Seawind Aviation’s Misty Fjords and fly out bear viewing tours all offer the opportunity to view wildlife in their natural habitat. In order to do this responsibly, we have to be sure proper permits are in place and that all our pilots / guides understand how to respect the wildlife they encounter with guests. Bears and whales need a large “girth” or span around them to provide a level of comfort for the animal. Bears often respond to threatening behavior in a dangerous way and whales are known to curiously eyeball onlookers in close proximity. These are natural reactions to not feeling safe and comfortable and that is not the goal of an ethical wildlife viewer.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) the recommend several practices to enforce ethical wildlife viewing. In addition to providing wildlife with adequate space, learn to recognize signs of alarm. Furthermore, be respectful of any areas where young, sick, orphaned or injured animals may be present. Maintain control of your household pet that may accompany you while wildlife viewing or simply leave them at home. Finally, don’t attempt to feed an animal no matter how desperate they may look. Changing an animal’s natural pattern of behavior could create a potentially dangerous outcome of both humans and wildlife alike. By practicing and demanding ethical wildlife viewing, you are doing your part to sustain an incredible resource in a safe and productive way