The BBC reports on at least 40 incidents of killer whales attacking boats off the coasts of Spain and Portugal.
[There have been] at least 40 similar incidents in the area. During the summer of 2020, the strangest of summers for so many of us, a group of killer whales off the coast of Spain and Portugal began to act very strangely indeed.
Accounts of the incidents suggested that the animals were deliberately targeting sailing boats. As David puts it: â€œThey came to us, not the other way around.â€
The first reported incident was back in July, the most recent at the end of October.
Behind international headlines about â€œrogue killer whalesâ€, â€œorchestratedâ€ orca attacks and the videos shared thousands of times on social media, there is a forensic marine science investigation that is still trying to work out what is driving these complex, intelligent and highly social marine mammals to behave in this way. …
In July, a sailing vessel had to be towed back to shore after a group of orcas repeatedly hit and damaged its rudder.
In August, a French-flagged vessel radioed the coastguard to say it was â€œunder attackâ€ from killer whales.
Later that same day, a Spanish naval yacht, Mirfak, lost part of its rudder after an encounter with orcas. A video of that incident showed the crew trying to outrun the animals, which appeared to pursue the boat.
In September, a man sailing his boat home to Scotland from Spain suddenly had the wheel spun out of his hands. A killer whale broke the surface at the side of the boat and he says that for 45 minutes, the animals bashed and chewed at the rudder, spinning the boat around.
â€œItâ€™s getting worse and worse,â€ says Dr Renaud de Stephanis, another biologist involved in the investigation.
Personally, I have a low opinion of the intelligence of people who go out in wilderness areas inhabited by large predators unarmed. His inane dialogue, “Dude!” had me rooting for the lion very soon.
If I were in his position, I’d have gotten fed up with that lion’s chutzpah early on and picked up a nice large rock or a stout stick and gone on the offensive. I suspect that lion would have run as soon as she saw a human bend over and pick up a rock. She certainly would have run if the human advanced on her with visible belligerent intent.
The nudists and vegetarians at the Mountain Lion Foundation, naturally, have rushed to defend that insolent lion’s behavior, and, of course, they think the millennial did exactly the right things. (groan!)
The Independent has new details on the recent South Carolina alligator victim’s final moments.
A woman was killed by an alligator as she attempted to touch the animal after spotting it in a nearby pond, authorities said.
Cynthia Covert, 58, was at her friendâ€™s home on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, painting her nails. According to the police report, the friend said Ms Covert was â€œvery talkative and strangeâ€.
â€œAt the salon Covert acts very professional but today she was very relaxed and excited that her boyfriend was coming from Tennessee to visit,â€ the friend added, The Post and Courier reported. Ms Covert had one glass of wine during the interaction but the friend did not know if she was on other substances.
After doing the womanâ€™s nails, Ms Covert reportedly spotted the alligator in the pond and was â€œfascinatedâ€ by the animal.
Ms Covert walked over to the pond and started taking pictures of the animal, at which point the friend warned about how she saw a deer getting attacked by the alligator at that same location, deputies said.
â€œI donâ€™t look like a deer.â€ Ms Covert responded before she reportedly reached out to touch the animal.
It then attacked and grabbed the womanâ€™s leg, pulling her into the water.
â€œI guess I wonâ€™t do this again,â€ Ms Covert was heard saying after the alligator grabbed her, according to the police report.
CBS News also has a video, explaining that the woman tried to stop the alligator from taking her dog. It attacked her instead.
Deputies in South Carolina shot and killed an alligator that fatally attacked a woman on Friday, authorities said. CBS affiliate WCSC-TV reports that the coroner identified the victim as Cynthia Covert, 58, of Johns Island.
The officers were called to a pond on Kiawah Island around 5 p.m. and saw the animal attack, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said. Covert was found dead and deputies retrieved the alligator’s carcass to help with the investigation.
The letter we are about to read was sent by a soldier of the West Riding, stationed at Mhow, in India, to his sister, in Bradford, on 7th April 1926.
At the time, Britain was at the height of its powers in India and ruled over a third of the globe. British soldiers and administrators had access to wonderful sporting opportunities and it is on one of these outings that our story unfolds.
The subject of the letter is the unfortunate Major George Pritchard Taylor D.S.O, M.C. M.B of the Royal Army Medical Corps, in which he served form 1909 until 1926.
His career took him to South Africa, France, Russia and India on active service and he was well-decorated and considered an expert revolver and rifle shot. He was an experienced big game hunter and as well as a good polo player and horseman. He was nick-named â€˜Dare-devil Taylorâ€™ during the First World War.
