Sunday, September 18, 2016

BC is Bear Country - fall time in the Kootenays.

Well it's that time of year
The long hot sunny days of summer, with colourful blooms, birds, and butterflies are fading away into long shadows and shorter, rainier fall. The Kokanee have been spawning, kids are settling into school, and it's time to shift into autumn mode.
 Harvest season is coming to a peak and everyone seems to be busy, picking, pickling, canning and  gathering firewood.
 We didn't really do a garden this year, but we can count on our walnut tree, which is just starting to drop a few walnuts- time to get out the buckets & rubber gloves :)
 There's so many things I want to write about, but right now, I've got bears on my mind since there's been 3 different bears in our yard this week & have been so many sightings in town and all around. I have some great pictures to share, here's a few and I'll add more later :


A bear on a hill
I'm so fortunate to have a good zoom on my camera.

We were getting firewood when I spotted this bear in the distance.
He's been watching us.

Usually, this is all I see- a brown blob in bushes.


A few minutes later, I saw another black bear.









                                                       A bear in the backyard...

When you're taking pictures of trees & stuff & see this silhouette in the background!
   
so you take a couple of zoomed photos...

but it's not holding still... or is the photographer moving?


nope it's the bear....



finally a couple of good shots!

A  healthy (brown) black bear watching us... and posing for just another moment.






 
A bear beside the highway
We stopped to watch this bear across the highway-


zooming in to see what it's doing/eating.
  
Spotted- it sees us in our car (a long way away)
Running for cover?
Hiding?






Nope- bringing a friend
Click here to See my Black bear/s video 





Note: While making this blog- we had another bear visit- next door... it was a big one! Here's another healthy looking brown (black) bear...






Sunday, June 19, 2016

Baby River Otter - an amazing experience.


Our 1st good look at the baby river otter.
Long story short... we found an orphaned baby river otter and gave it to our Conservation Officer.
***********
The whole story:

 I heard there was a dead otter on the side of the highway near our home and have thought about it off & on for a couple of days, then heard it may have been a mom! I've never seen one up close, but really didn't want to see this poor dead one, so have avoided going there... but the possibility of babies? I had to see for myself, so I could stop wondering. 
  Friday- on my 1/2 hr drive home from work, I decided to go and investigate.  I also thought about my dad and asked him,  if he heard me, that this would be a great time to let me know. I was going to see if this was a female, and if so, have a look around for the possible baby/s, before it gets dark. 
   I got changed and headed out there... and ran into a neighbour on the way. 
We could smell it (eww) so we knew that it hadn't been removed yet- (the dead otter had already been reported to a couple of places). 
As we headed away from the smell talking about the possibility of pups, something caught my eye, a movement in the grass. I looked more carefully and said I'd seen something moving, and shortly it popped it's head out of the grass! It WAS a baby otter! I can't tell you how surprised we were.
 I texted my husband:
 I'm not going into details about how we caught it (right now), but we managed to catch him ( sorry I don't actually know if it's a he or a she). He seemed in good shape and wasn't frantic about being in a "cage", which I covered with my jacket to help keep him calm.  I had planned to look for this little guy, but hadn't really expected to find it, let-alone know what to do with it if I did!

  Just bringing him home was a surprise- Taz was so curious & excited... as were we! We ended up making some phone calls and having to leave messages, of course, it's Friday night and most offices are closed. Anyhow, we'd have to look after him until we can get some professional help.

He's surprisingly calm, but we weren't sure what to do with him.




It has been a scary few days for this little guy... 

Saturday-  I went back to look for signs of any other babies, with no success. I stopped to look around the dead otter and took a picture of it, when an Officer arrived.
 He was here to remove the carcass. We spoke briefly and I told him of the pup. 






 
   

I've never really had any interactions with a Conservation Officer before and was hoping I hadn't done anything I shouldn't have. (Of course I took a bunch of photos while I still had the chance. )
  He was very professional, and sincere. 
Unfortunately it's not his place to decide on the fate of this adorable little orphan, but he said he would let me know either way. 


















With trepidation, we watched the Conservation fellow take him away, 
so glad he's in good hands. 

Yes, it's a very cute orphaned baby,  but it's still a wild animal.

Glad to see he's spunky, feisty & got attitude! 

Taking a moment to pose for photos! 

Looks like he's waving good bye!


Saying goodbye to this 
adorable little animal, 
who in this short time 
has our hearts 
wrapped around it!


UPDATE:
 July/16 It's a girl!  She is doing well and is now in good care at the Kamloops Wildlife Centre.
http://www.bcwildlife.org
So happy to hear that she will likely be released to the wild in 3 or 4 months :)