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Pete Thomas
Solana Beach, California
Former Los Angeles Times outdoors reporter; now writes for this website, GrindTv.com and Yahoo homepage
Interests: Outdoor activities, reading, good food, beer and wine
Recent Activity
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A haunting image showing the bobbing head of an elephant seal, an eye still open on its pallid face, leaves little mystery as to what killed the mammal. The image, captured Tuesday by Eric Mailander off Monterey, Calif., was posted to Facebook with the description: “A gruesome find on the Monterey Bay. The decapitated head of an elephant seal that was the victim of a very large white shark, judging from the tooth prints." Adult white sharks congregate near Central California elephant seal rookeries in the fall, to feed on the blubbery pinnipeds, which can weigh up to 4,500 pounds.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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A 260-pound male grizzly bear died after being struck by a vehicle Sunday in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. The park issued a news release Monday, explaining that the investigation is complete and that no citations were issued. The collision occurred at about 5:30 a.m. on U.S. Highway 89/26/191. However, rangers were not informed until 9:30 a.m., when another motorist reported sighting a bear carcass next to the highway. A damaged vehicle was parked nearby. Rangers later located the owner, who explained that the accidental collision occurred in the predawn darkness. The park concluded its news release with this notice... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Cecil the Lion By Pete Thomas A guide who was involved in the controversial Cecil the Lion trophy hunt last year has been arrested in Zimbabwe and charged with illegally killing a roan antelope. Headman Sibanda, 56, was arrested Thursday after authorities received a tip about his alleged involvement in poaching an endangered roan antelope. According to Times Live, killing a roan antelope in Zimbabwe carries a maximum sentence of nine years in prison. Sibanda was jailed, but planned to apply for bail. Roan antelope The roan antelope is found mostly in savannas in West and Central Africa. It has... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas A diver hoping to photograph great white sharks from the safety of a metal cage instead found himself hunkering down while a crazed shark – which had somehow broke through the bars to join the man – tried desperately to escape. "Oh God... I almost had a heart attack," the diver says in the accompanying video, in the aftermath of his harrowing encounter. It was the second time in less than a month that a great white shark had entered an occupied cage at Mexico’s Guadalupe Island. During the latest incident, the shark was following a chunk... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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A hunter in Alaska was attacked by a grizzly bear on Saturday, but spared serious injury when his partner shot and killed the bear. The incident occurred on Chichagof Island near Neka Bay. Josh Dybdahl, 30, was hunting deer with Anthony Lindoff, 36, when the bear charged from the brush and pinned Dybdahl to the ground. According to KTUU, the grizzly with her two cubs. The men heard a “whoof” before the bear charged, presumably after being startled. After pinning Dybdahl, the bear head-butted the man, while Lindoff retrieved a rifle from his pack and shot the bear. The men... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
A photographer on a dive tour off Tonga last week videotaped a vivid scene involving a humpback whale that breached and splashed down within yards of where he and other snorkelers were treading water. “It was the most surreal and incredible experience... being meters from this Humpback Whale when it breached and landed next to me,” Beau Pilgrim wrote on Facebook. “Such an amazing adrenaline rush!” Pilgrim, who was with Swimming with Gentle Giants, told 9 News that he was not concerned about his safety – had the 30- to 40-ton mammal landed on any of the snorkelers, the result... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Viral shark image since pulled from Facebook By Pete Thomas An image showing a diver taming a great white shark with a gloved hand placed on the snout of the predator whipped up a social media frenzy over the weekend, as viewers debated the validity of the photograph. There were no details regarding the image, other than this description on the Perth & WA Fishing Reports Facebook page: “My bro sent me this photo taken of a local diver near Augusta [Australia] pushing away this great white with his glove on the nose. When done right it temporarily sedates the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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**Tuesday morning update: Javier has diminished to tropical depression status – earlier than expected – and is expected to become a remnant soon. Warnings and watches are no longer in effect. Tropical Storm Javier on Monday delivered heavy rain throughout Baja California Sur, flooding streets and creating a fair amount of chaos. But as of Monday afternoon, powerful storm winds were not yet evident. That was expected to change, however. At 2 p.m., Javier’s center was positioned about 35 miles south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas at Baja California's tip, poised to make landfall with maximum sustained gusts of 65 mph.