Meet Canada’s most iconic animals – the Big Five

By way of wildlife, what springs to thoughts when listening to about “the Large 5”? Most certainly giant African animals. Nevertheless, Africa will not be the one place the place huge wild animals dwell. Consider bears, whales, caribou, moose and bison. These animals are very completely different however as awe-inspiring as their African counterparts and are discovered on the opposite aspect of the world – they’re Canada’s “Large 5”. Study extra about these iconic animals and the place to get the very best likelihood of getting a detailed encounter with them – for those who dare.


Of all of the out of doors actions that Canada has to supply, bear watching is likely one of the finest and most rewarding experiences. Canada is dwelling to 3 species of bears: the grizzly bears, black bears and polar bears. The grizzly, with its shaggy coat and big paws, is arguably essentially the most iconic of all bears and positive to attract a crowd. Who doesn’t wish to hear the roar of a grizzly within the wild?

To ensure your likelihood of recognizing one, journey to the British Columbia coast in autumn throughout the salmon run, an annual occasion when the bears feast on wild salmon because the fish return to their spawning grounds. Watch the spectacle of grizzlies catching a simple meal from the protection of a guided boat.

The most typical bear in Canada is the black bear, which might be discovered everywhere in the nation. They’re extra tolerant of individuals than the grizzly bear and infrequently dwell in forests close to human settlements. They’re glorious climbers so be certain that to lookup when you’re looking out for black bears within the forest.

Polar bears have two thirds of its inhabitants in Canada and the very best place to identify them within the wild is in Churchill – a city on the fringes of the Arctic the place residents dwell alongside polar bears. Throughout bear season it’s not unusual to see the biggest land carnivores roam the streets. Which is why residents are identified to depart their doorways and home windows unlocked ought to a fast escape be mandatory.


Many people dream of listening to the magical music of a whale out on the open sea. There’s nothing extra enchanting than witnessing these majestic and mysterious underwater creatures emerge from the depths of the ocean.

With over 33 species of whale residing in its oceans, Canada is likely one of the finest locations on Earth to see these big marine mammals when becoming a member of any of the whale watch excursions. Prime time for that is Could to October, when journeys are supplied in boats of all sizes from small crusing boats to luxurious cruisers. You’ll be able to even rise up shut and private to orcas out of your very personal kayak.

Throughout spring, most whales migrate north after having spent the Canadian winter in heat southern waters. That is additionally the place the calves are born. Because the whales migrate north once more, many select to remain within the Canadian waters all summer time, because of the abundance of meals there. Enterprise out on one of many many boat excursions and be assured an expertise that can stick with you for the remainder of your life.


Do you know that the caribou is such a nationwide image in Canada that it has been featured on the 25 cent piece for many years? Also referred to as reindeer in Europe, it has tall and flat antlers and whereas it’s not as huge because the moose, the stately caribou is amongst one of the recognisable animals in Canada.

In the course of the summer time months, herds of caribou migrate north to the tundra (some greater than 600 miles!) the place they feed on the grass and crops. They make their means again south with the primary snowfall. Sadly, caribou is essentially the most in danger with some herds having declined by greater than 95 per cent.

That is primarily attributable to local weather change which has affected the reliability of their migratory route in addition to their capacity to entry meals. A give attention to offering habitat for caribou on a long-term foundation has been put into place to hopefully safeguard the way forward for this iconic animal.


The moose is commonly thought of an emblem of Canada as it may be seen nearly in each area, except Vancouver Island and the Arctic. The biggest members of the deer household, known as elk in Europe, they’re onerous to overlook with their lengthy, distinctive antlers.

You’ll be able to usually spot them close to ponds and lakes within the boreal forest, or foraging for meals on the aspect of the highway within the Canadian Rockies. However be certain that to remain out of their vary of imaginative and prescient and never get too shut! Whereas they could appear approachable with their lengthy, pleasant faces and slow-paced actions, they’ll transfer very quick when threatened. On a enjoyable observe, they’ve sweets named after them: ‘Moose Droppings’ – in any other case referred to as chocolate-covered almonds. You should purchase this deal with at many memento outlets in Canada.


Meet Canada’s largest land mammal: the bison, additionally known as the buffalo, weighing as much as 900 kg (1,985 lbs). Native Individuals used the bison for almost all the pieces to outlive each bodily and spiritually: meals and clothes, shelter, instruments and ceremonial implements.

As soon as there have been near 60 million bison thundering throughout the prairie from Mexico to Northern Canada. Nevertheless, all through the late 1800s numbers had been decreased to a mere 300 in just some a long time because of the systematic slaughter by settlers. No different species on Earth has disappeared so rapidly.

Fortunately plains bison are making a comeback, with a herd of 31 reintroduced to the distant valleys of Banff Nationwide Park in 2018. Nevertheless, additional restoration is proscribed as a result of grasslands have turn out to be one among Canada’s most endangered habitats. These grasslands had been formed by bison after they migrated and grazed their means by means of them, consequently being misplaced as bison numbers quickly declined. You’ll be able to see a captive herd in Driving Mountain Nationwide Park, Manitoba.

Andrew Morten is the Founding father of Little America. Little America creates bespoke, tailor-made journeys to the USA and Canada.

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