7th April 1926
What a week of adventure! Itâ€™s nearly taken by breath away. As I told you last week, I went out fishing during the holidays and had quite a good time on the first and second days (Friday & Saturday). I caught 24 fish on Friday and 14 on Saturday; not too bad for one man especially when you know the smallest weighed a pound and a half and the biggest (a carp) five and a quarter pounds.
Well, anyway to get on with the yarn, Iâ€™d just nicely got settled on Sunday when I saw a boat put out over the lake with and officer and his wife going over the other side for a bit of shooting.
Everything went on alright for about an hour, when suddenly two shots went off almost together, followed after a second or two by by a third and then there came such a scream, I have heard it ever since.
Naturally, I looked across to where the sound came from. I saw the woman signalling to me so I ran round to her and she told me she and her husband had come across a tiger and without being fired at or anything the damned thing had sprung at them. The officer was only loaded with duck shot but he let it have both barrels of that at its head and then tried to load again but got a jam and, by this time, the tiger had grabbed his right arm.
He managed somehow or other to to slip a lethal cartridge into the barrel and let it have that from the left shoulder with one hand and then it got him. That was when he screamed.
His wife picked up the gun and smashed it across the tigerâ€™s back and the tiger slunk away so she left her husband and called me. Well, we found him, or rather what was left of him. He was practically eaten up.
When we were in Kurdistan I saw a fellow with twenty nine bullets in him, but he didnâ€™t look a hundredth part as bad as this poor blighter did.
Anyhow, we managed to get him to the boat and rowed him to the other side, where we managed to get hold of some niggers to help lift him to his car. We got a charpey (native bed) and used it as a stretcher right across the car and took him down to Mhow.
I have never seen a woman show such superb nerve as his wife, firstly by smashing the gun over the tigerâ€™s back, and then by driving the car a distance of eleven miles to the hospital, without even crying, although she cracked-up as soon as we got him there.
The most pathetic part about the whole think was the manâ€™s pluck.. Although he must have lost quite three parts of the blood in him he kept on talking the whole me.
He said to me â€œBy God, corporal, that tiger gave me the finest five minutes of my life.â€, and then he said to his wife â€œIt was damned good while it lasted, wasnâ€™t it old lady.â€ However, Iâ€™m sorry to say that neither of their pluck was any good – he died on Tuesday.
The tiger was afterwards found dead a hundred and fifty yards away from where I was fishing.
Colin Dowler, on his 45th birthday, went camping overnight and trail biking on Mount Doogie Dowler, a 7,000-foot peak overlooking Heriot Bay in British Columbia.
When attacked by a Grizzly, this being Canada, he had nothing to defend himself but a tiny Buck pocketknife. (Outside magazine)
As soon as I got out of the bush and onto my mountain bike, I was on the home stretch. I was excited about celebrating my birthday when I got back.
Peddling away, I came around a bend, and there was a grizzly bear, about a hundred feet in front of me. So I stopped and said, â€œHey bear,â€ because thatâ€™s what you do when you see one.
He looked into the bush, looked back up the road, and started walking my way. I kept talking to him. I decided not to turn around to get out of there, but in hindsight, maybe I should have.
The grizzly was pretty close, and my bear spray was gone. It fell out of my backpack somewhere on the mountain. So I grabbed one of my hiking poles and extended it to use as some sort of deterrent. I was still straddling my bike in the hopes that the bear would just step off the trail.
Itâ€™s a logging road, so it was basically two tire marks with a bump in the middle. He continued to saunter up the road toward me but stayed in his lane. He ended up getting pretty close, maybe 20 feet away. It made me nervous that he hadnâ€™t left yet.
I stepped off my bike, and he kind of shuddered, like he was a little bit jumpy in that moment. He kept approaching until his head was parallel with my front tire, and as he walked past, he dipped his head down. We made a little bit of eye contact, and I looked away, because eye contact didnâ€™t really seem like something I wanted to do.
I remember thinking as he was walking by, Man, this would be cool to video. Iâ€™d have footage of a bear walking just clean by me and carrying on his way.
He kept walking by until his rump was almost past my rear tire. And then he did a 180-degree turn.
I spin around, standing with my mountain bike between us. He shuddered again and started walking toward me. I started backing up and talking to him again. I was just trying to speak nicely to the bear in hopes that he would change his mind.
I held out my hiking pole as he approached. I ended up poking him right in the top of the head. He pushed into it, did a flip move with his head that rolled off the pole, and got his mouth onto it. We had a tug-of-war, until he let go of it and started closing in on me again.
