We still don't know the exact motivation for this young fox's journey. Perhaps she is protesting climate change? Perhaps it's a statement of female empowerment? Maybe she was simply looking for food? Or it's even a possibility that she was innately curious about what lies over the horizon? But one thing is for sure, scientists have been truly stunned by the finding.
The vixen (the technical term for a female fox) was first tagged with a gps tracker in Svalbard, which is a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
She was less than a year old when she set off at what would later average out to be 72km/day - reaching Greenland 21 days later with 1,500km of ice and snow behind her. After spending a little while in Greenland, perhaps not liking the culture, she moved on and reached Canada's Ellesmere Island, nearly 2,000 km further, just 76 days after leaving her island of birth. This is a total trip distance of 2,170 miles, at more than 44 miles per day! Not bad for a 3kg light, 30cm short (6lbs, 12 inches) 1 year old canine.
The researches tracking her progress, from the Polar Institute, created the graphic below showing the extraordinary fox's journey. Looking at the speed of her change in location, you can notice she had two distinct periods of focused travel time. Indeed, what impressed the researches is not so much the distance traveled, but the speed at which she did so.
We do not unfortunately know much about her journey other than her location over time. What she ate and how she survived, how tough or how easy her journey was, and how cold her nights alone were – this is something we can only speculate about…
Her tracker has recently stopped sending data, and so we won’t have any more insights into her spectacular life, unless she is coincidentally re-tagged some time in the future… and as of now, we don’t even have a photo of this daring vixen…