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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A blue marlin weighing 1,234 pounds was caught Sunday at the Cape Verde Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa, becoming the fourth marlin this year to tip a scale at 1,000 pounds or more. The massive billfish was caught aboard the vessel Black Marlin, by Heiko Steinmetz, after a fight lasting nearly three hours. Steinmetz, who now has three “granders” to his credit, is bound to be criticized for killing the marlin, if the story circulates beyond fishing circles. But granders are somewhat rare. The first of the four caught this year also was landed off the Cape Verde... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas A tropical storm warning was issued Sunday for a portion of mainland Mexico and much of Baja California Sur, including Cabo San Lucas, as Tropical Storm Javier takes aim at the Baja California peninsula. On Sunday afternoon, Javier was located 85 miles southwest of Puerto Vallarta, and traveling west-northwest at mph. Javier boasted winds of 45 mph and was expected to strengthen, but the storm is not expected to attain hurricane strength (74 mph). However, Javier will deliver heavy rain over a vast area – including both sides of the Baja peninsula – and could generate dangerous... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas When a large humpback whale washed ashore dead at Dockweiler State Beach on June 30, there was concern that the carcass would attract sharks. Keith Poe knew it'd attract sharks, so when the whale was towed offshore for at least the third time last week – it kept drifting back in during previous attempts – the renowned shark tagger found the carcass 10 miles out in the hope of tagging and releasing sharks for science. But the sharks ended up tagging Poe. Great white sharks, including one measuring about 18 feet, slammed his 24-foot boat sporadically over... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas With sea surface temperatures climbing well into the 70s in many areas off Southern California, anglers eagerly await a predicted invasion of dorado from subtropical waters. But some of the acrobatic (and delectable) game fish have already arrived, and on Saturday a drone pilot from Orange County Outdoors captured video footage of two large dorado, or mahimahi, swimming three miles off Newport Beach. A video posted by Orange County Outdoors (@orange_county_outdoors) on Jul 9, 2016 at 3:15pm PDT The footage, captured by Mark Girardeau during a whale-watching voyage with Newport Coastal Adventure, is sure to get the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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A jogger in Pacifica, Calif., was astonished to see a humpback whale swimming toward her through the surf, seemingly about to beach itself at her feet. “Whoa, stay back, buddy!,” Roberta Gamble says to the whale, while videotaping the rare encounter earlier this week. Humpback whales were feeding beyond the surf zone, but this whale chased a school of anchovies almost onto the shore. It gulps the bait fish, directly in front of Gamble, five seconds into the video. “Oh dear,” she says in the clip, which on Thursday was widely shared on whale-themed Facebook pages. “Although humpbacks have at... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Whale watchers off Cape Cod watched in awe this week as an enormous basking shark appeared near a feeding humpback whale. Basking shark sightings are rare, and the migration patterns of the planet’s second-largest fish – second to whale sharks – are still largely a mystery to scientists. The accompanying footage, captured aboard a Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises vessel, shows the massive filter-feeder gliding just beneath the surface, its mouth agape, consuming plankton. Though this was an extraordinary sighting, more dramatic was that of the humpback whale lunge-feeding at the surface, inspiring humorous commentary by the videographer, who deadpans after... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Lance Peterson, a fly-fishing guide in the East Cape region of Baja California Sur, can now add opah to his list of rare catches. But Friday's catch was really more of a collection after Peterson spotted the colorful “moonfish” while kayak fishing in the Sea of Cortez. "There were absolutely no rods or reels or fish tackle of any kind involved – just a kayak and a gaff,” he said. “We spotted it bobbing around offshore, confirmed it with binoculars and then went out to fetch it. It was dead when we got to it.” Mysteriously, there were no gaff... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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It’s rare enough to spot a whale shark in the pristine water beyond Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but to see one swimming inside the marina might be unheard of. “This is a first-time event in Cabo,” Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of Pisces Sportfishing, said of the Monday morning sighting. The 20-foot whale shark was spotted near the back of the harbor by a man who thought it was a great white shark. "Then we heard that others said no it was a mako... then the truth came out it was actually a WHALE shark... the largest fish on the planet,"... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas An angler fishing off the Baja California city of Loreto has landed a 430-pound yellowfin tuna that might have become a world record if he had followed proper procedure. Robert Ross caught the massive fish on a trip out of the remote Pisces Collection Lodge, on the Sea of Cortez near Loreto. The lodge is not yet open and does not have a certified scale, or cold storage. Ross told Pisces Sportfishing general manager Tracy Ehrenberg that he had little choice but to fillet the tuna after weighing it on a butcher's scale at a nearby ranch.... