An Arctic Fox Walked from Norway to Canada In 76 days, And Scientists Are Baffled

By lheidi - July 19, 2019

Animals will never cease to amaze us. We have completely underestimated animals and what they’re capable of. There are way too many stories of dogs saving people’s lives to count. And if there’s ever a burglar, we know that it’s going to be the family parrot that stops the robbery. And even cats, who seem so aloof, know what’s up. The cat who lies around and sleeps all day is going to end up being the one who saves your house from a fire. It totally makes sense why a city would elect a mayor as dog, because animals are low key heroes. We’re surprised that more and more cities don’t let animals rule them. Maybe we’d have less problems if we had a President Lemur and a Prime Minister Ostrich?

This one arctic fox didn’t save anyone, but he definitely baffled people. His story is nothing short of amazing.




It’s not unusual for animals to migrate based on the season. Some birds are known for traveling when the weather changes.

But one arctic fox’s recent travels are very confusing to scientists, mostly because of just how far the fox was able to go.

Furthermore, the arctic fox was able to complete her journey in just a short amount of time, which makes it all the more confusing. Was she going for some kind of world record?

Into The Wild


One arctic fox was found after she walked from the Svalbard islands in Norway to northern Canada.

Her journey covered a total of 2,179 miles, and she had to travel across sea ice and glaciers to get to Canada.

What was she trying to get to? Was it a guy? We bet it was a guy. Some girls will do anything because of love. This has to be the beginning of some kind of epic arctic fox love story.

In A Flash


The fox might have been camera shy or it might have been too fast to photograph. This is a different fox.

One arctic fox was found after she walked from the Svalbard islands in Norway to northern Canada.

Her journey covered a total of 2,179 miles, and she had to travel across sea ice and glaciers to get to Canada.

What was she trying to get to? Was it a guy? We bet it was a guy. Some girls will do anything because of love. This has to be the beginning of some kind of epic arctic fox love story.

Like A Fox


You’re probably wondering how we’re able to know that the arctic fox traveled so far and so fast.

Scientists put a tracking device on the arctic fox, then released her into the wild in March. The arctic fox is under a year old.

It turns out, her journey was taken because she was looking for food. When you’re hungry, you’ll do anything to find the perfect snack. But wouldn’t traveling that much make you even more hungry.

Breaking The Record


The arctic fox’s journey did, in fact, break the previously held record, although it didn’t end up in Guinness.

“This is the fastest movement rate recorded for this species,”  said the Polar Institute’s research paper on the fox’s journey.

Before then, the record was held by a male arctic fox in Alaska who traveled 113km in one day. What would happen if they tried to race? Now that would have been something to see. Put that up on ESPN!

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At first, the researchers tracking the arctic fox’s journey weren’t sure how it was happening.

“We couldn’t believe our eyes at first,” Eva Fuglei of the Polar Institute told Norway’s public broadcaster NRK.

“We thought perhaps it was dead, or had been carried there on a boat, but there were no boats in the area. We were quite thunderstruck.” We’re not sure if the arctic fox had been doping before she took her trip.

Final Destination


The arctic fox was released in March and got to her final destination of Ellesmere island in Canada July.

The trip had two legs. She stopped at in Greenland after traveling across 1,512km of sea ice in 21 days.

She then continued on to Canada, completing the rest of her journey. We’re not goat judge her for taking a break, mostly because we’re impressed that she was able to travel this far at all. We’d need a ton of breaks.

Slow Going


As fast as the trip was, the arctic fox did have two slow points during her journey.

The arctic fox slowed down significantly in northern Greenland, not once, but twice. But it probably wasn’t because she was thinking of quitting.

The researchers think that the arctic fox slowed down because she either wanted to wait out bad weather or she found a source of food. She wasn’t planning on making Greenland her final destination because she kept on going.

Diet Changes


The arctic fox took her journey because she was looking for food. But when she got to northern Canada, her diet actually changed.

The researchers said that when she reached Canada, she would have switched her diet from marine food resources to mostly lemmings.

We’re not sure if eating lemmings sounds better than eating fish. Actually, we’re 100% sure that it sounds worse. But maybe lemmings are just more delicious to foxes? We’re just not seeing it, here.

Food For Thought


The diet of the arctic fox actually does consist of lemmings, so it’s not like this arctic fox is going out of the way by indulging in her cravings for lemming meat.

Arctic foxes also eat voles, sea birds and their eggs, seal pups and fish.

Arctic foxes have also been known to chow down on leftover polar bears from time to time, which just sounds so savage. Don’t they know how big polar bears are?

Home Sweet Home


Arctic foxes actually know to live in areas that go for about 9.6 square miles.

However, arctic foxes are known to search for food in areas that are much wider than the area of space in which they live.

But this arctic fox has got to take the cake for searching for food in such a wide space. She went to an entirely different country on an entirely different continent just so she could get a tastier snack.

Heating Up


But even though the arctic fox’s journey is impressive, it might not be a good sign for the environment.

“This is another example of how important sea ice is to wildlife in the Arctic,” Norway’s climate and environment minister, Ola Elvestuen, told the Polar Institute.

“The warming in the north is frighteningly fast. We must cut emissions quickly to prevent the sea ice from disappearing all summer.” That’s not good.

Unknown Whereabouts


The location of the arctic fox – or even if she’s continuing her intense travels – is unknown.

The arctic fox’s tracking device stopped working in February of this year, so we’ll never know what she is up to.

We can only imagine if she’s taking the intense journey back to Norway, or if she’s decided to settle down in northern Canada. Maybe she’s planning to travel more and wants to see the Grand Canyon? One can only hope.

Mating Season


Arctic foxes tend to mate in March and April, and they usually have one mate in their life.

They will meet up with that mate in March and April, which means that this arctic fox might have to take an incredible journey back to Norway if she wants to get it on.

That is, providing she left a sweetheart behind in Norway before she took her incredible trip to Canada. The whole long distance thing might not work for her.

Animal Planet


Animals never cease to amaze us. They’re capable of some truly incredible things when it comes down to it.

We’re wondering if any other arctic foxes will break this one arctic fox’s record in the future, or if she’ll be able to be proud of herself knowing no one can top her.

This arctic fox probably has some pretty incredible stories to tell. If only she could talk to us and tell us what she saw on her trip.