‘Ghostly’ Sea Wolves Are Real And They Are Superb Swimmers


Sea Wolves. No, they are not imaginary or made up. They are very real and can be found along the shorelines of Vancouver Island in Canada. This rare creature is elusive, with only a select few people having had the chance to ever lay eyes on one.

British Filmmaker Bertie Gregory was one of the lucky few who saw these Coastal Wolves in 2011. This inspired him to do a series titled ‘Wild-Life with Bertie Gregory’ with National Geographic.

Wild-Life with Bertie Gregory

In his words, “Coastal wolves are such a unique predator, and they are hunting in this absolutely epic landscape.”

There are two types of coastal wolves – mainland coastal wolves and coastal island wolves. The coastal wolves are mostly pescatarians, as 90% of their food comes from the sea. They love to eat salmon, other than that, they also forage on barnacles, clams, herring eggs, seals, river otters, and whale carcasses. However, mainland coastal wolves eat less seafood than that of the coastal island wolves.

Besides having an unusual food habit, these wolves are superb swimmers. They made a record swim of 7.5 miles (12.07 kilometers) to an archipelago from the nearest landmass.

The pictures you see were taken by Ian McAllister, an award-winning photographer. He spent over two decades studying these amazing wolves. These wolves are reddish in color and about the size of a German Shepherd. In comparison to the normal wolves, they are about 20 percent smaller. 

Meet the mysterious sea wolves

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Living along the wild Pacific coast of British Columbia

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They are genetically different from normal wolves

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They are excellent swimmers

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And prey on sea animals to survive

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They are smaller in size and reddish in color

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Living in fairy-tale like natural surroundings

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“We know from exhaustive DNA studies that these wolves are genetically distinct from their continental kin,” says McAllister. “They are behaviorally 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.”

A study published by BMC Ecology in 2014 describes the differences in the DNA between the sea wolves and their inland cousins.

These wolves have been dwindling in numbers for some time. Once they roamed all the way down to California. However, there are some left in Alaska. Read about the Alaskan Malamute here.

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