Australian Cattle Dog Survives 6 Months on Desert Island

Sophie, who's been reunited with her family, swam five miles to reach land.

Sophie Tucker, an Australian cattle dog, spent much of her first four years lounging around inside an air-conditioned house in Queensland, Australia. So when she went overboard last November, her owners Jan and David Griffith assumed she quickly drowned in rough seas. But Sophie was a survivor: She swam five nautical miles (about six miles), landing on St. Bee’s Island in the Great Barrier Reef and living on crabs, goats and koalas.

When the Griffiths heard that park rangers had caught what was assumed to be a feral dog, they met them with a glimmer of hope. “She was apparently a little vicious when she was trapped,” Jan Griffith told the Daily Mercury of Sophie, crediting her toughness to the dingoes in her lineage. “But when she saw us she started whimpering and banging the cage. When they let her out she just about flattened us.”

Sophie has since settled back into her cushy life, even bonding with Ruby, the dog given to the Griffiths after Sophie’s disappearance.

The rangers had seen Sophie around St. Bee’s island – part of the South Cumberland Islands National Park – before setting a trap with dog food. The rangers are working on a special “pest arrest” program, hoping to eradicate “island hitchhikers” like goats – or, in this case, pet cattledogs.

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