Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
While we were in Island Park, ID. last week, we drove to West Yellowstone, MT. a couple of times. On our last day in the area, we decided to go to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. Seeing animals in a captive state, is not usually my favorite. But after our visit to the Sonoran Desert museum last winter, I thought this could be good as well.
And it was.
The discovery center is not large. They have a small amount of grizzly bears, wolves, and a new exhibit of raptors. They take in animals that wouldn’t make it in the wild, or in the case of the bears, ones that got in trouble.
The bear exhibit is pretty awesome. It’s a large open area where they rotate the bears in and out all day. When there are no bears out, they hide food under logs and rocks, and in the trees. Then they will let out the bears in small groups, or in the case of Sam, the 1000 pound kodiak grizzly, on his own.
The bears can then find the food, roam around, or play in the pond and stream that is there.
Taking photos was great because there was nothing in front of them. Behind, yes. But a nice tight shot with a long lens solved the problem.
They were fun to watch, and since we were there for a couple of hours, we saw several different bears.
There are two places for wolf packs. Again, nice open spaces with trees, water, everything they would encounter in the wild. We left and had lunch, and when we came back they were going to feed and do enrichment with one of the wolf packs. There are actually only two wolves in this pack.
They take out the wolves, and feed them some elk. While they are out of the display they hide chunks of elk, alter the smells with oils, and kinda make the environment different. Then the wolves go back and search, and sniff, and interact with what’s new for them. Watching these two was like watching Torrey and Roxy. So similar.
They are so beautiful.
This little Saw Whet owl was part of the raptor exhibit, and a live talk they do. He obviously has a bad eye, and he was just so cute.
If you find yourself in this part of the country I would recommend stopping. Especially if you have kids. It was interesting, fun, and a learning moment. I think kids, and adults too, need to be educated on wild animals, and how to interact around them. Just recently here, a mama bear with two cubs was put down because she killed a hiker. The hiker was alone, had no bear spray, and probably wasn’t making any noise while he hiked. The 3 biggest no-nos hiking in bear country. So now an adult female is dead, 2 small cubs are orphaned and headed to a zoo in Ohio. And it all could have been prevented. So tragic for all involved.
And on another note, we were art showing this weekend and had a good show. I sold a lot of photography, framed and unframed. The bison sculpture that I posted about on Friday, was sold as a pre-cast, which is awesome. That enables us to get the piece to the foundry, and have the mold made and the first one cast. We decided to name it Wisdom and Gratitude. Taryn from A tail of two cardis suggested the name.
This is what she wrote. “Wisdom and Gratitude”…..According to Native American legends and myths some tribes believed that the Crow had the power to talk and was therefore considered to be one of the wisest of birds….The buffalo symbolizes the sacred, life, great strength, abundance and gratitude. In this case the bison is grateful for the little birds easing his bug load.
She perfectly put together what we already knew about Native American legend, and created a great name and story to go along with the piece. Thanks, Taryn.