The Seven Wonders - Animals

Many people nominated wonders that walk, crawl, slither, swim, or fly. The Narcisse Snake Dens made the shortlist – but why stop there? Here are a few of the other ‘creature wonders’ that were nominated:

Canadian Wildlife

Jasmin Dobson

Just completed a 5 day backcountry ski traverse in northwestern BC's Mt. Edziza Provincial Park. Of all the backcountry ski traverses that I have done in the spring this one stands out in my mind because of all the animals / animal prints that I have seen on this trip: caribou, black bears, gizzly bears, moose, deer, many birds, wolves, coyotes, fox, wolverine. Beaver, mice! How awesome is Canada for its wildlife!

Orca whales in Broughton Strait

Bernie Jones

These majestic, massive, and marvelously graceful creatures never cease to thrill us and remind us of the great diversity of life forms that make up this planet.

The Beaver

Jim O'Neil

What animal is more important to Canadian's than the Beaver, our first form of money.

The Newfoundland Dog

Rick Cameron

I think we would be remiss if we failed to mention one of Canada's internationally renown and historical wonders, the Newfoundland dog. A brilliant blend of the man-made and the natural, the noble Newfoundland truly exemplifies and encompasses everything that's Canada - from the ruggedness of the Canadian landscape and the stalwart determination of our pioneering forefathers, to the gentle pride and strength of the Canadian people. Undeterred by the elements of ice or snow on land or sea, the Newfoundland is know foremost for its heroic rescues, but is also a wonderful companion, guardian, draft animal, hauler of nets and even a nannie.  A mobile ambassador of the indomitable Canadian spirit, it represents the quiet capacity and readiness to selflessly serve whenever the need arises.  The Newfoundland dog - the gentle giant - possesses a balanced character that is distinctly Canadian: proud, brave, capable, loving, robust, friendly, resilient, resourceful, intelligent and unflaggingly loyal with a strongly honed sense of duty and purpose.  Its considerable strength of character is expressed with tact and foresight and its physical strength is exercised with discretion and restraint.  Perhaps Lord Byron summarized it best in his tribute to Boatswain, his loyal Newfoundland dog - "Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity."  Not only a testament to the character of the Newfoundland dog, but and equally fitting and inspiration tribute to the unique character of Canadians.

The Kermodie Bear

Marion Schlegel

The Kermodie Bear is very rare and a wonderful colored Bear, coming in colors from white to cinnamon brown. He is related to the black Bear, but is a specie on its own. I am sure a true canadian wonder.

Adams River Salmon

John Post

Every 4th year, during September and October, the 14km long Adams River in BC provides the scene of one of the natural wonders of the world! As the nights get cooler and the trees turn red, several million crimson sockeye salmon return from the Pacific Ocean to the scene of their birth to reproduce. Once spawning and fertilization is completed, they die and decompose in the river, providing nutrients for the success of their babies and the cycle is completed. But the salmon are not alone: predators such as bald eagles, osprey, mink and bears prowl the banks to consume their share. In addition, several hundred-thousand Canadians and international visitors welcome the salmon in a “Salute to the Salmon” and marvel at the miracle of this unique natural wonder of life and death.

British Columbia Spirit Bear (White black bear)

Suzannah Schreurs

Location - Queen Charlotte Islands (Princess Island).
This is just an amazing wonder. They only exist on this beautiful island and they are not albino bears. They are actually a white black bear and to me they represent the vast uniqueness of Canada.

The Polar Bear

John Tatarynovich

I can not imagine a more majestic animal, and one that can live and thrive in such conditions. If it is declared one of the seven wonders maybe this will help us to do more to preserve its icy habitat.

