It is not difficult to tell which grizzly bear is dominant in this situation. Alone and vulnerable, siblings will often stay together for some time after their mother abandons them, eating and sleeping side-by-side, and even denning together. The average breeding age for female grizzlies is 4.5 years. Males reach sexual maturity at roughly the same age as their female counterparts. So if they stay with their mother for two years this means they may spent two or three years together until a female becomes pregnant or if two males longer.
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.