Hiker Burned, 2 Dogs Die After Leaping Into Idaho Hot Springs

A man hiking through Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho suffered severe burns and his two dogs were scalded to death when both canines plunged into a hot spring and he jumped after them to try to save their lives, authorities said on Tuesday.

The freak accident occurred last week in the Panther Creek Hot Springs, where temperatures that are usually mild enough for human bathing had apparently grown dangerously high. Forest spokeswoman Amy Baumer said drought conditions in that area may have curtailed cool water flows that normally mix with the springs' geothermally heated groundwater.

The hiker, who was not publicly identified, was out walking through the mountains with his dogs last Thursday when both pets leaped into the hot springs, killing one animal outright, and the second dog later died of its burns after being taken to veterinarians for emergency treatment.

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