeast of Savoonga on Alaska’s western coast, began posting pictures online of what they described as a lost dog. Iworrigan reactivated her Facebook account to see if it might be her wandering hound. She was thrilled to see that it was indeed Nanuq.
However, the reason behind Nanuq’s journey will likely always be a mystery. Iworrigan said, “I have no idea why he ended up in Wales. Maybe the ice shifted while he was hunting. I’m pretty sure he ate leftovers of seal or caught a seal. Probably birds, too. He eats our Native foods. He’s smart.”
The Happily Ever After
Iworrigan used her airline points to get Nanuq back to Gambell on a regional air carrier. Nanuq didn’t come back unscathed, as he had a swollen leg with large bite marks from an unidentified animal. However, he was in pretty good health overall. Iworrigan filmed the happy reunion when the plane landed at the air strip in Savoonga, with both she and her daughter Brooklyn shrieking with joy.
Although Nanuq’s journey still remains a mystery, his adventure and safe return home cemented his place as an intrepid and courageous pet.