Vancouver Island is known for its flora and fauna — especially adorable, breathtaking or unusual fauna. In 2021, residents across the region were able to catch those animals on film in their finest moments.
Ten animal videos from the past year stood out, and show us how awesome our island wildlife can be.
1. Whales pay respects in summer ceremony
In June, a Campbell River ceremony held to commemorate the 215 children found buried at the Kamloops Residential School was visited by a pod of orcas.
“Our ancestors came in the form of the Killer Whale to carry (a) message across to the spirit world,” Kwakwakaʼwakw elders later said. In the video, seven men can be seen drumming and singing in front of a ceremonial fire as the whales pass in the waters behind them.
2. Husky’s close call with cougar
Cougar encounter near Bear Hill earlier this afternoon. A good reminder if you live in rural Saanich to be alert and watch your pets when outside. This Husky has excellent recall! #Saanich pic.twitter.com/9koucxrxpl
— Saanich Police (@SaanichPolice) December 22, 2021
An encounter between a cougar and one homeowner’s protective husky drew attention in December after Saanich police reminded nearby residents to stay alert for roaming wildlife.
Video footage shows the cougar on a rural driveway as a husky charges towards it, before the dog’s owner quickly calls on their pet to turn back. The cougar is then seen running away from the property.
Thankfully, the dog wasn’t injured during the encounter thanks to some excellent recall skills.
3. Three-eared deer roams neighbourhood
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property every few days with its mother since it was born. At the beginning of 2021, the property owner noticed the fawn’s two-pronged ear and brought it to Black Press Media’s attention.
Otherwise, the young deer seemed fit as a fiddle — and pretty cute, too!
4. Sneaky seal infiltrates salmon spawning site
A lucky visitor spotted an unusual guest taking advantage of the busy Goldstream Provincial Park river during spawning season this year.
In November, a park visitor spied a seal slipping into the water near the parking lot. The quick thinker was able to film a short clip of the seal waddling into the fish-filled waters, watched by a trio of seagulls.
5. Festive otter frolics in year-end snowfall
A Victoria resident filmed an otterly adorable sight in December when a local creature started rolling around in a patch of fresh snow.
The cute critter was enjoying the city’s recent snowfall by running, sliding and rolling in the fluffy flakes.
Otters are a common sight around Victoria, but watching one scamper through the snow is rare, considering the region’s typically mild winter weather.
6. Eight ducklings rescued from schoolyard storm drain
Staff, students and an officer at a Saanich school worked to rescue eight ducklings after they fell into a parking lot storm drain in May.
A local animal control officer was able to remove the drain cover and scooped the ducklings from the mucky water with a large net as mom and siblings chirped and quacked loudly on the sidelines.
7. Wildlife centre helps heal hurt white raven
The rare white bird was turned in to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in late May and was in rough shape, but quickly got on the mend thanks to some caring employees.
Due to their compromised immune systems, white ravens typically don’t do very well and survival chances have been slim.
8. Playing otters prompt waterfront crowd
A feisty trio of otters were spotted rolling around and wrestling at the water’s edge in Victoria this past fall, much to onlookers’ delight.
Other people passing by stopped to watch the show too, and soon enough quite the crowd had formed. The otters seemed to have plenty of fun rolling around in a patch of dirt together.
9. Stormwaters flood salmon-filled stream
Salmon at Goldstream Provincial Park were swept up in stormy floodwaters on Nov. 15.
In the middle of the fish’s spawning season, the Malahat region sustained significant flood damage and water levels rose dangerously high.
At Goldstream Provincial Park, where salmon gather to lay their eggs in late fall, water quickly flooded the stream and salmon could be spotted swimming between picnic benches and along popular tourist pathways.
10. Fawn rehabilitation lesson for well-meaning residents
A fawn tottering along behind its mother isn’t an uncommon sight in Greater Victoria, and neither is the tiniest of baby deer tucked away in quiet corners of yards and gardens.
A Metchosin wildlife rehab spoke to Black Press Media about the behaviour of deer and fawn in June to raise awareness – and share some adorable footage of the critters in its care.
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