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Iditarod sled dog found months after disappearing from checkpoint

admin | June 5, 2022

An Iditarod sled dog has been found safe after disappearing from a checkpoint in the race three months ago and covering nearly 150 miles, organisers said. Musher Sebastien Dos Santos Borges travelled from France to pick Leon up, the Iditarod Trail Committee said in a statement. Leon went missing in March after what the committee described as his “escape” from the Ruby checkpoint. In May, residents of the Alaska city of McGrath, more than 120 miles (193km) south of the checkpoint, reported to race director Mark Nordman that they had frequently seen the dog near a cabin. The resident of the cabin and another musher left food out for Leon in the hope of catching him, according to the trail committee. After nearly 3 months and almost 150 miles covered since his escape from the Ruby checkpoint, the ITC is elated to announce that Leon has been found and is safely in the custody of his owner, Sebastien Dos Santos Borges. Full release here: — The Iditarod (@The_Iditarod) June 5, 2022 He was captured early on Saturday morning and was safe, alert and “understandably skinny but seemingly healthy”, said Iditarod spokeswoman Shannon Markley. Leon is expected to see a vet in the coming days and needs a health certificate before he can fly back to France, she added. The nearly 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) race across Alaska began just north of Anchorage on March 6. The route took mushers along Alaska’s untamed and unforgiving wilderness, including two mountain ranges, the frozen Yukon River and Bering Sea ice along the state’s western coastline. Brent Sass won the race March 15 when he crossed under the famed burled arch finish line in Nome. On March 12, a dozen dogs had arrived with Mr Dos Santos Borges in Ruby, a checkpoint just under 500 miles (805km) from the start of the race. The Frenchman left Ruby on March 13 with 11 dogs, and scratched days later with nine dogs after the checkpoint in White Mountain, just under 900 miles (1,448km) into the race.

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