BALTO, Central Park

by Kevin Walsh

Balto was a Siberian Husky who led a dogsled team carrying desperately needed diphtheria antitoxin through a blizzard to Nome, Alaska, in January 1925.  A plaque below Balto’s statue is a relief of the seven sled dogs on their grueling 600-mile journey. Sculptor Frederick G. R. Roth made animals his specialty; two more of his works, Dancing Goat and Honey Bear, both from 1927, are in the Central Park Zoo. The present Iditarod sled dog race (and ultimately, the Idiotarod hipster shopping cart race held every January) was inspired by Balto and the sled dogs’ journey.

Balto can be found just south of Willowdell Arch under East Drive, just east of Literary Walk.


1 comment

David Mark February 24, 2018 - 3:45 am

He carried the serum through to Nome. I always remind my Shih Tzu, Kirby, and my three granddogs – – Riley the Great Dane-Boxer, Rowdy the Yorkie-Poodle, and Reese, the peanut- butter-colored Pomeranian – – that they would do well to imitate Balto’s example. This probably will not happen, alas.


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