An arctic fox trapped on a tray-shaped iceberg off the east coast of Canada was rescued by a pair of crab fishermen armed only with Vienna sausages and a dip net.

Starving Arctic Fox Rescued From Teetering Iceberg

Call it “Liveliest Catch”... crab-fishermen Mallory Harrigan and Cliff Russell were used to catching clawed critters but this time, the catch-of-the-day had fur instead of a shell. The pair, natives of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Canada's far-eastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador, had sailed out of their home port of Williams Harbour as usual and were about 4km (about 2.5 miles) offshore when they spied what appeared to be a baby seal stranded atop a tray-shaped “ice pan” - a flat shelf of ice supported above the ocean waves by a narrow frozen neck.

As they came closer, they realized the creature wasn't a seal but a shivering, no-doubt-starving, arctic fox! They had no idea how long the fox had been marooned atop the ice pan but sooner or later, the ice neck would collapse and the fox would drown. The crew decided drastic measures were called for and, unable to reach the top of the ice pan, they used their boat to ram the berg, shattering it into pieces.

Starving Arctic Fox Rescued From Teetering Iceberg

Breaking up the iceberg caused the fox to fall into the frigid Atlantic, of course, but Alan Russell (Cliff's son) quickly scooped the drenched fox out of the sea with a dip net. The lad then expertly deposited the shivering animal into an empty storage bin lined with wood chips. Mallory Harrigan offered the traumatized fox water, bread and crackers... not exactly foods a fox, even a starving one, would enjoy. A few warmed Vienna sausages did the trick, however!  

As the fox appeared to be regaining its strength, Harrigan and Russell decided the best thing they could do was to release it onto a nearby island. As this video posted at YouTube by VOCM News shows, the fox was left at a small dog house on an island where, according to Harrigan, there were freshwater ponds and “lots of little critters and stuff” to sustain it. The fox seems to nod to its rescuers before trotting off to explore its new – and much less icy – domain.