Mike the puppy is seen at Denali National Park and Preserve. (Photo courtesy National Park Service)

Mike the puppy is seen at Denali National Park and Preserve. (Photo courtesy National Park Service)

Pups get the spotlight

Denali national park kennels set up “PuppyCam” to follow new additions

The Denali National Park and Preserve kennels just got a whole lot cuter.

The park welcomed five new sled dog puppies into the kennels last week and set up a live PuppyCam so canine-lovers can watch the little ones socialize with park visitors. The livecast usually happens every year, as long as the park has a litter and the proper resources to show off the pups.

Sharon Stiteler, the public affairs officer at the park, said this year is particularly special for the kennel, as it’s celebrating its 100th year in operation.

“That’s a big milestone for the park,” she said.

This year’s litter is named after the first Denali sled dogs in honor of the centennial: Bos’n, Skipper, Dynamite, Mike and Rowdy. The pups were born on June 18 to Healy sled dog Olive and Denali lead dog Steward.

Stiteler said the PuppyCam is a good way to introduce the public to the youngest members of the National Park Service team.

“We like to share our puppies and the kennel’s history with the public,” she said.

There are currently 29 adult dogs at the park that help park service staff in a variety of ways, and contribute to the cultural tradition of Alaska sled dogs, Stiteler said.

Primarily, these dogs haul equipment for research teams and other crews in the winter, she said. More than 2 million acres in Denali National Park and Preserve are designated as wilderness lands, which prohibits motorized vehicles. She said the dog teams are helping the park in the best interest of the land.

“They are an essential part of how Denali functions in the winter time,” Stiteler said.

According to a press release from the park, Denali has been the only branch of the National Park Service to have a sled dog kennel.

Tune into the PuppyCam on the Denali webcam page on the NPS website.

The kennels are open to in-person visitors at Denali National Park daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free sled dog programs are also offered at the park at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

Mike the puppy is seen with his mom, Olive, at Denali National Park and Preserve. (Photo courtesy National Park Service)

Mike the puppy is seen with his mom, Olive, at Denali National Park and Preserve. (Photo courtesy National Park Service)

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