This is the third grizzly from the posting of June 18th. It came down the bank of the river not far from our boat and had absolutely no interest in what we were doing. It was about 15 meters (yards) away and as far as it’s interest it could have been a kilometer (mile) away. It passed by and went to the edge of the water and stared out into the bay for about five minutes. Seemed to lose interest and returned to be with the other grizzlies. All I can think of is that there were two yachts anchored in the bay and maybe it smelled food.
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.