Mystery Disappearance ~ Missing Environmentalist's dog Kimnik found alive in High Arctic
Environmentalists Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo
A dog travelling with two Dutch environmental researchers presumed drowned in Nunavut has been found alive, according to the research organization that organized their trip. Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo were on a two-month scientific
study of ice thickness north of Resolute Bay when they disappeared.
An RCMP search and rescue effort was called off Thursday, with police
saying the men likely drowned.
RCMP spokeswoman Yvonne Niego said the territory's protection
services stop at search and rescue, and recovery options for the pair's
gear and dog were a "grey area," casting the fate of the animal,
strapped to a sled in the High Arctic, into question.
Kimnik was found walking in the bitter cold after 4 days without food
However, the Cold Facts organization was able to organize a
helicopter crew to rescue the dog, which belongs to the local wildlife
ranger in Resolute Bay. She was called "Kimnik" on the skiers' blog,
likely referring to "qimmiq," the Inuktitut word for Inuit sled dog, its
dog, referred to as Kimnik on the skiers' blog, belongs to the local
wildlife officer in Resolute Bay, and was recovered following a
helicopter rescue organized by Cold Facts. (Coldfacts.org)
Tabitha Mullin, the dog's owner, says she was happy to have her dog back.
"I was surprised at how good of shape he's in after four days of not eating," she says.
Cold Facts representatives say they are coming to terms with the loss
of their colleagues, who "gave their lives for addressing climate
change issues ... and serving science," said Marielle Feenstra, who is
with the organization.
"It's tough times for all of us," she said.
Explorer Matty McNair, who lives in Iqaluit, hosted the researchers
before they headed to Resolute Bay, says she's in "total shock" at the
news of their disappearance and presumed drowning.
"I've known Marc [Cornelissen] for a long time," she says. "We were on the ice going to the North Pole at the same time.
"You know, we've lost two really wonderful, excellent polar explorers. I'm really sad about that." Cold Facts says the dog was hungry, but doing well.
Efforts now focus on trying to recover the bodies of the researchers to help give closure to their families.