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Grizzly bears abound in Prince Rupert

Grizzly bears abound in Prince Rupert
Grizzly bears abound in Prince Rupert

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Home to the highest population of grizzly bears in North America, the Khutzeymateen Valley in Prince Rupert is a rare treat for passengers on Canadian rail tours due to the preserve's highly restricted access. On a guided tour, visitors can listen to stories of First Nations individuals who use the area as a hunting and fishing site.

This large reserve protects a population of about 50 grizzlies, along with moose and wolves, while its coastline is home to harbor seals, orca and humpback whales. Because of human encroachment, grizzly bear habitats in Canada have diminished by 24 percent. In the United States, barely one percent of grizzly bear habitats remain, and only 1,000 are left.

The Khutzeymateen Valley also boasts massive glaciers that tower above ancient rain forests of Sitka spruce. There are three ecosystems in this relatively small area, including mountain hemlock, coastal western hemlock and alpine tundra. There are no roads within the park, which is only accessible by boat. In fact, humans are not allowed to set foot in this reserve, but passengers on a short cruise ride from Prince Rupert will be lucky enough to spot grizzly bears in their natural habitat.

 
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 by Justin Marlowe
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