Bear Cub Rescue near Tofino

On Friday, May 25th we were notified that a Hot Springs Tour Boat spotted a deceased black bear sow in Ross Pass. They reported that there was a cub with the black bear's body. John, Michelle from Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society and myself jumped into the Eco and headed up to have a look. We arrived in Ross Pass around 5:00 PM and saw a Black Bear laying on a cliff not moving and a tiny cub laying on the mother black bear. We anchored the boat and John headed up to have a look. The black bear was laying on the ground with no visible trauma or wounds. You could see that the cub had been breastfeeding on the mother after she had died. John looked for the cub and it was hiding in a hole beneath him. He tied to pick it up but it was spooked and climbed a tree. We got back in the boat and moved off to see if it would come down. It did. We tried again to get the orphaned cub but it went back up another tree. We were going to loose light and made the hard decision to come back in the morning. We were all worried that predators would take the cub in the night. 

John and I woke up at 5:30 am. We launched the Lil Salty and headed up to Ross Pass. When we arrived on scene I told John that I would put the boat up to the island and he should jump off and quietly creep up to the cub. If it was still there. Within minutes we could see the cub moving and laying on its dead mother. John quietly walked up to the mother's body to pick up the cub. It saw him and moved into the hole. He patiently waited for it to come back out to lay on its mother. It did and he was able to pick it up and carry it back to the boat. It was screaming. My heart was breaking listening to its screams but I knew this was its only chance to survive. 

The cub was distressed and looked thirty. We fed it some water and checked it over. The cub was so adorable! We had brought a pet crate to transport the cub back to Tofino. We put towels over it to keep it dark and it was quiet on the boat ride back. We took the cub back to our house and called the conservation office and the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. Plans were made for us to meet a conservation officer in Port Alberni so he could transport the cub to the centre. 

We have had updates that the cub is doing well, feeding and being checked by a vet. We hope to adopt the cub and help pay for her expenses while she is in the centre. Eventually she will be released back here when she is ready to be on her own in the wild. We are elated that we could help make a difference. We make our living off of Bear Watching in Tofino so we will always give back to the bears. 

Thanks for all your kind words and support. We never think twice about jumping in the boat to help both wildlife and humans whenever we can. 


Tofino Bear Cub Rescue
Tofino Bear Rescue
Tofino Bear Cub Rescue


We are stoked that Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP has recommended The Whale Centre to go Bear Watching on your next trip to Tofino. Read more tips on how to make the most of your next trip to the West Coast of Vancouver Island! 

Four Adventure-Filled Days in Tofino on Vancouver Island

TOFINO KILLER WHALES - U073 Killer Whales of Lennard Lighthouse

On Thursday, March 29th we got word that there was a group of Transient Killer Whales off Lennard Lighthouse near Tofino. Our afternoon Whale Watching Tour was able to get some good looks at about 8 killer whales. John and I decided to head out on the Eco to get some photos ID's to see who they were. When we arrived on scene we immediately recognized the T068's with about 6 other killer whales. 

The T068's have been in the news recently for being documented for the first time drowning and killing an infant of the same species. The researchers who watched the orca infanticide as it unfolded off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island on Dec. 2, 2016,  published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports this week. 

When we arrived the whales were milling in the same spot for the 60 minutes that we spent with them. They were tail slapping and spy hopping. One whale swam by the boat with seal meat hanging out of its mouth. John and I were able to get several good ID shots of these gangs.  When we left the whales they were still in the same spot just milling about. 

After going through our photos we did not recognize these whales. We reached out to Jared Towers, a researcher from Fisheries and Oceans who identified this gang as the U073's. This group has never been properly photographed. We were pretty excited to have had the opportunity to spend time with a new (to us) group of whales and were able to get some good photo ID's of them.

Sunset Magazine's Tour To Hot Springs Cove

Sunset Magazine's Tour To Hot Springs Cove

Whales and Hot Springs are all possible seasonally in one amazing tour! Hot Springs Cove is an exciting 6 hour adventure where our captains make an effort to find wildlife including whales, black bears, seals, sea lions, puffins, sea otters, bald eagles and over 20 miles of gorgeous coastline and beaches. 

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