The ocean – it's the last place you'd expect to find wolves. But if you're off the waters of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, and are extremely lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of a rare sea wolf or two.
One of the few people who have seen these beautiful creatures – and also managed to capture them on film – is British photographer Ian McAllister, who took some amazing images of them back in 2011.
Vancouver Island is located off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. About the size of Taiwan or the Netherlands, the island is host to a variety of wildlife, including rare coastal wolves, also known as sea wolves.
These wolves differ from their mainland counterparts in several ways. They're smaller, they mainly eat seafood, and they can swim for hours as they paddle between different islands catching their prey.
"They are behaviourally distinct, swimming from island to island and preying on sea animals. They are also morphologically distinct – they are smaller in size and physically different from their mainland counterparts," says Ian McAllister, an award-winning photographer who managed to capture the wolves on film back in 2011.
Sea wolves get 90 percent of their food from the ocean. They eat salmon, seals, river otters, herring eggs and whale carcasses, writes National Geographic.
They are also extremely good swimmers. Sea wolves can swim several miles between different islands in search of food. The longest recorded distance researchers have documented a wolf swimming is a staggering 7.5 miles (12 km).
Sea wolves can also be found all the way up the coast of Alaska and they once extended their reach as far south as California.
Check out this National Geographic video to learn more about sea wolves:
Wolves are really amazing animals! Please share this story with a friend who might like to find out about sea wolves.