Sakhalin Husky Extinct Dog Breeds

Also known as the Karafuto-Ken, the  Sakhalin Husky  was a magnificent sled dog which had its origins in Japan.

Sakhalin, after which the breed was named, is a large island in the Sea of Okhotsk north of Japan and off the east coast of Russia. Disputed by the two countries during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, Russia have controlled the island since the end of World War II.

Despite the fact that two purebred Sakhalin Huskies were alive in 2011, the breed is now considered extinct.

There’s a fascinating story about the  Sakhalin Husky .

In 1958, at Japan’s Showa Antarctic Research Station on East Ongul Island, Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, an emergency air evacuation took place because of impending bad weather. Forced to leave 15 dogs behind, the researchers left them chained up outside with a small supply of food, expecting that a relief team would return to the facility within a few days. They never made it. It was almost a full year before a new expedition returned, astonishingly, to find two of the dogs still alive!

Three year old brothers Taro and Jiro became worldwide heroes, immortalized in the 1983 Japanese film about their miraculous survival, Nankyoku Monogatari. A subsequent Hollywood movie, Eight Below, referenced the event, without referring to the actual details.

Of the 15 dogs, seven died attached to their chains. Six dogs managed to free themselves but were never seen again and their bodies never found. Remarkably, Taro and Jiro not only managed to free themselves, but remained near the base as if standing guard over their fallen comrades, whose bodies remained perfectly preserved in the frozen conditions.

Today, in cities across Japan, there are monuments celebrating Taro, Jiro and their companions.

Photo Credit:
The embalmed body of Japanese national hero, Jiro, on display at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno District, Tokyo. Copyright image courtesy of Suguru@Musashi. CC BY 3.0.


Sakhalin Husky
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