Heroic Taxidermy Animals

We love stories of brave, loyal, and heroic animals. We've posted a lot of them. But did you know you can still see quite a few famous animals, preserved for all time? After all, if we can display the remains of animals that were hunted, why not animals whose memories are revered? For example, you've surely heard of the sled dog named Balto.

With snowbound conditions and a fatal outbreak of the highly contagious diphtheria, Nome, Alaska, in 1925 was facing the possibility of a huge mortality rate if medicine didn't arrive soon. The problem was, no planes or cars could get there; the only way to stop the spread of the disease was to bring the serum with a relay of dog sled teams.

The teams trekked along the Iditarod Trail from Achorage with the antidote, with the last stretch of 54 miles coming down to Gunner Kaassen and his team, which had in the lead a Siberian husky named Balto. Through whiteout blizzard conditions, Kaassen became disoriented, but Balto never swayed and kept on through the snow. On February 2, 1925, they arrived in Nome with the medicine.  

Balto became a celebrity, and when he died in 1933, his remains were preserved. You can see him at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Atlas Obscura has a list of ten places where you can see eleven preserved animal celebrities: dogs, horses, and even a hippopotamus, their stories included. Link

(Image credit: Scaranol at en.wikipedia)

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Togo and his musher Leonhard Seppala are the real heros of the Nome serum run. They ran the longest and hardest part of the run. They traveled over 170 miles in 3 days (and another 180 to return), including over the open ice of Norton Sound. After the run, Togo could never run again. His remains are in Wasilla, AK at the sled dog museum. Balto and Gunner are far less interesting if you ask me.
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Not to downplay Balto's accomplishment, but anyone interested should look up Togo- the sled team lead that got the medicine to Balto in the first place.
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