I dropped the pole and kept backing up. I flung my backpack between us, hopeful that some food in one of the outside pockets would keep him busy for a bit. He stopped and took a quick sniff, but after maybe half a second, he was coming toward me again.
Then he began doing very slow, deliberate swats at my bike. The first one was pretty mild, but then they got more powerful. As he swatted, I threw my bike at him, and he got briefly hung up on it, but then he lunged forward and grabbed me between my ribs and my left hip.
Thatâ€™s when it really sank inâ€”I was in trouble.
Charlie Winter is a devoted dad who would do anything for his kids. He’d throw himself in front a train â€” and even a shark.
That’s exactly what the North Carolina dad did Sunday when his 17-year-old daughter, Paige, was attacked by a shark in Atlantic Beach at Fort Macon State Park. The heroic dad punched the shark five times to save his daughter’s life.
â€œThey were standing in waist-deep water and chatting and then Paige suddenly got pulled under,â€ close family friend Brandon Bersch told TODAY Parents. As soon as Charlie realized what was happening, he jumped into action and began striking the shark on the nose. â€œCharlie wouldnâ€™t stop until it released his little girl,â€ Brandon said. â€œHe lives for his children.”
Charlie, a veteran firefighter and paramedic, immediately knew the extent of Paigeâ€™s trauma and began applying pressure on her leg while hurrying back to shoreline. â€œHe remained calm the entire time,â€ Bersch told TODAY Parents. â€œPaige is alive today because of her father.â€
Paige was airlifted 80 miles to Greenvilleâ€™s Vidant Medical Center where she underwent emergency surgery including a leg amputation. The high school junior, who also suffered severe trauma to both of her hands, has a long road ahead. (A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Paigeâ€™s medical expenses.) â€œPaige has more surgeries upcoming, but she’s really optimistic,” Bersch revealed. “As soon as Paige woke up at the hospital, she made a comment about how she doesnâ€™t have animosity toward sharks and she still loves the sea.â€ …
Bowling applauds how Charlie handled a terrifying situation. â€œHitting a shark in the snout or the gills is the best defense if you are being attacked,â€ he told TODAY Parents. â€œHe absolutely did the right thing.â€
In 2013, Charlie rescued a then 2-year-old boy from a home that was fully engulfed in flames. His act of heroism earned him the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US National Firefighter Award. As Bersch told TODAY Parents, “Charlie is the bravest man I know
The political/cultural divide extends conspicuously into the Outdoors.
The Outdoors Right fishes and hunts. The Extreme Outdoors Right shoots big game and/or hunts par force du chien. The Outdoors Right wears safari jackets, canvas hunting coats, camo for duck and turkey hunting, and Scarlet Hunt Uniforms for fox hunting.
The Outdoors Left hikes, bicycles, kayaks, rafts, rock climbs, and skis. The Outdoors Left wears the latest artificial fabric in Life -Saver-flavor colors.
The Outdoors Right remembers shopping at the old (the real) Abercrombie & Fitch and Wm. Mills, and buying from the Herter’s catalogue. We still shop at L.L. Bean, Filson, Woolrich, and Cabela’s. We used to buy from Orvis, but now they do.
The Outdoors Left buys from Patagonia, Northern Mountain, and REI.
We lust after custom shotguns. They yearn for custom bicycles and hiking boots.
There is surprisingly little overlap between the two worlds, though –regrettably– A River Runs Through It (1992) resulted in a lot of unwelcome cross-over into fly fishing. Men used to say: “I never met a fly fisherman I didn’t like.” Not anymore. When I see some fashionista on the stream loaded down with expensive, brand-new Orvis equipment, I feel like pushing him in.
I sometimes read Outside magazine, and I commonly marvel (and bristle with indignation) over the cultural differences.
We Outdoors Right types would never dream of spending time in the territory of large predators unarmed. The readership of Outside Magazine is capable of debating the ethics of spraying Old Ephraim in the snout with pepper spray. They bicycle through Mountain Lion country. They camp, unarmed, among the grizzlies. And as you will read in the linked article from the Outside Magazine archives on the late Hendrk Coetzee, the Outdoors Left will go kayaking in cannibal-infested regions of the Congo and down rivers full of crocodiles.
Whitewater kayaker Hendrik Coetzee had decided to call it a career after a decade of first descents on the wildest rivers in Africa. The riverâ€™s most feared predator had a different ending in store.
This photo was found under his bunk after his passing and the speculation is that it was simply one of his pranks.
Living in the same type of wild country, just across the Shelikov straights from Kodiak, I considered posing a similar scene with one of the old bear skulls we have found and a human skull we found at a WWII airplane wreck.