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Iditarod race musher forced to fatally shoot angry moose in wild encounter on the course

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(SKWENTNA, Alaska) — Five-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champ Dallas Seavey was forced to fatally shoot and gut what he described as an “angry moose” after the animal became entangled with his team of dogs, critically injuring one, according to officials of the famed Alaska competition.

The wild encounter occurred Monday just before 2 a.m. Alaska time about 14 miles from a race checkpoint in Skwentna, Iditarod race Marshal Warren Palfrey said in a statement.

“Race officials were notified at 1:43 a.m. that veteran musher Dalley Seavey was forced to dispatch a moose in self-defense after the moose became entangled with the dogs and the musher on the trail,” according to Palfrey.

Seavey immediately notified Alaska State Troopers and the race marshal of the encounter in keeping with the competition’s rules.

After shooting the moose with a handgun, Seavey gutted the animal as required by Rule 34 of the race.

The rule states that “in the event that an edible big game animal, i.e., moose, caribou, buffalo, is killed in defense of life or property, the musher must gut the animal and report the incident to a race official at the next checkpoint.”

After killing and gutting the moose, Seavey continued with the 1,000-mile race, stopping only to rest and feed his dogs at the Finger Lake checkpoint at 8 a.m., race officials said.

Seavey dropped off his injured dog at the Finger Lake checkpoint and carried on with the race, officials said.

The dog was flown to Anchorage, where it was being treated at a veterinary clinic.

“With help from snowmobile-aided support in the area, we are making sure that every attempt is made to utilize and salvage the moose meat,” Palfrey said in the statement.

On his Facebook page, Seavey identified his injured dog as “Faloo.”

“As a result of an angry moose on the trail, Faloo was flown to Anchorage and was taken to the Anchorage Vet Clinic,” Seavey said in the Facebook post.

He said Faloo arrived at the Anchorage clinic in critical condition and underwent surgery.

“We received an update [Monday] evening that she is out of surgery and remains in critical condition,” Seavey said. “We promise to keep you all updated once we receive more updates. We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers.”

Seavey, who last won the Iditarod in 2021, was listed in sixth place Tuesday on the race leaderboard.

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