This does not look to exciting until you hear the background story: The dark grizzly was a large male that my guests had named “grumpy”. He came into the viewing area where there was about twelve bears and started to push his weight around and made several juvenile gears move further up the river. The blond bear is a mother with two second year cubs. Lesson – never mess with a mother. She came at the male, this was about ten meters from our cameras, so we could hear her low growl and the clacking of her teeth. The male thought better and moved off and left the other bears to fish. He never left the area but had a much better attitude for the rest of the morning.
The last 3 years we have been starting to view sea otters in our area more regularly. They are still often a distance away, but the sightings are increasing with some “rafts” of them developing in areas near the western portion of our whale watching trips. These animals were hunted heavily for their fur and were completely wiped out of British Columbia waters. Re-introduction occurred from Alaskan otters in the 1960’s. They have long been protected and their numbers have been steadily increasing along the exposed BC coast and are now moving back into inside waters. They are unique in that they don’t have the insulating blubber that other marine mammals use to keep warm. As a result they have dense (over 1 million hairs per square inch) fur and feed heavily. They are important in balancing the eco-system. They eat a lot of sea urchins, which eat a lot of kelp. Kelp is extremely important as it provides cover for juvenile fish and is where the herring spawn in the early spring. With the increase in these otters we are seeing a greater abundance and healthier kelp forests.Visit our Blog