These Rare Animals Swim For Miles At A Time And Live On Coastal Islands

Most people who think of wolves picture the land dwelling animals hunting for elk and deer in the forest.But another sub-species exists, whose DNA differs dramatically, and is much rarer.

Source: Bertie Gregory

The sea wolves of British Columbia live on the Pacific Coast of the country, hunting and fishing in the water. Their whole lives revolve around the ocean.

Source: Ian McAllister

Ian McAllister, a wildlife photographer, has been studying these animals for decades. He said:

They are behaviourally distinct, swimming from island to island and preying on sea animals. They are also morphologically distinct ‚ÄĒ they are smaller in size and physically different from their mainland counterparts.

These incredible canines are mostly pescatarian, with 90% of their diets coming from fish. Of that, 25% comes from salmon, though they do hunt seals, otters, and barnacles.

Source: Ian McAllister

This sea lifestyle makes them significantly smaller than inland wolves. But they have the ability to swim for miles at a time, with the longest recorded distance being just over seven miles.

Source: Bertie Gregory

However, their rare status hasn't provided them any protection from the government. They used to roam all along the western coast of Canada down into California, but they have dwindled and remain around Vanvouver. McAllister continued:

The government still considers wolves as vermin. We have learned a lot and the society has changed in how it views wolves, but there is still a lot of work to be done to really recognize how fortunate British Columbia is to have these unique wolf populations.

For McAllister, the goal will be to increase public knowledge on these magnificent animals. Many of them are hunted by locals whenever they are spotted.

Source: Ian McAllister

Currently, they are not only unrecognized, but completely unprotected. They can be hunted and trapped even within protected areas. There is nowhere within their range on the central and north coast of British Columbia, where they are free of human [persecution.]

National Geographic put together a video series searching for the sea wolves, and you can watch all 16 episodes on Youtube.Watch the prime sea wolf encounter below:[embed][/embed]

H/t: Bored Panda

* * *

At Holidog, we aim to improve the lives of your furry friends.Enjoy your holidays with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in great hands (find a petsitter near you) and spoil them with our monthly subscription box filled with yummy treats and toys (get your free box here). You can count on us!