This mother grizzly bear with second year cubs was located part way up the Glendale River estuary. The viewing of grizzly bears in the spring and early summer occurs along the shore of Knight Inlet and frequently in a river estuary. It is about an hour and fifteen minute boat ride from the lodge to a float where we transfer to a 3.5 meter (sixteen foot) flat bottom skiff which provided stable viewing for the bears along the shore. As the tide rises and because the skiff has a very shallow draft we are able to proceed up the river and follow the bears into the taller sedge grass.
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