January 3, 2012
Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier     Photo: lohit/Flickr

Suspected Ranger Killer Found Dead

Police say Barnes likely died of exposure

A massive manhunt for Benjamin Colton Barnes, the 24-year-old Army veteran who officials believe killed a National Parks ranger on Sunday, ended Monday evening when FBI agents found Barnes dead in a stream in Mount Rainier National Park. Police believe that Barnes likely died of exposure after evading a team of 150 law enforcement officials for more than a day. Barnes was discovered wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and only one shoe and was lying partway in Paradise Creek. Temperatures had dropped below freezing on Monday and Barnes would have been forced to navigate through as much as four feet of snow. He is believed to have shot and killed ranger Margaret Anderson Sunday morning as Anderson tried to stop his speeding car

Read more at The Seattle Times

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Freya Hoffmeister

Hoffmeister, a former bodybuilder, is known to take big risks on the water.     Photo: Courtesy of Freya Hoffmeister

Hoffmeister Rounds Cape Horn

Kayaker hopes to circumnavigate S. America

Sea kayaker Freya Hoffmeister successfully rounded Cape Horn on Tuesday, completing the most difficult and dangerous stage of her planned two-year circumnavigation of South America. Hoffmeister, who became the second person and first woman to kayak around Australia in 2009, spent about 10 days on the crossing, and faced heavy winds and rough seas. The Husum, Germany-based paddler set out from Buenos Aires last August and plans to finish the 15,000-mile paddle before her 50th birthday in May 2014.

Read more at Outside

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Tanzanian Elephant Populations Drop 42%

Poaching blamed for decline

Elephant population in two of Tanzania's largest wildlife sanctuaries fell by almost 42 percent between 2006 and 2009, according to a new wildlife census by Tanzania's Wildlife Research Institute. Elephants numbers in Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park fell from 74,900 in 2006 to 43,552 in 2009. Conservationists believe that poachers in search of elephant tusks are behind the decline. According to TRAFFIC, a non-profit that tracks wildlife trading, law enforcement officials seized a record amount of ivory in 2011.

Read more at Reuters

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Black tip reef shark

Black tip reef shark     Photo: Xplore Dive/Flickr

Hybrid Sharks Discovered off Australia

Mix of black-tip sharks is species first hybrid

Scientists from the University of Queensland on Tuesday announced that they had discovered the world's first hybrid species of sharks off Australia's eastern coast. The sharks are a mix of Australian black-tip sharks and common black-tips, which are able to survive in much colder waters than their Australian cousins. Scientists believe the hybrids may have evolved to cope with rapidly changing water temperatures. "It's very surprising because no one's ever seen shark hybrids before," said University of Queensland researcher Jess Morgan. "This is evolution in action."

Read more at Discovery News

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Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde     Photo: The Wolf/flickr

Valverde to Ride Tour Down Under

Doping ban ends for former Vuelta winner

Race organizers at the Tour Down Under on Monday confirmed that Alejandro Valverde, the 2009 Vuelta  a Espana champion who was banned from cycling for two years, will return to to competition in Adelaide, Australia later this month. In 2010, the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned Valverde for his involvement in the doping ring known as Operation Puerto. Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur has indicated that he expects the Valverde to do well. "I think he's a big threat - he's an intelligent rider and he knows where to be," Turtur said.

Read more at Cycling News

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