BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Four Alaska boys who were caught outside in a winter storm before being rescued a day later became lost while chasing a fox.
The boys from the community of Nunam Iqua huddled together for more than 24 hours before they were found 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of the town, KYUK-AM reported Monday.
Seven-year-old Ethan Camille said he and 2-year-old Trey Camille, 8-year-old Frank Johnson and 14-year-old Chris Johnson were riding a snowmachine for four or five hours Feb. 2.
As they were about to head inside, something lured them away from home.
“We found a real fox and we tried catch it, but it run away,” Ethan said.
Ethan and the other boys chased the fox until they eventually caught up and hit the animal.
“We rammed it,” Ethan said.
Thinking it was dead, Ethan jumped off to pick up the fox.
“That’s why it bit me,” said Ethan, whose hand was bitten twice.
Despite the animal’s attack, they continued chasing it while driving farther away from town. But the fox eventually disappeared into a storm that had grown worse since they left their town.
The snowmachine then got stuck and Chris suffered a hernia while trying to free the vehicle and pull the younger boys out of the deep snow.
When the snowmachine ran out of gas they abandoned the vehicle and attempted to walk to Nunam Iqua without a phone or compass.
After walking 4 miles (6 kilometers), the boys hunkered down in a small hole they managed to dig and remained there.
Searchers from Scammon Bay found the group the next day around 4:30 p.m.
“So that’s how we got lost,” Ethan said. “Cause we were trying to catch a fox to show my mom and my dad.”