ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 1-year-old Australian Shepherd made an epic journey across 150 miles of frozen Bering Sea ice that included being bitten by a seal or polar bear before returning safely to his Alaskan home.

Mandy Iworrigan, Nanuq’s owner who lives in Gambell, Alaska, and her family were visiting Savoonga, another community on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Strait, last month when Nanuq went missing with the family’s other dog, Starlight. . the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Starlight appeared a few weeks later, but Nanuq, which means polar bear in Siberian Yupik, was nowhere to be found.

About a month after Nanuq went missing, people in Wales, 150 miles northeast of Savoonga on Alaska’s west coast, began posting photos online of what they described as a lost dog.

“My dad texted me and said, ‘There’s a dog that looks like Nanuq in Wales,’” Iworrigan said.

Nanuq, a 1-year-old Australian Shepherd, was returned to Gambell, Alaska on April 6, 2023. Mandy Iworrigan/AP

He reactivated his Facebook account to see if it could be his wandering hound.

“I was like, ‘No way! That’s our dog! What is he doing in Wales?’” he said.

The events of Nanuq’s journey will likely always remain a mystery.

“I have no idea why it ended up in Wales. Maybe the ice moved while he was hunting,” Iworrigan said. “I’m pretty sure he ate seal carcasses or caught a seal. Probably birds too. He eats our native foods. He is clever. «

He used airline points to fly his dog back to Gambell on a regional airline last week, a letter carrying athletes for the Bering Strait School District Native Youth Olympics tournament.

iworrigan filmed the happy reunion When the plane touched down at the Savoonga airstrip, both she and her daughter Brooklyn were cheering.

Except for a swollen leg, with large bite marks from an unidentified animal, Nanuq was in fairly good health.

«Wolverine, seal, little nanuq, we don’t know, because it’s like a really big bite,» he said.