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Iditarod sled dog killed in snowmobile attack

By Eric DuVall   |   Updated March 12, 2016 at 4:55 PM
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NULATO, Alaska, March 12 (UPI) -- One Iditarod sled dog was killed and others were injured when they were hit by a snowmobile during the popular long-distance sled race in Alaska.

The incident happened early Saturday when mushers Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King were en route to a checkpoint in the village of Nulato, Alaska. Zirkle said a snowmobile driver repeatedly drove at her and her dog team. One of the animals suffered non-life threatening injuries.

A short time later, King arrived at the checkpoint and said the same thing happened to him, but this time one of the dogs, Nash, a 3-year-old male, was killed. Two other of King's dogs were also injured -- one suffering an apparent broken leg and the other knocked unconscious when the snowmobile rushed the team about 12 miles outside of Nulato.

The Alaska Dispatch News interviewed Arnold Demoski, 26, a natural resources coordinator for the Nulato tribal council, by phone Saturday about what happened.

"As soon as I woke up this morning I heard about what happened," Demoski said. "I went to check my sno-go. The front panel was missing. I knew it was me right off bat. I called the [village public safety officer] right off, told him it was me. I told him I'd do whatever they want me to do. I'll tell the troopers whatever they want to know. I feel really bad for what I did."

Demoski said he was blackout drunk the night before after drinking hard liquor.

Alaska state troopers are investigating the incident. Charges have not been filed.

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