Grizzly Bear Watching at Sonora Island

Canada

Poised on a rock, he slowly scans the shallow water. Suddenly, a front paw slams into the Orford River with thrilling force. The bear then hoists the salmon upwards before greedily chomping it down.

Welcome to British Columbia’s salmon run. Between late August and October each year, you have the chance to spot elusive grizzly bears as they feast on spawning salmon on remote Sonora Island.

Your journey begins early in the morning with a boat ride up the Bute Inle. Cruise past harbour seals, sea lions and porpoises as you travel through the Yuculta and Arran rapids to the mouth of the Orford River. Experienced Homalco First Nation guides then lead you through lush rainforest to the custom-made viewing platforms which line the riverbank.

Watch as the bears congregate waterside to gorge on the leaping salmon, all intent on gathering their breakfast and seemingly oblivious to your presence. While sightings can never be totally guaranteed, it’s common to see several bears at a time –  including new cubs.

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Sarah Woodthorpe
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