South Korean fox crossed into North Korea, Seoul says

The fox had safely crossed the mine fields of the demilitarized zone that divides North and South.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Updated Feb. 1, 2016 at 2:55 PM
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SEOUL, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A fox released into the wild in South Korea crossed into the North beyond the heavily fortified border of the demilitarized zone, Seoul's National Park Service said.

The fox was one of ten in a pack returned to South Korea's Sobaek Mountains, and was part of a program to restore the endangered species, local television network SBS reported.

Each fox was tagged with a GPS tracking device before they were released in September 2014, and most foxes stayed within a 2-3 mile radius of their release point.

But one vixen broke ranks with the group.

According to her GPS tracking device, sometime between late 2014 and April 2015, the fox had made it as far as the hills near the North Korean industrial complex of Kaesong, where North and South run jointly operated factories.

The fox had traveled more than 120 miles, South Korean television network KBS reported, bypassing the no-man's land of DMZ mine fields that lie between the two Koreas, still technically at war since 1953.

The last signal from the animal's tracking device was transmitted on April 18, 2015, when it is likely the battery on the equipment was depleted.

The fox, however, could have been taking a route "home."

South Korean media reported the animal was procured in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang, which lies north of North Korea.

Two of the remaining nine foxes were returned to captivity, Seoul's Environment Ministry said, because they could not adapt to the wild, and another two have gone missing after the batteries died on their GPS tracking devices.

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