People who own pets love their pets. Whether it is a dog, a cat, a bird, or even a turtle, people treat their pets like members of the family. People become so obsessed with their own pets, that they almost forget about all of the non-domesticated animals in the world. There is one case of a non-domesticated animal that shocked experts back in June 2018.
Tracker On an Arctic Fox
During the summer of 2017, researchers put a tracker on an Arctic fox. They wanted to study his movements over time. Employees at the Norwegian Polar Institute noticed some strange activity about eight months later. It was something that none of the experts could have ever predicted.
The Arctic fox was moving along the sea ice at a rapid rate. At the beginning of June, she reached her destination on Ellesmere Island. This is a piece of land located in Northern Canada. By making such a long journey, she made history. An Arctic fox walked 2, 178 miles in just 76 days, and the record-breaking feat left experts stunned.
There are plenty of animals that actually thrive in the coldest climates and the harshest habitats. Polar bears and lions name just a few. It is pretty amazing to see these animals in their natural environment because it is something that most other animals couldn’t handle.
The Arctic Fox
The Arctic fox is one of those animals that can handle harsh condition; however, over the last century, they have been almost wiped out. These foxes were once found all over Swede, and recently, they were nearly wiped out. Many people believe that hunters are responsible for the decline of this species. According to the Norwegian Polar Institute, the Arctic fox is classified into two ecotypes, the coastal fox and the lemming fox.
The Coastal Fox
The coastal fox lives on Arctic islands without lemmings. They rely on marine life for their food. These foxes tend to live 10 to 15 years. They are adorable creatures, and they tend to be black in color.
The Lemming Fox
The lemming fox looks much different than his counterpart in that he is all white. He is dependent on cyclic peaks of lemming population to breed successfully. These foxes tend to shift from water to marine sources for food. The way that the two foxes move makes them very different. The lemming ecotype is more of long-distance, nomadic travelers. The coastal type fox tends to stay closer to home.
Lemming foxes tend to leave home when there is a lack of food. Rather than waiting for their next meal to come passing through, they head out looking for food. When the food availability is low, the lemming Arctic foxes disperse and go wherever they can to find an abundant source of food.
When the Arctic fox heads out to look for food, they are safe. These animals are capable of withstanding freezing temperatures. They have tiny facial features, which is less skin to get cold. They also have insulated paws. These animals can easily handle temperatures of around -60 degrees. It is all of these things that made it possible for the fox in question to make his incredible, history-making journey.
Capturing the Fox
When the researchers first captured the fox, they discovered that she was a female. She weighed just over 4 pounds. They attached a tracking device to her so that they could monitor her movements in the wild. The device that they attached would be active for about three hours each day, and the information would be sent back to the experts at the institute. For months, the fox didn’t move. She remained in Spitsbergen. She spent most of her time roaming the island’s coast. On March 11, 2018, she changed her course. She started heading west and reached the shore five days later. It was 76 days later that the fox reached Ellesmere Island in Canada. She stayed there for a while, but the transmitter stopped working on February 6, 2019. By the end of her epic journey, she had walked 2,178 miles.
A Broken Record
When the researchers studied the data, they realized that this Arctic fox had traveled so far that she broke a record. It is very uncommon for a fox to travel such a long distance, especially on her own. The researchers believe her to be very resourceful and strong to have been able to take a trip that far. They also discovered that this Arctic fox was traveling much faster than the fox who held the record before her. While traveling on sea ice, she was moving around 21 miles per day. For an animal her size, this is remarkable.