A Lost Iditarod Dog was Reunited with His Musher After Three Months

A team of sled dogs from France, with their musher, Sebastien Dos Santos Borges, joined a nearly 1,000-mile race in Alaska in March 2022. The race began on March 6, and its starting point was north of Anchorage. Mushers took the route of the Alaskan wilderness that includes two mountain ranges, the frozen Yukon River and the Bering Sea ice. Sebastien’s team is comprised of 12 sled dogs, which he also treats as his family. However, approaching the Ruby point on March 12, Sebastian lost a team member.

While going through the Ruby checkpoint, Leon, a member of the Iditarod team, escaped. The Ruby checkpoint is 500 miles far from the race’s starting line, and Leon was reported missing by the Iditarod trail committee. Sebastien left the Ruby checkpoint with 11 dogs on March 13 and eventually passed the White Mountain checkpoint with nine dogs. But Leon was nowhere to be found and went missing for three months, despite all that Sebastien and others had done to find him.

Afterward, residents of McGrath, a city in Alaska, reported to Race Director Mark Nordman that there were sightings of Leon in the area. McGrath is just 120 miles south of the Ruby checkpoint. It was disclosed that Leon was taking refuge near a cabin. The person who resides in the cabin left food for Leon, and another musher waited for Leon as well. They were providing him with food as a chance to capture Leon. And on a Saturday morning, the trail committee was able to capture Leon. According to Iditarod spokesperson Shannon Markley, Leon was safe despite the obvious weight loss; he was still healthy.

Sebastien reunited with Leon, and he picked him up to finally return home to France. But before anything else, Sebastien must consult a vet for Leon in the coming days to acquire a medical certificate. Markley said that it was a requirement to be met to fly Leon back to France.

The lovely reunion was shared by musher Sebastien on the team’s social media pages. A lot of people celebrated Leon’s safe return to the team. Get to know the Iditarod team from France by visiting their website, and if you are interested, you can also become their sponsor. May Leon and his whole team triumph more in future trail sled dog races.

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