Meet The Rare Sea Wolves Who Live Off The Ocean And Can Swim For Hours

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 quite rare as they hardly ever hide 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 present sea wolves as fragile symbols and gain scientific understanding about the “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 about a quarter of their diet involves salmon. Also, they hunt seals, river otters, barnacles, clams, herring eggs, 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, and then pushed back into deeper water.

Scroll down to find impressive photos of sea wolves, which are part of a great 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 focuses on the importance to save the Great Bear Rainforest for all unique creatures that live there.

Sources:
educateinspirechange.org
evome.co
www.nationalgeographic.com
www.nationalgeographic.com
www.panthalassa.org