Polar / arctic fox (alopex lagopus, liska polarni, pesec) from ZOO Brno, Czech republic
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INFO ABOUT THE ANIMAL:
Name: polar/arctic fox (alopex lagopus) Location: north of Eurasia, North America, Greenland Size: 67 cm long body, 30 cm high, 40 cm long tail weight: 5 - 9 kg Diet: lemmings, Arctic Hare, eggs, and carrion, but polar foxes eat also birds, baby seals and fish. Foxes are able to hide their prey to find and eat it later. Conservation status: Least Concern (only population in Scandinavia is endangered) Interesting facts: polar foxes change their fur. They are white in winter, but then start to lose their fluffy white coat. In summer, they are dark grey and much less fluffy | because they live in cold weather, their snouts and ears are very short | polar foxes tend to form monogamous pairs in breeding season. Females give birth to 4-8 pups and both parents take care of the babies | some foxes are called ,,blue foxes“ due special colour or their coat | polar foxes are able to survive temperature – 80°C! | polar foxes often follow polar bears to eat rest of bear’s prey | polar foxes have thick fur even on their paws – that’s why they can walk on ice
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We were at faraway remote villages to photograph checkpoints of Iditarod race. I swear, the best experience comes when you are on distant checkpoints. Experiencing Iditarod with only Willow or Ceremonial Day races without checkpoints is nothing. The real Iditarod is on the trail, not on start nor finish. I cannot get over how amazing experience was in remote areas. Far away from civilization.
As I've been and witnessed in many mushing events, participated, handled and so on, I've seen dogs crossing the finish line after run and resting... but on Iditarod, I've never seen such exhausted dogs! As soon as they crossed the checkpoint line, stopped for break they instantly went to sleep. They were so tired that...
... that's right, these dogs ran 700+ miles at that moment. Here how a dog after 700 miles looks like.
I really admire the legendary, wonderful stamina of these athletic animals. I can also tell that they really enjoy that run. That was so beautiful for me to watch them for couple hours, observe and feel them that I almost cried.
As usually I'm doing my very pleasant job at mushing event as a press photographer, freezing my ass on a pile of snow, interacting with many people around, helping out with a few stuff on event and mushing. A winter season is my best season for me.
... except that fact how much I cant stand that feeling when my hands are getting frozen so fast. I have very weak type of skin and very easily I get frozen.
Mushing is really amazing sport from sporting perspective and experience itself in general. Before people will think like that: it's absolutely not where you sit on sleds and your dogs do your job- it's requires a lot of very hard and real sport, fitness, enduring and athletic activities during sporting mushing events. You share a lot of activity as dogs do. I'm specializing in Skijoring class as my main sport. As it sounds so cool where your dog pulls you, but actually it's not. Skijoring is the hardest mushing activity which require amazing endurance, strenght, skill and all sort of sport skills exactly as cross-country or cycling. With skijoring, you share equal amount of effort as your partner, dog. The faster dog you have, the more of work you have to put. I just constantly keep hearing from people how it is cool when dog pull you and you do nearly nothing/or we use dogs etc... which is a complete bullshit to hear.
Tomorrow I'll be doing some interviews with mushers and crawl in self-made igloo to take photos of dogs approaching.
Do you have any questions about mushing? Feel free to ask anything sled dog related topic! That would be very helpful for me!