Sailors Notice A Strange Animal Stranded On Ice Miles Out To Sea And Take The Only Humane Action

Crab fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Skilled crewmen battle frigid temperatures and rough seas all so we can enjoy those tasty crustaceans when we go out to eat at a fancy seafood buffet. Fisherman literally put their lives on the line for our appetites.

When crab fishermen set sail, they expect to encounter plenty of different sea creatures in their quest for crabs. However, as one Canadian fishing crew found out, sometimes an average day on the job can turn out to be anything but normal.

Mallory Harrigan and her boyfriend Cliff Russell, two crab fishermen from Labrador, Canada, woke up early one morning to set sail from William’s Harbour to go crabbing. Little did they know, they were about to encounter something unlike anything they’ve ever seen…

Mallory, Cliff, and the rest of their crew spent several hours loading their ship with the appropriate equipment. After everything they needed was stored securely in their vessel, it was time to set sail.

During this particular time of year, the crabs were thriving on the seafloor and catches were usually plentiful. The job was tough, the hours were long, but it was always worth the effort in the end.

The team was prepared to take on a massive haul. They were used to returning to town with thousands of crabs. However, that day they’d be hauling ashore a much different kind of cargo ashore.

The boat was slowly drifting through the harbor, and the crew was laughing and telling stories of past ventures. There were hundreds of small ice chunks floating around them, but it didn’t concern anyone on deck; the ship was designed to break through on the frozen obstacles.

The ship was a few miles off the shore when the crew noticed a flurry of seagulls that seemed to be circling one particular chunk of ice. Naturally, the crew had to sail closer to see what all the commotion was about…

From a distance, the crew could spot a small grayish animal on a piece of an iceberg. Naturally, the crew assumed it was a seal, as seals were prevalent around the harbor. But, with all the chaotic energy the seagulls were displaying, they weren’t so sure.

If the animal was a seal, it would have gotten in the water to avoid the seagulls’ frantic wrath. A crew member slowly pulled the boat up to it and the entire crew had a sudden and stark realization…

There, atop the ice and completely stranded, was an arctic fox. The poor animal, who changes the color of its coat in the winter to match the surrounding snow, was terrified. He watched the ship approach with a desperate look in his eyes. How did he end up miles away from shore?

The crew assumed the chunk of ice the fox was stranded on was originally attached to the shore, but it broke off while the animal was attempting to catch a meal. Now, it was time to step in and rescue the little guy, but how?

The fox was sitting too far in on the iceberg to reach by hand, so the crew rammed the front of their ship into the ice and broke off the chunk the fox was resting on. As soon as he fell into the water, they scooped him up with a net, but was it too late to save his life?

The fox, having no idea the crew was actually trying to save him, fought long and hard with his rescuers. But he eventually tired and the crew brought him onboard. Once there, they placed him in a makeshift bed so he could warm up and gather strength.

However, he was so frail the crew didn’t know if he would survive the journey back to shore — he’d been freezing for so long! Things weren’t looking good, and everyone onboard knew it.

For the first few hours of the trip back the fox refused to eat any of the crackers the crew placed on his bed. Then, one crew member had an idea that changed the animal’s entire demeanor…

They gave him a can of Vienna sausages and what a difference it made! The fox perked right up and ate the snack like it was the first meal he’d eaten in days, and it very well could have been. Not long after he finished, the crew pulled ashore, and it was finally time to say goodbye to their new furry friend.

The fishermen gave him a few more morsels of food to hold him over, then they left him in an old abandoned doghouse where he could shake off the harrowing ordeal. The crew hoped he would run back into the wilderness, but he wasn’t going anywhere too quickly.

The fox seemed suspicious of his surroundings initially. He peered his head out of the doghouse and surveyed the land, making sure the coast was clear for him to head back into his habitat. Then…

He darted up the hill and was gone! He had Mallory, the team, and a stomach full of delicious sausages to thank for his renewed strength. The crew headed back home, more than satisfied with their day’s work.

