A retired Victoria marine biologist believes an enormous, humped sea serpent plies the waters of the Pacific Coast. Edward Bousfield is in relentless pursuit of an elusive marine serpent, the Cadborosaurus. Since the report of a sighting in Cadboro Bay, Victoria, in 1933 (hence Cadborosaurus, the lizard of Cadboro Bay), dozens of astounded people have said they gazed upon a giant marine animal in the waters between Vancouver Island and the lower British Columbia mainland. The reports describe a creature similar in appearance to the Loch Ness monster, an enormous, fast-swimming, humped serpent. But when it comes to scientific proof of “Caddy,” the story gets a bit damp: Grainy photos, lost physical evidence, a monster that is “out there” somewhere, whose regular habitat cannot be identified.
While stories about a Pacific Coast sea creature have existed since at least the 1880s, it is Dr. Bousfield, a retired, Victoria-based marine biologist, who has made the most concerted effort to move Caddy in the scientific mind from fantasy to fact. “I’m appealing to the scientific community in Canada to no longer scoff at this animal, but please get involved to help find it,” says Dr. Bousfield. He and scientific colleague Paul LeBlond, a professor emeritus and retired University of British Columbia oceanographer, made their biggest push to give Caddy the mantle of legitimacy when they published a paper in 1995 formally describing the creature as a new species, Cadborosaurus willsi.
The article, in Dr. Bousfield’s self-published scientific journal Amphipacifica, depicts Cadborosaurus as a large aquatic reptile, 15 to 20 metres long, with a serpentine body (which forms a series of humps or loops when the animal is swimming at the surface), long neck, with a horse-like head and two pairs of flippers. In fact, he believes Cadborosaurus may well be closely related to other sea creatures, such as Nessie in Scotland and the famed Ogopogo of Lake Okanagan in the B.C. interior.
Source: The Globe and Mail by Jacob Berkowitz