Grizzly Bear Lodge is located on Minstrel Island, which is located about 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the mouth of Knight Inlet. The black bears in the area are good swimmers and move from island to island in the area. It is common to view black bear on Minstrel Island, in this case not too far from the Lodge. In early spring before there is more activity with the guests the bears are more common but as the Lodge becomes busier the bears tend to stay away from the lodge area but are still on the inland.
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