The crew never ended up catching any crabs that day, but what they experienced was so much more meaningful. If it weren’t for Mallory and the rest of the fishermen, the fox would have faced certain death. 

There really is a laundry list of things fishermen can find out on the water. Mallory said she still sees the fox from time to time, and it always brings her back to that special day at sea. And if anyone can relate to that sentiment, it’s these Canadian fishermen.

In May 2015, two unnamed fishermen in southeast Canada ventured out on a lake near Field, Ontario, for some recreational fishing. Suddenly, they heard a strange sound coming from the shallows…

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Typically, you might expect to find a few walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, or whitefish swimming in these chilly waters. What these fishermen stumbled upon, however, was totally unexpected.

The sound was more of a high-pitched cry than anything else. It didn’t take an expert to know that it wasn’t coming from some smallmouth bass. The source of the sound was on the shore, or rather, near the shore.

Just a few dozen feet from the fishermen’s boat was a baby moose! He was frantically treading water, and the poor thing just couldn’t gain purchase on the steep incline. His mother was unable to help. Undoubtedly, her baby was in serious trouble.

Clearly, the mama moose was doing all she could to assist her baby, but her long, stick-like legs made it difficult for her to navigate the incline. But once the men approached the shore, the mother moose charged at them. Something had to be done, or the baby moose would drown.

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The fishermen deliberated what to do. Should they help the struggling moose and risk being hurt by the mother, or should they continue with their fishing trip? They chose the second option and set the camera down, content to put some distance between them and the mother moose’s threats…

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“We decided it was best to let nature take its course,” one of the fishermen wrote online, “by letting the mama help [her] young.” They were clearly afraid that the mother moose wasn’t taking too kindly to their presence. After all, moose can be pretty territorial…

As the day waned and the fishermen cast their lines and reeled in whatever fish they could, they couldn’t shake the image of the struggling baby moose. Had his mother been able to rescue him?

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Their concern for the little moose became overwhelming, and finally, “an hour later,” one of the fishermen wrote, they “went back to see the progress.” When they arrived back on the scene, they were heartbroken…

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“The mama was nowhere to be found,” the man continued, “but the baby moose was still whimpering and struggling to get on shore.” For over an hour, the poor moose had been in a fight for his life!

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By the looks of it, the moose wouldn’t last much longer. “We noticed that the calf was extremely exhausted, because [he] started to blow bubbles out of [his] nose,” the fisherman wrote. Finally, it was time for them to jump into action.

The fishermen pulled the boat beside the young moose, and they could see right away how terrified he was. There was no telling how long he’d been stuck before the fishermen even saw him the first time. 

When they were close enough, one of the fishermen reached for the little animal. Understandably unsure of who these strange humans were, he wasn’t exactly receptive. Clearly, he wasn’t going to make this easy for them.

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Eventually, the two men managed to succeed in bringing the exhausted and very scared moose aboard their boat! But what were they supposed to do now? Moose need their mothers.

Where had the mother moose gone? Had she felt threatened by the fishermen filming her drowning baby?

The heroic fishermen couldn’t exactly just leave the baby moose alone. Without a mother to protect him, the little guy wasn’t likely to last very long in the wild anyway, in the water or on land…

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As the fishermen pet the moose to try and calm him down, they noticed just how fast and frantic his heart was beating. Chances were that the moose wouldn’t have made it much longer without their help.

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Unsure exactly what to do, the men carried the frightened moose to higher ground where he’d have solid footing again. After more than an hour in the water and being rescued by strange humans, he was certainly exhausted.

By the time they left the scene, the baby’s mother still hadn’t returned, but they still held out hope she would show. It hadn’t been too long since she had wandered off, so it was very possible that she was watching nearby.

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In the fishermen’s footage, you can see the look of pure desperation on the poor baby moose’s face as he struggled to reach solid ground. What would you do in this situation: let nature run its course? Or would you risk your life to step in?

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