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14 Animals That Changed the World

By Becky Ferreira Jun 17, 2013

13 of 15

Balto, the Arctic Savior

Since we just featured a story about an animal that destroyed a whole population, let's honor an animal that saved a whole population (this also ought to stoke the "cats versus dogs" fire a little bit... muahaha). In 1925, the Alaskan town of Nome suffered a devastating outbreak of diphtheria. The town's only airplane was frozen and would not start, so several teams of sled dogs were thrown together to rush to Anchorage for the antitoxin. For 1,000 miles, the husky Balto led the charge, braving whiteout blizzards and saving his team from treacherous rivers. His courageous journey is now honored with the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, as well as an okay movie starring Kevin Bacon as Balto.

Tags: history, animals, slideshows, nature, books-and-comics, the roman empire

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