In the town of Campbell River, above the banks of the Campbell River, is a wonderful sports shop called The River Sportsman. In one corner of the store you can sit almost on the river while you have a coffee and decide which fly rod you want to mortgage the house for.
Oi veh! My tongue is in my cheek as I notice the camo gear on the right. You may remember my post about camo gear. https://wordsfromanneli.com/2018/03/09/camo/
Inside the store are many samples of wildlife that have been mounted (taxidermed) – (stuffed animals). The lighting is very bright and the glass cases in which some of the mounts are kept reflect the light, making it difficult to get a good photo.
The first is a grizzly, which is not USUALLY found on Vancouver Island, although several instances are recorded of grizzlies who have obviously swum across from the mainland, most likely island hopping and making short swims to finally reach Vancouver Island.
This is not a particularly large grizzly, but I wouldn’t want to meet him just the same. Intimidating teeth and claws, in spite of his pretty smile.
Another bear we don’t have here is the polar bear. Of all the bears, I think he is the most dangerous and close to the size of the Kodiak (which, like grizzlies, are a subspecies of the brown bear). The largest polar bear on record weighed 2209 lbs. and stood 11 ft. 1 in. on his hind legs. The bear on this photo is nowhere near that record, but I wouldn’t want to get a bear hug from him.
Another animal we don’t have on the island is the Rocky Mountain goat. It makes a handsome addition to the zoo in the sports shop.
Now we come to the animals that are prolific on Vancouver Island. Cougars are all over the island. I can’t imagine why I worry about black bears when I’m mushroom picking, when I really should be worrying about these cats instead. They are much more likely to attack a person than a black bear is, especially if that person is walking alone or with a small pet.
The sports shop is full of birds and mammals on the walls and in glass cages. One of the walls has a wolf mount, but I didn’t feel inclined to take its picture. Now that I’m writing about the prolific cougar, I’m wishing I had a wolf picture to place with the cats. Wolves are also plentiful, especially on the northern part of the island. I have no illusions about what a wolf can do to a deer or a lamb on a sheep farm.
The visit to The River Sportsman was entertaining for me while my friend shopped till she dropped. Maybe they put these animals in the shops on purpose to keep customers in the stores. It seems to be working.