Fox Travels 2,176 Miles in 76 Days from Norway to Canada, Leaving Scientists 'Speechless'

A young Arctic fox traveled an incredible distance — and left scientists “speechless” in the process.

According to Greenland’s Sermitsiaq newspaper (via CBS), the animal traveled a whopping 2,176 miles in 76 days, walking from Norway’s Svalbard islands to Northern Canada.

The female fox was fitted with a GPS tracking device ahead of her journey by researchers at Norway’s Polar Institute, before she was freed into the wild in late March last year on the east coast of Spitsbergen, the Svalbard archipelago’s main island.

Less than 1 year old when she began her journey, the young fox headed west toward Greenland, where she arrived just 21 days later after covering 939 miles, according to the outlet. More than 1,200 miles further, she reached Canada’s Ellesmere Island, 76 days after leaving Svalbard.

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

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Along with the total ground covered, researchers were shocked at how quickly the fox managed to travel, having averaged more than 28 miles per day and sometimes reaching 96 miles.

According to Greenland’s Sermitsiaq newspaper, no fox has ever been recorded traveling that far, or that quickly. Fuglei — who is studying how foxes handle the dramatic changes in seasons — thinks hunger could have been a driving factor.

“There’s enough food in the summer, but it gets difficult in winter,” Fuglei said. “This is when the Arctic fox often migrates to other geographical areas to find food to survive. But this fox went much further than most others we’ve tracked before — it just shows the exceptional capacity of this little creature.”

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It’s possible the fox traveled even farther than recorded, however, researchers won’t know, as the animal’s tracker stopped working in February, according to the Polar Institute.

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