Lost dog returns home after surviving 150-mile trek across Alaska sea ice

A one-year-old dog miraculously survived a 150-mile trek across Alaska, he’s finally made it home.

Mandy Iworrigan, of Gambell, Alaska, is the owner of a 1-year-old Australian shepherd namd Nanuq. Last month, while her family was visiting Savoonga, a city on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, Nanuq and their other family dog Starlight disappeared, according to Anchorage Daily News.

The two dogs vanished in the tundra. While Mandy’s uncle assured her that dogs run off and find their way back all the time, her dogs seemed gone for good. The family got some good news weeks later when Starlight turned up, but Nanuq was still nowhere to be found. But then, a dog was spotted in Wales, 150 miles northeast of their home — a dog that looked just like Nanuq.

“My dad texted me and said, ‘There’s a dog that looks like Nanuq in Wales,’” Mandy told the Anchorage Daily News. Locals had shared photos of the lost dog on Facebook, and when Mandy checked the site she realized it really was Nanuq.

“I was like, ‘No freakin’ way! That’s our dog! What is he doing in Wales?’”

That part is still a mystery. Nanuq survived weeks in the tundra, traveling across 150 miles of sea ice. The owner suspects he may have survived by hunting seal and birds.

“I have no idea why he ended up in Wales. Maybe the ice shifted while he was hunting,” Mandy said.

Nanuq was also found with a swollen leg with two large bite marks. It’s not clear what caused the bites: possibly a wolverine, seal or small polar bear. But considering everything he went through, Nanuq is in surprisingly good health.

Mandy used airline points to cover the expense of bringing Nanuq home. There are no direct flights from Wales to St. Lawrence Island, but Nanuq was able to board a charter flight transporting student athletes.

Nanuq’s unlikely journey home made him a local celebrity, with many people being impressed by his survival skills. His owner will never know for sure what adventures her dogs got up to in the tundra but knows they’d have quite a tale to tell.

“If dogs could talk, both of them would have one heck of a story,” she told Anchorage Daily News.

What a journey — we’re so glad Nanuq made it home! Please share this incredible news! ❤️🐾

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