We view pacific white-sided dolphins both in Knight Inlet on our grizzly bear tour as well as when whale watching in the area of Johnstone Straits.
Vancouver Aquarium’s AquaFacts provides the following interesting facts on their website:
“Pacific white-sided dolphins are found throughout the temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocean from Japan to North America, and from the coasts of Alaska down to Baja, Mexico.In the entire North Pacific, there are estimated to be approximately 900,000 Pacific white-sided dolphins. Dolphins travel in groups throughout their lives. In B.C., Pacific white-sided dolphins are usually encountered in groups of 10 – 100 animals, although some groups have been seen with 2,000 or more individuals.
Pacific white-sided dolphins eat herring, capelin, Pacific sardines, squid, anchovies, salmon, rockfish, pollock, hake and other small fish.Transient killer whales and sharks both eat Pacific white-sided dolphins.
When the dolphins first came back to B.C. waters, it took the killer whales a couple of years to figure out how to catch the fast-moving dolphins. Some killer whale pods drove groups of dolphins into small bays and killed them en masse but this behaviour is no longer as common, suggesting the dolphins have learned to avoid this trap.”
Although Bob and Helen’s photo shows the grizzly cub with a salmon it is important to read the posting from December 7th to remember that the cub did not really catch the salmon but rather picked it up from the bottom. It does not matter the source of the food as long as it provides the necessary calories to fatten for hibernation. The grizzly bears of Knight Inlet start to hibernate in late November or early December depending on the winter and the important part is the amount of fat and not the source. Tomorrow’s post shows mom’s method of catching salmon.