The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has claimed the life of Dorado, a five year old sled dog.
As reported on March 17 by the Associated Press, Dorado apparently died from snow asphyxiation after becoming buried in snow caused by a severe windstorm.
Paige Drobney, a rookie musher, was Dorado's owner and Paige left Dorado at an area specifically designed for dogs dropped from the race. The dog was placed in the area on Monday and Paige went on to place 34th place in the Iditarod on Thursday.
Friday morning at three a.m., all dogs in the 'drop off' area were checked. Drifting snow arrived sometime between three a.m. and daylight. Dorado was dead upon checking the dogs at daylight.
Dogs left in the checkpoint area are usually tired, injured or ill. The dogs are placed in various dog lots until they can be flown to Anchorage.
Because of the snow, the dogs were not flown to Anchorage as planned.
Dorado has had a necropsy completed and test results are awaited. Dorado was described as a 55 pound "shy but happy dog" who completed the 1000 mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in 2012.
The last dog death at the Iditarod was in 2009.
The link to this article is http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20130317/iditarod-dog-death.asp