Homeward Bound: Lost Dog’s Epic 150-Mile Trek Across Bering Sea Ends in Heartwarming Reunion [Video]
- Nanuq, a 1-year-old Australian shepherd, embarked on an epic trek across 150 miles of frozen Bering Sea ice, survived being bitten by an unidentified animal, and was safely reunited with his owner in Alaska.
- Nanuq went missing while his owner, Mandy Iworrigan, and her family were visiting Savoogna, Alaska. He was later found in Wales, a remote village 150 miles away, after people posted pictures of a lost dog that resembled him on social media.
- Iworrigan speculated that Nanuq’s journey to Wales may have been unintentional, possibly due to shifting ice while he was hunting. Nanuq’s safe return home highlights the resilience and adaptability of animals, and the strong bond between humans and their pets.
In a heartwarming tale of adventure and resilience, Nanuq, a 1-year-old Australian shepherd, embarked on an epic trek across 150 miles (241 kilometers) of frozen Bering Sea ice, only to be reunited with his owner Mandy Iworrigan in a joyous homecoming in Alaska.
It all started when Nanuq and another family dog, Starlight, went missing while Iworrigan and her family were visiting Savoogna, a community in the Bering Strait, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News. While Starlight was found a few weeks later, Nanuq, whose name means polar bear in Siberian Yupik, remained unaccounted for.
But about a month after Nanuq disappeared, a surprising turn of events unfolded. People in Wales, a remote village located 150 miles northeast of Savoonga on Alaska’s western coast, began posting pictures online of a lost dog that resembled Nanuq. Iworrigan’s father sent her a text, and she reactivated her Facebook account to investigate.
“I was like, ‘No freakin’ way! That’s our dog! What is he doing in Wales?’” Iworrigan exclaimed, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
It remains a mystery how Nanuq made his way to Wales. Iworrigan speculated that the ice may have shifted while he was hunting, leading him to unintentionally journey across the frozen Bering Sea. She also believed that Nanuq survived by eating leftovers of seals, as well as birds, and praised his intelligence and adaptability to native foods.
Despite his remarkable journey, Nanuq was not unscathed. When he was finally reunited with Iworrigan, he had a swollen leg with large bite marks from an unidentified animal. Iworrigan speculated that it could have been from a wolverine, seal, or another small nanuq, but regardless of the challenges he faced, Nanuq was in overall good health.
To bring Nanuq back home, Iworrigan used her airline points to arrange for a regional air carrier to transport him from Wales to Gambell, where she and her daughter Brooklyn eagerly awaited his arrival. The heartwarming reunion was captured on film, with Iworrigan and Brooklyn shrieking with joy as the plane landed at the air strip in Savoonga.
“I have no idea why he ended up in Wales. Maybe the ice shifted while he was hunting,” Iworrigan said. “I’m pretty sure he ate leftovers of seal or caught a seal. Probably birds, too. He eats our Native foods. He’s smart.”
Nanuq’s incredible journey and safe return home is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of animals, as well as the unbreakable bond between humans and their furry companions. This feel-good story serves as a reminder that even in the face of challenges and uncertainties, there is always hope and joy to be found. Nanuq’s adventure is a tale of courage, survival, and the power of love, leaving readers with a heartwarming smile and a renewed appreciation for the wonders of the animal kingdom.
Watch the heartwarming reunion below: