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Get to see spirit bears in the magical Princess Royal Island in Canada

Source by ***604*250** on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

A widespread forest, humid feeling that is gonna make you wait for raindrops to fall on your body, luckily is just the cold weather of the place. The large lagoon opens up to the group of tall trees from the woods, deep into them, green moss and different shades of the color climb the trees and travel the ground to give an alive look to the entire place, almost like nothing bad has happened around besides the fallen trees. White as snow bears and black as coal ones that serve as a company and use the environment as their shell, you’re gonna see nature’s chess partners as you step into the quiet splendid woods.

How to get there

Source by Iain Cameron on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

Princess Royal Island is located 500 km north of Vancouver and is prohibited to visit it on your own without permission since it is Kitasoo-Xaixais territory. Klemtu Tourism, owned by First-Nation people offer a guided tour with great information about the place so you can explore and educate yourself. The only way to reach Klemtu ground is via ferries service (BC Ferries is a great option) from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island or by seaplane (Pacific Coastal Airlines provides good services) from Bella Bella on Campbell Island.

Source by Province of British Columbia on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

Swindle Island’s neighbor, Klemtu, is the right place to take off to Princess Royal Island, if a seaplane or train ride isn’t enough for your adventurous self then Klemtu Tourism is gonna make you feel warm and comfortable with their Norwegian float house. Ruled by the community since 1996, is the only tour company that is authorized to track spirit bears. Klemtu is a tiny place with an ethnic longhouse. It was built recently and is decorated with First Nation art and totems, being an appreciated household for the Kitasoo-xaixais faction.

History

Princess Royal Island, a good start for people whose dream is to find the perfect wooden nirvana, located at the west side of Canada, is one of the exclusive places where you can  meet spirit bears. Spirit bears are not your regular bears, which make them distinctive from others.  Their white fur or also described as pale yellow is a result of a biological recessive gene, adding to their uniqueness, they have a special place in the spiritual lives of the Kitasoo-Xaixais First nation people. 

Source by Jim Maloney on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

As a part of the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest rainforest left on Earth that remains untouched and totally protected, Princess Royal is an endearing lonely island. You can think of an enchanted land where fantastic animals hide from the human sight, the complicated web of plants coming from the old trees is gonna leave you with no choice than explore by foot. 

Source by Stephen Rees on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

A small group of people has visited Princess Royal, this rainforest is so extent that on your way through exploring you might get lost and your only guide is not as expected as you’d think; a bear. Wait. Wait, yeah, I know it sounds crazy but it’s not what you think! The sightings of these bears help the human guides when they lose track and as long as you don’t get enough closure to them then both parties will be alright.

And there’s no better guide than the Kitasoo and Xaixais natives, they know every inch of the place as it was meant to be and their strong connection with the spiritual bears (also called Kermode bear) will help you find them quickly. Their belief and backstory about the white color of the bears are truly lovely, narrating how the gods painted them to remind them of the chaotic Ice Age.

Into the woods with bears

Source by Megan Coughlin on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

The spiritual bears are currently going through a crisis as they extinct, it’s said that only four hundred of them exist next to the black grizzly bears, both in the Great Bear Rainforest. Bear haunting activities are still happening and affecting their lives in an alarming rise, the places where the tracking happens are never revealed and aren’t meant to be revealed. It’s worth it to be 20 meters away from one, you feel your heart almost stamp from your chest in excitement and curious fear when you see the bear catching salmon from the water.

Source by **604*250* on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

It’s almost like an Indiana Jones movie when you search for a bear, creating a compromising adventure where you might find half-eaten fish and tracks warning you that maybe you’re closer than you think to one of the white cream furry animals. You’re gonna need lots of patience and think to yourself that it’s not always gonna be a good day to find a bear.

Source by Maximiliam Helm on Flickr – Under Creative Commons

When you go to Princess Royal Island, from the boat that runs through the dark water, a show of whales and seals might make its debut to your eyes, a natural event and if you’re lucky enough, a bear will stand on a big rock hanging freely in the wild like a beige figure, calm as a night, serene and gorgeous, exploring the ground with its nose. The spirit bear is a one of a kind animal, you will realize how special its existence is when you get hypnotized by their beauty.

Source by **604*250** on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

Imagine seeing this creature just meters away, being unaware or completely serene by your presence which makes the encounter peaceful and enjoyable as they might explore the place for food or get near a river to catch salmon. Sniffing quietly. Almost too good to be true.

Source by Maximilian Helm on Flickr – Under Creative Commons license

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