An upbeat nature docu-series titled “Island of the Sea Wolves” made its debut on Netflix earlier this week. Narrated by Will Arnett, this tale follows vastly different animal families through their daily life on the North Pacific coast of Canada.
There are three episodes in this collection documenting three seasons: Spring, summer and fall. Spring didn’t just welcome the return of much of the area’s vegetation — it also brought forth new life with freshly born baby bald eagles and wolf pups. This is prefaced with the difficult but honest journey that many animal mothers in the wild have to go through during pregnancy to foster a nurturing environment for their growing offspring.
One of the creatures that is focused on is a wolf named Cedar. When she discovers she is pregnant, she begins to fear exclusion from the pack, due to her adding extra mouths to feed. Eventually, Cedar must embark out on her own with the difficult task of finding adequate food in the tundra landscape.
A fascinating aspect of the wolves examined in this feature is their unique hunting style. Sometimes they will swim out a fair distance to feed on seal carcasses; other times they hunt on the mainland. Their swimming skills seems to be an innate ability this species developed given their environment. Prior to this series, I wasn’t as open minded about wolves’ swimming abilities, probably because one would assume the skill was seldom utilized in their habitats. It was a great demonstration of a species displaying its natural adaptation for survival in a distant setting.
Wolves weren’t the only species up for analysis during this series. Viewers were also introduced to a blossoming bald eagle romance, as they mate for life. Spiro, the male, was heavily responsible for providing protection and nutrition to his partner while she bore their children. The intimidation and capability of these airborne predators is chiefly displayed when Spiro and his partner are protecting their hatchlings from a looming, hungry raven.
Many other species studied in this series are those more inclined to an aquatic lifestyle. There is a comfortable population of sea otters, who while nursing eat 15 pounds of seafood a day to be able to care for themselves and their offspring. Also there is a large amount of seals and sea lions that seasonally inhabit the area and bask in the sun on warm rocks all day.
With seals comes whales, specifically orcas, whose pods track seals as a food source. The area also serves as a pit stop for many other migrating whale species. This is not even mentioning the frogs, salamanders and other little critters that call the forest floor their home.
Whether you’re looking for an enriching experience to share in a biology or ecology class or just plain interested in learning more about some of the animals described above, I’d highly recommend viewing “Island of the Sea Wolves.” Arnett gives an adequate vocal performance while also tying in some light-hearted jokes (even though he still kinda sounds like BoJack). “Island of the Sea Wolves” also shares an important message about the changes humans can make to preserve beautiful ecosystems and combat climate change.