WHITEHORSE — A dog has died during the Yukon Quest dog sled race for the third year in a row.
A release from race officials says Joker, a five-year-old male on the team of Czech musher Misha Wiljes, died Monday and was carried into the next checkpoint in the sled.
Race chief veterinarian Nina Hansen says a necropsy will be performed in an effort to determine why the dog died.
Wiljes, a veteran of the 1,600 kilometre Yukon Quest, finished 17th place in 2012 and is currently running in 17th spot, with about one quarter of the trail still ahead.
There’s no indication if she will pull out of the race, but the Yukon Quest website shows she left Central checkpoint in Alaska early Tuesday and was on one of the final steep ascents of the gruelling race.
Alaskan native Brent Sass won the race, crossing the finish in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Monday after setting out Feb. 2 from Whitehorse. (CKRW)
The Canadian Press