Iditarod canine discovered months after disappearing from checkpoint

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An Iditarod sled canine was discovered protected after disappearing from a checkpoint within the race three months in the past and protecting almost 150 miles, the Iditarod Path Committee mentioned Saturday.

Musher Sebastien Dos Santos Borges of France was choosing Leon up and returning with him to France, the path committee mentioned in an announcement.

Leon went lacking in March after what the path committee mentioned was his “escape” from the Ruby checkpoint. In Might, residents of the Alaska metropolis of McGrath, over 120 miles south of the checkpoint, reported to Race Director Mark Nordman that they’d seen Leon regularly close to a cabin.

The resident of the cabin and one other musher left meals for Leon within the hopes of catching him, in keeping with the path committee. He was captured early Saturday morning and was protected, alert and “understandably skinny however seemingly wholesome,” mentioned Iditarod spokesperson Shannon Markley.

Leon was anticipated to see a veterinarian in the approaching days and wishes a well being certificates earlier than he can fly again to France, Markley mentioned.

The almost 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) race throughout Alaska started March 6 simply north of Anchorage. The route took mushers alongside Alaska’s untamed and unforgiving wilderness, together with two mountain ranges, the frozen Yukon River and Bering Sea ice alongside the state’s western shoreline. Brent Sass received the race March 15 when he crossed beneath the famed burled arch end line in Nome.

On March 12, a dozen canines had arrived with Dos Santos Borges in Ruby, a checkpoint just below 500 miles from the beginning of the race.

Dos Santos Borges left Ruby on March 13 with 11 canines, and scratched days later with 9 canines after the checkpoint in White Mountain, situated just below 900 miles (1,448 kilometers) into the race.

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Gonzalez reported from Phoenix.