Iditarod officials report first dog death of 2002 race

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2002

RUBY, Alaska (AP) -- Race officials have reported the first dog death in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The dead dog is a 5-year-old male, Goro, belonging to musher Jim Oehlschlaeger of Cincinnati, Ohio. Race marshal Mark Nordman said the dog died at about 9 p.m. Sunday as Oehlschlaeger's team approached Ruby. Oehlschlaeger checked into Ruby at about 9:20 p.m. Sunday.

Nordman said Oehlschlaeger was distraught over the death of his dog. The musher had planned to take his mandatory eight-hour layover in Ruby, which is about 500 miles from the Nome finish.

Nordman said he reviewed the case and found nothing to keep Oehlschlaeger from continuing the race. Oehlschlaeger left Ruby with 12 dogs at 7:25 a.m. Monday.

A necropsy will be performed on the dog to try to determine why the animal died, according to Nordman. He said a cause of death might be determined as early as Monday evening.

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