Sea Wolves
Sea Wolves

Mother Nature has proven its boundless imagination so many times. There is simply no end to the diverse and unique creatures it has created for us.

International folklore is rich in tales about imagined animals and mythical beasts, but Nature is so perfect that it has already designed much more fantastic and flawless creatures than dragons and unicorns.

If you start investigating the animal kingdom, you will be fascinated by its variety, but at the same time, you will surely be surprised by how little we know about the other living being with whom we share this planet.

Sea wolves are a great example of this.

No, they are not a product of our imagination, they actually live along the Pacific coast of British Columbia! Yet, seeing them is actually quite rare as they are elusive and hardly ever lurk in forests.

British Columbia has a relatively low human population, so sea wolves enjoy an isolated wilderness — an area of 21-million acres, often described as a “bastion of biodiversity”.

Chris Darimont from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation developed the Rainforest Wolf Project to show these rare animals as fragile symbols and gain scientific understanding about coastal wolves called “Canada’s newest marine mammal”.

In the early 2000s, an award-winning photographer and Executive Director of pacificwild.org, Ian McAllister, and Canadian wolf biologist Paul Paquet started to research these coast mainland wolves.

They have been studying these amazing swimmers for almost twenty years and found some pretty remarkable facts. Even 90 percent of the wolves’ food comes from the ocean, and salmon makes up about a fourth of their diet. Beyond that, they forage on barnacles, clams, herring eggs, seals, river otters, and whale carcasses.

Most extraordinary is their swimming ability, often swimming across miles between islands.

McAllister explains:

“We know from exhaustive DNA studies that these wolves are genetically distinct from their continental kin. They are behaviourally distinct, swimming from island to island and preying on sea animals. They are also morphologically distinct — they are smaller in size and physically different from their mainland counterparts.”

Paquet maintains that these types of coastal wolves aren’t an anomaly, but a remnant:

“There’s little doubt these wolves once lived along Washington State’s coast too. Humans wiped them out. They still live on islands in southeast Alaska, but they’re heavily persecuted there.”

To capture their magnificent beauty and nature, he got so close to them while they were swimming towards him, that he could hear them grunting into his snorkel.

He took several frames, then pushed back into deeper water without daring to look up.

Scroll down to find impressive photos of sea wolves, which are part of a magnificent series from a book entitled “The Sea Wolves, Living Wild in the Great Bear Rainforest”, by authors Ian Mc Allister and Nicholas Read.

The book points out the importance of preserving the Great Bear Rainforest for every unique creature that lives on the British Columbia’s remote coast.