Thursday, August 28, 2008

Musk Ox Attacks Sled Dogs

Sprint-racer Cyrus Harris suffered an injury to his dog team Sunday, when a musk ox attacked his dogs in his dog yard at his residence near Kotzebue.

His dog, Snoopy, one of three that were attacked, suffered a wound in his stomach that appears to be non-life threatening.

Harris was able to bring the animal down with several shots from a rifle.

While the animals are common in the area, Harris said they've never been a problem before. According to Alaska Wildlife Trooper Eric Lorring, musk ox attacks are not rare, especially at this time of year, when they are in rut. His advice for anyone who encounters one is simple - get as far away from it as fast as you can.

Not the First Musher to have Musk Ox Problems

Last fall, 17-year-old musher Mellisa Owens team encountered a herd of musk ox during a training run for her rookie attempt at the Iditarod. While the dog team got tangled up in the excitement, Owens was able to get them into her truck without suffering any injuries.

Photo: Melissa Owens

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