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Environment

August 04, 2020 - CBC News Canada

CANADA: How sea otters are radically changing the West Coast ecosystem 50 years after their return to B.C.

CANADA: How sea otters are radically changing the West Coast ecosystem 50 years after their return to B.C.
Sea otter in ocean© Photabulous!

They're back. And they're hungry. "The females are incredibly good moms," said researcher Erin Foster, after spotting a sea otter feeding her pup in the ocean waters off northern Vancouver Island. Foster was surprised to see the size of the meal the mom had secured.

It was a large geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck) clam, which Foster equated to a person eating an entire loaf of bread in one sitting. "She has a huge pile of meat on her chest, she's tossed the shell overboard and the pup keeps jumping on top of her, biting pieces off," Foster said excitedly.

The fact that sea otters are living in this bay at all is an incredible tale of recovery for a species once hunted into oblivion for its lush fur. Now numbering in the thousands, their ferocious appetite is dramatically altering large parts of the West Coast ecosystem.

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CBC News Canada


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