Tenacious wolf plunges through ice into Michigan lake. See how it fought to survive
Six photos illustrate the story of a wolf that fought to survive after a layer of ice formed over Lake Superior in Michigan.
The frames were captured by a research team flying over the icy lake as part of the Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale project, according to MichiganLive.
In the first photo, captured the day after Lake Superior became covered by thin ice, researchers said the the wolf was seen breaking a small hole into the ice so it could get a drink of water.
Then, as the wolf was tracking another wolf that was also traveling solo on Jan. 28, it fell through the thin ice, according to a Jan. 29 Facebook post from the research project.
A photo shows a hole in the layer of ice about a half-inch thick, along with two sets of wolf tracks.
The “entry and exit paths are pretty clear, as well as the imprint of its front feet used to pull itself out,” researchers said.
Researchers shared a photo of the wolf “leaving the site of its accident,” saying the canine was “probably starting to feel the cold penetrate” through its fur.
One of the six photos was zoomed in on the tenacious wolf. Researchers pointed out its “ruffled fur,” which provided evidence that it was “well-submerged” in the icy water. Only its head and back remained out of the water, according to the organization.
The wolf was then seen trying to warm itself up by running up and down the lake shore. Sometimes it would run in tight circles, officials said, and other times it would roll in the snow.
After about five minutes of generating body heat, researches said the determined wolf lay down on the snow — in a sunny spot away from the wind — and began cleaning its fur.
The photo story shared by Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale has drawn the eyes of more than a thousand people in less than 24 hours.
“That is a lucky wolf,” one person replied. “That story could easily have ended differently.”
“Thank you for sharing this amazing story and adventure,” another person said.
“Wild animals are amazing and their various survival tactics are incredible,” one viewer wrote.
“This footage is incredible,” another Facebook user wrote. “We are all so fortunate that you were able to capture it!”
The Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale project — a partnership with Michigan Technological University, the National Park Service and the National Science Foundation — studies wolves and moose as predators and prey at a remote island “isolated by the frigid waters of Lake Superior,” according to its website.
In the organization’s 63rd annual winter study published in August, researchers estimated 28 wolves live on Isle Royale.
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