As mentioned in an earlier posting grizzly bears are very playful—cubs treat their moms like a jungle gym. These twins did not want to leave their mother alone and this causes a problem. She had caught enough salmon and the cubs were content and wanted to play however she needs to continue fishing, as she requires many more salmon to fatten for hibernation. In this area with the large number of bears mothers cannot sent the cubs off on their own to rest or play they need to be constantly is her “protection area” for safety. So it becomes a fine balance between play for the cubs and food for mom.
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