There’s more to Alaska’s natural beauty than mountains, forests and glaciers. Hiding within these habitats are some of the world’s most incredible animals. From giant grizzlies to screeching eagles, every inch of the “Last Frontier” is alive with species rarely seen elsewhere. Here, we’ve picked out six Alaskan animals that will stop you in your tracks and force you to catch your breath…
Alaska is home to the largest population of bald eagles in the world. Approximately 50,000 birds are living across the state. The bald eagle is instantly identifiable with striking features. Their vast wingspan is over two meters in length and they have a distinct white head. They are also well known as the national animal of America, appearing on the state’s seals.
There are three kinds of bears in Alaska, black bears, brown bears and grizzly bears, and polar bears. And the biggest, most awe-inspiring of these is undoubtedly the the grizzly bear. This magnificent Alaskan animal can be most often found merrily chomping on berries, salmon, roots. They do however sometimes feed on moose and caribou. Grizzlies tend to be isolated creatures. If you want to see them in greater numbers, try to find one of their favorite spots. Top places are a patch for salmon fishing or a tree that’s perfect for back-rubbing!
Caribou don’t just find strength in numbers, they find comfort in staggeringly large numbers. Herds can be found spread across the colder climes of North America and can number between 250,000 to 500,000. If you want to see them in the summer, it’s a good idea to journey to the chillier parts of Alaska. This is because caribou don’t like the insects that come with hotter weather, and will avoid them if possible.
More often seen than heard the Grey Wolf is one of the more elusive Alaskan animals for wildlife watchers. Listen out for their haunting howls at sunset and dawn. The ancestor of our domesticated dog, wolves hunt in packs to catch deer, moose, reindeer and others. Grey wolves can cover over 50 miles in one day. Don’t be surprised if you see a female bossing a pack around; with wolves, both genders produce an ‘alpha’.
Humpback, Grey and Minke whales all swim within a stone’s throw of the Alaskan coastline. Arguably the most magnificent Alaskan animals, they can grow to over 33 tons. You can spot them when they come up for air every 10-40 minutes. If you see a twitch of white above the foam, you may have spotted one of the Beluga variety. Marked out by their small size and prominent foreheads, these vocal mammals can often be seen playing alongside sea lions, seals and fish.
The Lynx is a very quiet, solitary creature. Alaskans only tend to see them in springtime, when the mothers are having to hunt and care for their playful kittens. They are graceful animals, resembling a large bobcat with longer legs and ears. The lynx spends much of its time chasing down local snowshoe hares, mice and birds to eat. Special to Alaska because they are the only cat species native to the state, they’re also – unusually for a cat species – quite fond of swimming.
Mesmerized by Alaska’s wildlife?
Has reading about this incredible wildlife made your heart do somersaults? Then take a look at our Jewels of Alaska premium guided tour, for a chance to see these marvelous Alaskan animals in their natural habitat.
Starting in Anchorage, explore the wild and wonderful Alaskan wilderness on this 7-Day premium guided tour. As well as looking out for wildlife, you will meet fascinating people every step of the way. Why not travel in style, enjoy breath taking scenery and learn about the nature and traditions of the country?
Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Centre and ride a jet boat along the Chulitna River to a trapper’s cabin. Meet with the champion dog team of a four-time Iditarod winner. Enjoy a tasty lunch at his home and listen to tales of theis famous 1,049-mile dogsled race. Take a 100-mile boat tour of Prince William Sound and ride on the world-famous, glass-domed Alaskan Railroad toward Denali National Park, and admire the country’s tallest peak, the magnificent Mount McKinley.
Visit our website to discover our full range of worldwide premium guided tours.