Spring and early summer (until August 24th) tours from Grizzly Bear Lodge involve a boat ride up Knight Inlet to the estuary of the Glendale River. This photo of the grizzly bear with two spring or first year cubs was taken in this estuary. The mothers bring their cubs to the shores along Knight Inlet in late May. The cubs born in January or February are only three or four months old and when they first appear along the shore stay close to their mothers. As time progress they move into the estuary to feed on the protein rich sedge grass. These cubs are closer to five months old but still stay close to their main source of food as they will nurse for a few more months and there will be a few male grizzlies in the area because mating season last until mid-June.
Killer whale is the tourist / media name, Orcinus orca is the scientific name, and Blackfish is the name I grew up knowing. Growing up and fishing in Campbell River on BC’s Vancouver Island orca were frequently in the area. At that time in the 1950’s and for years to come the name used by local was Blackfish. It was not until the mid 1960’s and on the name killer whale came into common use. After the first orca was captured in 1964 and for the first time, newspapers and magazines including Reader’s Digest, Life, The Times of London, and the Victoria Times gave some positive press about killer whales the name started to become popular. It is not hard to see that a tour or a visit to see a Blackfish did not seem to attract much interest whereas killer whale was media gold.
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