There is an excellent animated movie titled ‘Balto’ on Netflix or Amazon Prime in case you missed it. The film featured the dog Balto as the protagonist and was released in 1995. And though the movie was great, did you know that the character Balto was based on a real-life hero dog?
Balto was a Siberian Husky and a trained team sled dog who made the headlines back in 1925 for his heroic deed. The dog, along with his team, brought the diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska. The small town was on an outbreak, and the ones who brought the cure from Anchorage were the skilled sled dogs.
Even though it has been almost a century, the country still honors Balto and his fellow sled dogs’ brave acts to this day. Balto’s life before his heroism is not well-known. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History estimated that he was born in 1919.
He was bred at Leonhard Seppala’s kennels in Nome, Alaska. Still, due to his body type being larger than an average Husky, no particular records were saved about him or his litter. Seppala speculated that Balto was around six years old when he and his companions delivered the antitoxin to Nome.
According to the Museum, Balto and his six companions were given a hero’s welcome and a parade in Public Square on March 19, 1927. They were then taken to the Brookside Zoo, now known as Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, to live their dignity.
Later on March 14, 1933, Balto, at age 14 passed away. His body now resides in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s permanent collection. To honor him and his team, a statue of Balto was erected in Central Park by the end of 1925.
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