Poachers Attack Activists in Costa Rica

Project Jairo volunteers release sea turtle hatchlings into the ocean during the night. Two were injured during a routine nighttime patrol on Pacuare Beach.     Photo: Sea Shepherd

Poachers Attack Activists in Costa Rica

Two injured while protecting endangered turtles

Two volunteers for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society were injured during a confrontation with poachers in Costa Rica last Thursday, according to a press release on the organization’s website. Costa Rica’s population of leatherback sea turtles has suffered greatly in recent years from the activities of egg poachers, who rob turtle eggs from nests on the beach to sell as an aphrodisiac.

Sea Shepherd, an ocean conservationist group specializing in direct-action tactics, reported that the volunteers were patrolling Pacuare Beach when more than ten poachers, wielding branches and machetes, attacked them without provocation. The poachers shots at the guards after a security guard working for Sea Shepherd fired eight shots into the sand in an effort to scare the attackers away. (This isn’t the first time protecting sea turtle eggs has triggered violence. In 2013, an activist was murdered on Costa Rica’s Playa Moín, Outside reported.)

Although two were injured—including Brett Bradley, the ground leader for Operation Jairo (Sea Shepherd’s turtle defense campaign), and media crewmember Ellen Campbell—Bradley has since confirmed that all volunteers have been looked after and are undeterred. 

“The criminal poachers targeting Costa Rica’s endangered sea turtles are becoming increasingly frustrated that Sea Shepherd’s ground crew volunteers are standing in the way of their illegal activities,” David Hance, campaign coordinator for Sea Shepherd, said in the release. “Our team reports that after experiencing this violence at the hands of the poachers, they are more determined than ever to continue to protect the turtles.”

Sea Shepherd’s representatives traced the attack to an encounter on June 4 with a poacher on Pacuare Beach. They prevented him from stealing leatherback sea turtle eggs by physically surrounding the female turtle until it had finished nesting and returned to the ocean. Later in the month, a confidential informant told the group that poachers were planning to pursue a strategy of physical intimidation, after which the group informed the Costa Rican Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ). The group will file another complaint with OIJ in Bataan, Limon, following Thursday’s attack.

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Expedition Alaska Adventure Race Underway

The multisport race will take teams across glaciers, down rivers, over lakes, and through forests.     Photo: Expedition Alaska Adventure Race/Facebook

Expedition Alaska Adventure Race Underway

20 teams will race 350 miles

The Expedition Alaska Adventure Race, a 350-mile multisport race through the Alaskan backcountry, began Sunday with a long trail-running stage, according to a press release from the event’s organizer, Perpetual Motion Events.
 
Twenty coed teams from 11 different countries are competing in the event, which will take them across glaciers, down rivers, over lakes, and through forests. They will trek, trail run, mountain bike, and paddle before reaching the finish line in Seward on Sunday, July 5.
 
The race is one in a series of 12 events held around the world each year. The winner of the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race will earn automatic entry into the Adventure Racing World Series, which will be held in Brazil this November.

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Montano Wins USATF Outdoor 800 Meters

Alysia Montano gave birth to her daughter in August.     Photo: Courtesy of NYAC

Montano Wins USATF Outdoor 800 Meters

Gave birth 11 months ago

Alysia Montano won her sixth outdoor 800 meters on Sunday, according to USA Track and Field (USATF). She gave birth to her daughter 11 months prior to the meet. (She is also known for running the USATF Outdoor Championships while eight months pregnant in 2014.) 

“Coming back from pregnancy and winning a national title—I didn’t know it would happen this soon,” Montano told USATF. “I’ve had to scale back my training, and I’m still breastfeeding.”

While this was her biggest win since childbirth, Montano also won the USATF Indoor Championship 600 meters sixth months after giving birth, sparking debate over how soon an athlete can come back to racing and training postpartum

Watch Montano’s race below:

 

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Flash Flood Kills Boy Scout

About 20,000 Boy Scouts visit Philmont Scout Ranch each year.     Photo: JupiterSSJ4/Flickr

Flash Flood Kills Boy Scout

One of four teens swept away in New Mexico

One Boy Scout died in a flash flood at New Mexico’s Philmont Scout Ranch on Saturday, the AP reported. Four of eight teens in the group were swept away when water flooded their campsite. A search and rescue team was able to save three of the four. 

The campers were on a 12-day hike when floodwaters near North Ponil Canyon hit them. “The health and safety of our youth members is our top priority,” the ranch said in a statement. “Our staff immediately began making contact with all crews and participants throughout the backcountry to offer assistance and assure the safety of all participants.”

About 20,000 Boy Scouts visit Philmont Scout Ranch each year.

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Scott Jurek Hints at Retirement

Scott Jurek stands at the border of Georgia and North Carolina on the Appalachian Trail.     Photo: Scott Jurek/Twitter

Scott Jurek Hints at Retirement

Once AT speed record attempt is complete

Ultrarunner Scott Jurek’s attempt at the fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail may be his last run as a pro. “Scott considers this run to be his ‘masterpiece’ and has talked of retiring from competitive running once this attempt is complete,” according to a June 25 press release from his sponsor, Ultimate Direction. His wife, Jenny Jurek, confirmed to Outside in a text message from the trail that this is true. “Yes, he might officially retire from racing after this, although he will always run and do races for run,” she wrote.

Jurek, who was featured in the bestselling book Born to Run, is one of the best ultrarunners of all time, with seven consecutive Western States Endurance Run wins and two Badwater Ultramarathon wins. He’s presently on track to set a new world record for a supported thru-hike of the 2,185-mile Appalachian Trail. The current record, set by Jennifer Pharr Davis in 2011, stands at 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. Jurek is on track to finish in just 42 days, on July 7.

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15 Injured in Mount Bierstadt Lightning Strike

Denver and the Colorado Front Range have been experiencing severe thunderstorms in the past week.     Photo: Chad K/Flickr

15 Injured in Mount Bierstadt Lightning Strike

Popular trail hit by early, severe storm

Fifteen people were injured, and one dog was killed, after a lightning strike on 14,065-foot Mount Bierstadt, a popular 14er that lies 45 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado. The strike occurred at 11:30 a.m., which is early in the day for cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, but not unheard of. According to the Denver Post, as many as 100 people were on the three-mile trail that ascends 2,400 feet from the parking lot on Guanella Pass. The mountain is extremely popular in the summer because of its short, walking approach and its proximity to Denver. 

As a general rule of thumb, hikers try to be off the summits of the rockies by noon. But Denver and the Colorado Front Range have been experiencing severe thunderstorms for the last four days that have produced serious flooding. In July 2010, a group of 17 people were struck by lightning on Wyoming’s Grand Teton. That storm also struck early, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

By 5:30 p.m., all of the injured had been evacuated or walked back to their cars. 

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