Canada geese

Michelle Hibler

What can be more wondrous, more Canadian, than the Canada goose? Stuff of art and legend, Canada geese, it can be argued, unite Canadians more than any another thing. There are few Canadians, in cities or in the country, East to West, North and South, who have not lifted their heads to the skies to mourn the flight of the geese as they wing their way south in the fall, and thrill as they return home in spring.” …  As a recent resident of tiny Nicolls Island that anchors the west side of the dam, I am learning to mark the seasons by the geese. This past summer, small fierce families strutted their stuff in the locks park, teased picnicking children, swam with boaters, ornamented lawns. As fall drew near, their numbers grew, soared into the hundreds, thousands. Jostling for position on the water, relating the day’s exploits, planning the next day’s sortie and menu, they cackled, barked, and honked their way into the night. In the early morning, flights, no, clouds of geese lifted with an exuberance comparable perhaps only to a home-town crowd at a Senators game. They returned, proud, loud, at dusk, drowning out all sounds and thought except our laughter. Because of the late-arriving snow, the geese lingered long past the time when they were expected to wing south for the winter. They determinedly huddled on the ice, at the edge of open water as if reluctant to close up their summer cottage. But now they are back. I eagerly await their telling of adventures down south, stories that have also always been part of Canadian lore. I strain to hear them sing lullabies to their young.

Truly, the Canada goose is wonder that all Canadians can share.

Canadian Inuit Dog

Mary O’Brien Carpenter

Bred and developed by the Inuit of Arctic Canada the Canadian Eskimo Dog bears this name courtesy of the Canadian Kennel Club.  Nunavut selected the Canadian Inuit Dog (Canis familiaris borealis) to be the official animal of the new territory.  Called Qimmiq in Inuktitut, this dog is one of the oldest pure breeds and the sole remaining domestic animal of the Aboriginal Peoples of not only Canada, but North America.  Recent evidence from the Arctic indicates that the dog has been resident there for at least 4000 years (Nunavut legislative Assembly)…. Saving the Qimmiq From Extinction:  By 1970, the Qimmiq was in very real danger of going the way of so many other indigenous breeds of dog.  The estimate is that the population had dropped from an estimated 20,000 dogs in 1920 to fewer than 200.  The American Kennel Club had dropped the Eskimo from the list of registered breeds in 1950 due to a lack of registrations (www.canadianeskimodog.com).   His existence today is attributable to one man, a biologist by the name of William (Bill) J. Carpenter.   Carpenter related his story in the February issue of North/Nord.  The future of the Qimmiq is not in the dog show world with dogs on a leash instead of a sealskin or webbing harness - although this display may help in the needed dissemination of information about this noble breed - but in the north.  We cannot separate the dogs, the place and the people.

The Canadian horse / le Cheval Canadien

Paul Aird

This horse breed originated in Canada when King Louis XlV of France sent some of the best horses from his stables to multiply and help the early settlers in New France in the mid-1600s.  By the mid-1800s this unique breed, now called the Canadian horse, had grown to about 150,000 horses.  Because of its renowned strength, it was nicknamed the “Little Iron Horse,” or “Petit cheval de fer,” and was dispersed widely throughout North America and beyond.  It was among the first horse breeds to be officially registered in North America.

The Canadian horse contributed immensely to the creation of Canada.  These horses transported the trees that built the ships that that took fish, beaver pelts and wood to France and England, and returned with new settlers; they helped to plow and plant the fields and harvest the crops that sustained the settlers; they transported people across the developing nation; they helped to build the roads, canals and railroads so essential to the growth of the nation; and they helped our valiant soldiers to move guns and equipment in World Wars l and ll.  They have frequently entertained people in horse races, jumping competitions and on trail rides, and are memorialized in Canadian literature, art (Cornelius Krieghoff and A.Y. Jackson) and music (The Canadian; Le Petit Cheval de Fer, composed and sung by folksinger Marie-Lynn Hammond).

The mechanization of work in fields, forests, transportation and construction caused this unique Canadian breed to decline to about 400 registered horses in the 1970s.  With the cooperative help of dedicated horse breeders and people who admire this beautiful, strong and good-natured horse, the population has since increased to more than 6,000 horses located in almost every Canadian province and territory, and worldwide.  The ability of this breed to survive more than three centuries is an inspiration to all.  The Canadian horse can still be seen working on farms and in forests across Canada, and transporting visitors in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia; Quebec City and Montreal, Quebec; Upper Canada Village, Ontario; and elsewhere.

According to the National Horse of Canada Act, 2002, ‘The horse known as the Canadian horse is hereby recognized and declared to be the national horse of Canada; Le cheval Canadien est reconnu comme le cheval national du Canada’…   and rightly so.

The Moose

Terry Medd

It is a majestic animal, found in many parts of Canada and recognized around the world as a true Canadian Icon.