Meet the Rare Sea Wolves Who Live Off the Ocean and Can Swim for Hours

The animal world can never stop to amaze us with all its diversity in flora and fauna. It nurtures so many rare and unique creatures that can steal our breath away.

There are so many fantastic and flawless creatures on our planet that can fulfill our wildest imagination. There is no need to watch some science fiction movie and watch fantastic creatures when they are already present on Earth. We still need to learn about the living beings that are living with us on this planet. The animal kingdom has so many awesome species of which we have not even been aware of.

Sea wolves are the perfect example of animal variety that is so rarely seen. Yes, sea wolves do exist and live along the Pacific coast of British Columbia. This geographical area is sparsely populated, and the sea wolves have the privilege to live in isolation in the 21-million acre area, quite often referred to as to a “bastion of biodiversity”.

The promotion of sea wolves was done by Chris Darimont from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation that developed the Rainforest Wolf Project presenting sea wolves as fragile symbols. This project offered a scientific understanding about the “Canada’s newest marine mammal”. 

This species inspired Ian McAllister, an award-winning photographer and Executive Director of pacificwild.org. Along with the Canadian wolf biologist Paul Paquet, he started to study sea wolves in the early years of the new millennium. Both of them have tracked them and conducted many researchers till the present day. Thanks to their interest today we are aware of many facts that were not available before.

They are called sea wolves because the ocean is their main source of food. They eat plenty of salmon, but they also hunt river otters, seals, barnacles, clams, herring eggs, and whale carcasses. What is really fascinating about these wolves is their extraordinary swimming ability having the capacity to swim across miles between islands.

McAllister offers the following explanation:

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.” 

In addition to this, Paquet states:

 “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.”

McAllister has managed to offer amazing photos of these fascinating creatures and in order to that he had approached them so close while they were swimming towards him. They were at such vicinity that he could hear them grunting into his snorkel. He managed to capture this moment and took several frames and then pushed back into deeper water.

Check the amazing pictures of sea wolves that are a part of a great series from the book of Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read, “The Sea Wolves, Living Wild in the Great Bear Rainforest”. Aside the numerous impressive photos the book focuses on the importance of saving the Great Bear Rainforest, being the home of many unique creatures.

Sources:

boredpanda.com

nationalgeographic.com

mnn.com