Australian Antarctic Territory :Era of the Husky

\"eraBy Suresh Rao

On September 9 2014, the Australian Antarctic Territory marked the “Era of the Husky” by releasing a set of four stamps in se-tenant pairs, a Miniature Sheet and four Maxim cards.The term husky commonly refers to snow or northern hemisphere dogs, and can include a wide range of breeds, such as the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed and many more. The thick, double-layered coats of these dogs protect them against extreme conditions. These powerful dogs can haul between 50 and 90 kilograms, and the number of dogs in a team is determined by the weight of the load to be hauled.\"era

Huskies were first used in Antarctica by the British Antarctic Expedition in 1898–1900. Little more than a decade later, Douglas Mawson used huskies during his 1911–14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition. In 1954, when Australia established its first permanent Antarctic station at Mawson, huskies were introduced to the Australian territory. These dogs had been bred from Greenland and Labrador huskies that had been left temporarily at Melbourne Zoo in 1948 by a French expedition unable to reach Antarctica due to extreme pack ice. It was agreed that any dogs bred from those left at the zoo would become Australian property, and so these became the first of the Australian Antarctic huskies

The 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty banned all introduced species, except humans, from Antarctica. In 1993, the last remaining huskies left the Australian Antarctic Territory. The older dogs lived out their days in Australia; the younger dogs went to a new life in Minnesota, USA.

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