Today’s and tomorrow’s posts are interesting and tied together. This post is when we are waiting for the lodge using the viewing stand to leave their viewing time so we can drive up to the stands. We are visited by a mother grizzly bear and three cubs on their way to the area of the stands to fish. We know this because we see them below the stands a little later. At the time of this photo the mother is in the background and the cubs are chewing on the tires of the white van. Time stamp on the photo 9/2/2015 9:29 am…..
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