From animals behaving strangely to fantastical creatures and interesting prey versus predator relationships, Canada’s animal world is full of fascinating facts about our furry, feathered and scaly friends:
• Black bears in several BC communities have been known to break into people’s homes and help themselves to the contents of fridges and cupboards
• In Central Kootenay, BC, a brave seven-year-old Chow named Jarod, earned the BC SPCA 2008 Animal Hero Award for saving both his owner and 12-year-old Chow companion from an attacking black bear
• Bailey D. Buffalo Jr., a young pet bison, housebroken and weighing over 650 lb (295 kg), enjoys lounging in front of the TV and being read to by owners Jim and Linda Sautner of Spruce Grove, Alberta.
• Bongo, the famous man-eating lion in The Ghost and The Darkness, resided in Ontario’s Bowmanville Zoo and starred in over 100 film and TV productions, more than any other lion
• The wood frog hibernates by burrowing itself underground, and as the soil freezes, so does the frog’s heart, brain and eyeballs, which then all defrost again in the spring
• The female spotted sandpiper is a modern, forward-thinking bird; she competes for a mate then leaves the egg incubation and young-rearing to the male
• In 2006 a hunter shot and killed a hybrid of a grizzly and a polar bear, dubbed a grolar or pizzly bear, the first to be found in the wild
• Atlantic cod, primarily predators, have been found with such things in their stomachs as garbage, turnips and even a partridge
• The garfish has bright green bones
• Raccoons do not wash their food, but they often dip it in water before eating it
• Bucking tradition, the burrowing owl prefers to nest underground
• Rabbits produce two kinds of stool: the one that the animal eats is rich in vitamins and nutrients, and the other that waste matter
• Hummingbirds can fly backwards and even upside-down.
And many more odd and amazing facts about Canadian animals…