Check out our recent post on Iditarod; and see the video of the ‘race’ where dogs are forced to run 100 miles each day.
A sled dog musher in Alaska has said she prayed “not to be killed” when a moose attacked her dog team, leaving four of them seriously injured.
The bull moose charged Bridgett Watkins’ dogs and trampled on them for more than an hour before it was shot dead on the Salcha River trail system near Fairbanks on Thursday.
Ms Watkins, who was training for a race, said she “emptied her gun into” the animal, but it continued to attack before a friend arrived and killed it with one round from their rifle.
“I ran for my life,” she wrote on Facebook, “and prayed I was fast enough to not be killed in that moment. He trampled the team and then turned for us.
“As he charged me I emptied my gun into him and he never stopped. This has been the most horrific past 24 hours of my life.”
The moose stopped less than a metre from the snowmobile and she managed to cut free six dogs that were tied to it, she said.
But the moose went back to her sled and began stamping on the dogs still tethered to it, standing over them and trampling them repeatedly for more than an hour.
“I have never felt so helpless in my life,” Ms Watkins wrote. “He would not leave us alone and he even stood over the team refusing to retreat.”
She and a friend who was trailing her on a snowmobile took cover next to the vehicle before calling friends who arrived with a rifle.
The four injured dogs were taken to a nearby vet and are on the mend.
She is back training with the others in preparation for the nearly 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage next month.
Ms Watkins said: “These are freaking amazing athletes that just survived probably the most traumatic experience of any dog team ever in history, and they’re survivors and they’re still pushing through.”
The experience has shaken her, she said, but it is no different from what other people face.
“People have these situations in their life all the time. They’re just different obstacles that they have to overcome, and this is mine, and this is my story, and I just hope that I can be inspiring.”
Meat from the moose was donated to charity.
Breaking news: Following years of pressure from PETA, including protests all around the world, shocking ad campaigns, and phone calls and emails from nearly 500,000 supporters, Millennium Hotels and Resorts is dropping its sponsorship of Alaska’s deadly Iditarod dogsled race!
More than 150 dogs have died during this race, not even counting those who were killed during the off-season because they weren’t fast or fit enough to make the grade. Up to half of the dogs who start the race don’t finish it because of exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder.
Millennium Hotels joins over a dozen other companies—including Alaska Airlines, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, Jack Daniel’s, and Wells Fargo—in cutting ties with the Iditarod’s cruelty to dogs following PETA campaigns.
With the Iditarod slated to begin in less than a month, we need your help to keep the pressure going to urge other companies to drop their sponsorships, too.