Grizzly Bears In Their Natural Habitat

Located about 45 km northeast of Prince Rupert and only accessible via plane or boat, the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary is one of the only places in the world to view grizzly bears living freely in the wilderness, from a safe distance.

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Grizzly bear eating sedge grass near Prince Rupert. Image by Brandon Broderick

The Sanctuary was created in 1994 as the first specially protected area for grizzly bears and their habitat in Canada. It is situated at the end of Khutzeymateen Inlet and includes a lush estuary at the base of rugged mountain terrain. Male grizzly bears routinely weigh more than 400 kg (900 lbs) and are among the most stunning creatures the planet has to offer.

A trip to see these amazing bears in their natural habitat is definitely a bucket list item and not to missed if at all possible. The bears are visible on the water’s edge and feeding in the estuary from about mid-May to the end of July.

Under the Sea

Prince Rupert is fortunate enough to be located close to Chatham Sound, an important stop on the feeding and migratory routes of several species of whale, including orcas (killer whales), humpbacks, and grey whales.

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Whale watching out of Prince Rupert.Image by Shayd Johnson.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see humpback whales bubble feeding (creating “nets” around schools of fish with air from their blowholes) or witness the incredible power of orcas breaching or jumping right out of the water.

Although there are often whales in the area year-round, the largest groups and the best time to see their memorable behavior is from the end of July to the end of September.

Birds, Seals, and Deer, Oh My!

Prince Rupert’s landscape is full of many other wild animals, both large and small, visible right from inside the City limits. You don’t need to book a tour to spot an eagle—just look up. Bald eagles are practically as common as crows on the north coast. Nearly every tree has at least one of these majestic birds perched in its branches. Their distinctive call is part of the natural soundtrack to the city.

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Harbour seal in Prince Rupert. Image by Jeff Easingwood

The eagles’ counterparts are ravens, intelligent tricksters who have nearly as many different calls as we have words, ranging from peculiar popping sounds to frog-like croaking. Add to these two flighty friends a whole host of shorebirds and waterfowl, and the even the most discerning bird watcher will be truly satisfied.

In the water, right off the docks at Rushbrook, you’ll always always find curious harbour seals, sea lions, or sleepy otters waiting to snap up any offerings from local fishermen cleaning the day’s catch.

Related Businesses

Plan your Prince Rupert itinerary by discovering the unique businesses that operate here.