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas Authorities in South Africa’s Kruger National Park are investigating a hit-and-run incident in which a cheetah was struck and left to die on a park road. A photo of the dead animal was posted Wednesday by Ralf Kalwa to the Road Ecology Facebook page, in which Kalwa described the cheetah as “one of 3 siblings.” Times Live reports that the carcass of the sub-adult female cheetah was discovered a day earlier by a park ranger, and that the animal had been dead for hours. “There were no witnesses at the scene and the ranger alerted all the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Gray whale on the beach at Trestles. Credit: Mark Girardeau‎ By Pete Thomas The carcass of a 40-foot gray whale that washed ashore Sunday at a popular Southern California surf spot most likely will be towed to sea when it becomes practical and as weather conditions permit. The carcass discovered at Lower Trestles near San Clemente drew large crowds, and an image of the whale was posted to Instagram by 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater. Anyone for a surf at Trestles? Im sure that #BeachedWhale oil should keep the crowds to a minimum coming into summer! Sketchy. Great white... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Images showing the turtle before its rescue are courtesy of Jason Kunewa/Dana Wharf Sportfishing By Pete Thomas A massive leatherback turtle that had become entangled in kelp off Orange County is free, thanks to the heroic efforts of Dana Wharf Sportfishing crewman Jason Kunewa. Kunewa and Capt. Bo Daniels were 15 miles offshore aboard the San Mateo on Sunday, searching for tuna and whales, when they spotted what they thought was a large kelp paddy. “Then I saw a head come out,” Kunewa said. “It was the biggest turtle I’d ever seen. It was longer than me and about three... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Graphic photos have emerged showing a great white shark weighing more than 1,000 pounds on display at a market in Zhoushan, China. The 14-foot shark was said to have been caught “mistakenly” last week in a net hauled up on a blustery night by Wang Xianjin, according to the Chinese-language Netease News. “I’ve been fishing for 27 years and never have I seen such a big shark,” Wang said. The Shanghaiist reports that, "as a final act of revenge,” the struggling shark destroyed Wang’s $10,000 net. The initial offer for the shark opened at about $1,500, but Wang said he... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas A tourist in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on Tuesday reeled from the depths a mysterious alien-like fish that looks somewhat like an albino shark. The peculiar specimen – pinkish-white, with a distended stomach – was caught a mile offshore by a Chicago angler fishing with Capt. Jaime Rendon of the panga, Dr. Pescado. The shark was photographed, then released. The photos appeared Tuesday night on the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet’s Facebook page, under the heading, “ALIEN FISH IN CABO?” Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces general manager, sent the images to biologists in Mexico, hoping for an identification. We emailed the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Photos by Jaime Rendon, via Pisces Sportfishing **Update (2:30 p.m.): The mystery fish appears to have been identified By Pete Thomas A Cabo San Lucas sportfishing captain on Tuesday reeled from the depths a mysterious alien-like fish that somewhat resembles an albino shark, or shark fetus. But the bizarre-looking fish, with a distended stomach, was said to be alive when it was caught (and eventually released) by Capt. Jaime Rendon. The photos appeared Tuesday night on the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet’s Facebook page, under the heading, “ALIEN FISH IN CABO?” (Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces general manager, has sent the photos to biologists... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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By Pete Thomas It sounds like science fiction: tens of thousands of voracious, fast-growing fish escape from ocean pens in a foreign environment and begin migrating up the coast, wreaking havoc on native fisheries. But this is really happening, as thousands of cobia, which are found in the Atlantic but unknown to the Eastern Pacific, were accidentally released from an Ecuadorian aquaculture facility during late summer. They've since been detected off Colombia and Panama, and at least one scientist believes the "rogue" fish are headed to California, with potentially "horrifying" consequences. The cobia have been migrating north at a rate... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors
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Dolphins often steal the spotlight during the whale-watching season, but rarely do passengers get to witness what's known as a dolphin stampede. The accompanying footage, captured Thursday by Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, shows what happens when hundreds, sometimes thousands of common dolphins decide as a group to rush wildly across the ocean’s surface, as if in a panic. The company stated in a news release: “Whale watchers aboard a catamaran with Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari experienced a once in a lifetime thrill when hundreds of common dolphins, without warning or provocation, began porpoising at high speed... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2016 at Pete Thomas Outdoors