A man on a snowmobile attacked two Iditarod frontrunners on Saturday morning, killing one sled dog and injuring three others, the Iditarod Trail Committee announced.
According to the Iditarod release, mushers Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King reported a man on a snowmobile repeatedly attempted to harm their dog teams as they traveled to a checkpoint. King’s team was struck, resulting in the death of 3-year-old Nash and non-life threatening injuries to two other dogs: 2-year-old Banjo and 3-year-old Crosby. One of Zirkle’s dogs was also injured.
https://s.yimg.com/os/yc/html/embed-iframe-min.7b3468ff.htmlThe suspect in the attacks has been identified. An investigation was under way. The incident occurred at night near the town of Nulato, Alaska, which is on the Yukon River east of Nome.
Alaska state police gave this information in a dispatch:
Troopers reported that the snowmachine turned around multiple times and came back at her before driving away. Zirkle later had contact with the snowmachine again approximately 12 miles before reaching Nulato, where the snowmachine revved up and pointed at her before finally leaving the area. Zirkle was not injured but one dog was bruised during the incident.
Both Zirkle and King will continue the race. According to NPR, King’s sled has lights and reflectors. Zirkle reported the first attack. King, a four-time Iditarod winner, follows with his report. The assailant reportedly came at King from behind..