12/20/2013 04:08 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 01:38 EST

Year In Review 2013: B.C.'s Top Animal Stories

Vancouver Aquarium

Animal stories are never in short supply in this great wild province. 2013 had more than its share, from a swimming cougar, to a moose invading a Safeway, to the rare spotting of a right whale off B.C.'s coast.

Here are the year's best animal stories.

Check out B.C.'s best animal stories of 2013. The story continues below the slideshow:

Best Animal Stories Of 2013 From B.C.

April: Safeway Moose Spooks Smithers Shoppers

Safeway shoppers were spooked when a moose found its way inside and started wandering through the produce section before a clerk led it out of the store with an apple. Sadly, the animal had to be put down by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

June: Black Bear Opens Car Door In Maple Ridge

A black bear became a YouTube star after being filmed opening the door to a pickup truck in Maple Ridge. It was a great reminder to lock your doors and windows!

June: Orcas In Vancouver Harbour Stun The Internet

You expect to see orcas alongside the ferries, but rarely do they come this close to the city. Social media went wild at the sight of a pod of killer whales that made its way under the Lions Gate Bridge and into Coal Harbour.

June: Rats Must Die On Haida Gwaii

Parks Canada issued a death sentence for rats on Haida Gwaii out of concern that the rodents would wipe out the ancient murrelet, a bird species that nests underground. Death was dealt from above as rat poison was dropped from the sky.

July: Cougar Swimming In Nootka Sound

You're not safe from cougars anywhere in the wild, least of all in the water, as a paddling kitty proved in July.

August: Skimboarding Bulldog Karma Hits Parksville Beach

Karma the bulldog showed some mad skills on a skimboard in a Youtube video from last August. Her owner Janene Ritchie said the mutt's a natural.

August: Deer Encounter Near Vernon Is Incredibly Cute

A Vernon teen was chilling on the beach at Kalamalka Lake when he made a "deer" friend that wouldn't stop nuzzling him. Sadly, the buck met with a grim end: the animal was euthanized when it became too habituated to humans.

August: Motorcyclist Hits Bear, Helmet Cam Captures It

A motorcyclist with a helmet cam was looking at his speedometer when a bear ran right into his path. The camera captured the driver flipping and falling all over the road, suffering a concussion and broken bones in the process.

September: Dogs Chase Cougar Off Victoria Property

A mountain lion was no match for two Victoria dogs that scared the big cat off their owner's property in the Highlands area.

September: NHL Player Clayton Stoner Caught In Grizzly Photos

Minnesota Wild forward Clayton Stoner made no apologies after photos emerged that showed him holding up a grizzly bear's severed head and paw after he shot it in the Kwatna Estuary on B.C.'s central coast.

September: Cougar Drags Deer Near Powell River

YouTube users had a first-hand look at nature's savagery when a cougar was caught dragging a deer's corpse along a road near Powell River. The scariest moment came when the cat shot a menacing glance right into the camera, as though the videographer had interrupted its meal.

October: Baby Cougar Near Powell River Is Incredibly Cute

Cougars can be cute, too, at least when they're young. Some hikers were driving back from Emma Lake near Powell River when they spotted a cub by the side of the road, all alone in the rain and crying out for its mommy. Needless to say, the hikers didn't stay for long.

October: Shot Sea Otter Rescued By Vancouver Aquarium

A sea otter was left fighting for its life after it was shot in the head. Vancouver Aquarium researchers found it near Tofino and nursed it to a stable condition.

October: Abandoned Dog In Squamish Recovers

Poor Harold. The little dachshund mix was found wandering a road outside Squamish, injured, neglected and suffering from a life-threatening infection before he was taken to the SPCA. The society put out a call for donations to pay for his treatment and animal lovers responded in kind, donating over $6,000 to exceed a fundraising goal of $2,000.

November: World's Rarest Whale Seen Near Victoria

Reseachers with Fisheries and Oceans Canada spotted rarely-seen North Pacific right whales on two occasions: once near Haida Gwaii and another time near Victoria where the mammal was mixed in with a group of humpbacks. These were the only confirmed sightings of the whales in Canadian waters since 1951.

November: Dolphin "Super Pod" Amazes B.C. Ferries Passengers

Ferry passengers travelling from Galiano Island to Tsawwassen were treated to quite the show when an estimated 1,000 Pacific White-sided dolphins swam alongside the vessel. The pod could be seen for about three minutes before it swam away.

November: Vancouver Aquarium Releases Seal Pups Back Into Wild

The Vancouver Aquarium released seven Harbour Seal pups into the ocean, equipping five of them with GPS to track their movements in the wild. The animals looked a little silly with the electronic contraptions on their heads, but we can see the good intentions here.


Richmond's famous snow geese went viral when a massive flock of the invasive birds flew across a field at Dixon Elementary School.

December: Bobcat Stuck In Blinds

A bobcat turned scaredy cat when it was stuck in the basement of a Nelson home. The homeowner came downstairs with her dog, which scared the wild feline up the wall and into some blinds, where it became entangled.


Like this article? Follow our Facebook page

Or follow us on Twitter