Second Victim of Mount Moran Avalanche Dies

Wet slides like that which occurred on Mount Moran are particularly dangerous in afternoons after a melt-freeze cycle.     Photo: Firefox13/Wikimedia Commons

Second Victim of Mount Moran Avalanche Dies

Jackson Hole slide struck Sunday

Sunday’s avalanche on Mount Moran in Jackson Hole claimed its second victim Tuesday night, Backcountry Magazine reported Thursday.

Stephen Adamson, a 42-year-old attorney at the Jackson Hole law firm Gonnella Adamson, died at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls on May 19. He had been critically injured two days before in the avalanche on Sickle Couloir, a steep descent on 12,605-foot Mount Moran, which killed 39-year-old Jackson resident Luke Lynch.

Lynch, Adamson, mountain guide Zahan Billimoria, and local teacher Brooks Yeoman had been ascending the 3,100-foot line when a wet slide broke loose and swept the men 500 feet over rock and ice. Lynch died at the scene.

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Captive Dolphins Set to Be Released into the Wild

The dolphins were illegally caught in 2009 and 2010 and were too sick to be set free when South Korea’s supreme court mandated it in 2013.     Photo: Faris Algosaibi/Flickr

Captive Dolphins Set to Be Released into the Wild

Could bolster case for more reintroduction

Taesan and Boksoon, two Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from the Seoul Grand Zoo, could be let loose into the wild in late June, National Geographic reported Wednesday. If carried out, the dolphins would be the sixth and seventh of their kind released in the past three years.

The dolphins were among those illegally caught in 2009 and 2010 and sold to the Pacific Land entertainment park on South Korea’s Jeju Island. South Korea’s supreme court ruled in 2013 that the park had to give up Taesan, Boksoon, and two others. The others were rehabilitated in pens off Jeju and released a few months later, but Taesan and Boksoon were too sick to be set loose, so they were moved to the Seoul Grand Zoo for two years.

Taesan and Boksoon are now in a marine pen off Jeju, but they’ll need to demonstrate that they’ve regained the ability to forage for live prey before they’ll be freed. While the dolphins released in 2013 appear to be healthy, these two could be different. “Everything is case by case, and you should never prejudge the success of a second attempt based on the first,” Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, told National Geographic. “If it looks like they are struggling, I hope they have a contingency plan to rescue them and care for them.”

If the release goes ahead as planned, it could poke a hole in the argument from marine parks in the United States and abroad that dolphins and whales won’t survive in the wild after spending their lives in captivity. “These efforts are demonstrating the feasibility of rehabilitating and releasing dolphins and whales who have been in captivity for several years,” Lori Marino, executive director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, told Tim Zimmermann, the writer of the National Geographic piece. Zimmerman is an Outside correspondent whose coverage of the death of a SeaWorld trainer led to the award-winning 2013 documentary Blackfish.

Until the planned release date, Taesan and Boksoon will be weaned off human contact so they no longer associate people as food providers. It’ll also help them reorient to an ocean habitat.

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USPS Benefited More from Victories, Armstrong Says

USPS has valued its sponsorship of Lance Armstrong at $140 million.     Photo: Wikimedia Commons

USPS Benefited More from Victories, Armstrong Says

Files to counter fraud claims

Attorneys for Lance Armstrong filed documents in federal court on Tuesday, arguing that his seven consecutive Tour de France victories were worth much more to the U.S. Postal Service, his sponsor, than they were to him, according to the AP.

As Outside reported last month, the USPS is a co-claimant in a lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis against Armstrong in 2010 under the False Claims Act. The claimants argue that the doping and subsequent cover-up Armstrong committed when he was sponsored by the USPS amounted to defrauding the federal government. In joining the case, the USPS has sought to recoup the nearly $40 million it spent on his sponsorship, with total damages approaching $100 million.

This week’s filing is meant to counter the USPS’s fraud claims, asserting that the investment in Armstrong paid for itself “many times over.” Among the documents filed by Armstrong’s attorneys are reviews by the USPS of its own contracts, which estimate the value of the sponsorship at $140 million in improved exposure and product sales. In addition to this, a talking points memo written in 2003 said the sponsorship “may be one of the most effective public relations ventures the Postal Service, and for that matter, any other global service agency, has ever undertaken.”

Armstrong meanwhile is seeking to interview dozens of government employees to show that the USPS was “well aware of extensive doping,” a statement which, if proven, would greatly weaken the argument that he had defrauded them. The conflict over potential witnesses has been fought both ways. Prosecutors are still waiting for a ruling as to whether they can subpoena Armstrong’s former partner Anna Hansen to interview her about the cyclist’s history as a fabulist. Armstrong’s attorneys have described the request as a form of harassment.

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WATCH: Circus Lion Steps on Grass for First Time

Will the lion had spent 13 years in a cage.     Photo: Wikimedia Commons

WATCH: Circus Lion Steps on Grass for First Time

Had been in a cage his whole life

A powerful video uploaded to YouTube last week shows a lion named Will experiencing the feeling of soil and grass beneath his feet for the first time.

Will had spent his whole life confined to a cage while performing with a Brazilian circus, according to National Geographic. Retiring from performances after 13 years in a cramped cage, Will’s reaction to the moment was priceless. Check out the heartbreaking video:

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