Death was instantaneous


“Owing to this shortage of food and the fact that we needed all that we could get for ourselves, I had to order all the dogs except two teams to be shot. It was the worst job that we had had throughout the Expedition, and we felt their loss keenly.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

“Four teams of dogs were shot: Messrs. Wild’s, Crean’s, McIlroy’s and Marston’s—(comprising a total of thirty magnificent sledgers). This step has been given lengthy consideration and…the decision is a wise one. The dogs consuming one seal daily, the same lasting the entire party three days…”

— Frank Hurley

“Each dog was in turn taken off his trace and led behind a row of large ice hummocks. There Wild sat the animal in the snow, took the muzzle in his left hand, and placed the revolver close to its head. Death was instantaneous.

“Macklin and McIlroy dragged its body a short distance away, then returned to the waiting teams for the next animal. None of the dogs seemed to sense what was happening… […] When the job was done, the three men piled snow on top of the heap of dog bodies and walked slowly back to camp.

“Shackleton decided to spare Greenstreet’s team of year-old puppies ‘for the present,’ and he also granted a one-day reprieve to Hurley’s and Macklin’s teams so that they might be used to make a trip back to Ocean Camp for some of the food that had been left here.”

— Alfred Lansing, Endurance

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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