Imagine a place where you can see grizzlies and wolves up close, and engaging in the same behaviors they exhibit in the wild. This attraction in West Yellowstone offers exactly that – and strives to educate guests about human/animal interaction. Take a look at these beautiful animals!
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is located at 201 South Canyon, in West Yellowstone.
The center was founded as a sanctuary for grizzlies, wolves and birds of prey. It seeks to educate the public about these animals, and to provide information about avoiding conflict with them.
You can view grizzlies engaging in bear behavior...from the safety of your vantage point behind the fence.
Eight grizzlies call this place home. All have been transferred here after living in the wild.
Spirit, Grant and Roosevelt hanging out.
Roosevelt and Grant's mom was euthanized after it was determined that she was responsible for for two fatalities in Yellowstone Park. Luckily, her cubs found a home here.
Biologists near Whitefish loved Spirit, who seemed to be very relaxed and easygoing as she roamed the golf course, where she often found food. Despite being relocated six times, Spirit just kept coming back. Fish and Wildlife officials finally found her a home at the center, where she can live with other bears and not pose a threat to golfers.
This is Kobuk and Nakina.
Kobuk and Nakina are brother and sister. They came to the center in 1998, after their mother and sibling were shot and killed in Delta Junction, Alaska. These Alaskan natives are about the same size as the Yellowstone bears - between 450 and 600 pounds!
Sow 101 is a BIG girl.
This gorgeous girl lived in Yellowstone for 20 years, and was the 101st grizzly tagged there. Unfortunately, she and her young cubs gained access to human food in West Yellowstone in 2002, and officials determined that she needed to find a new home to avoid the inevitable disaster of human/bear interaction.
Say hello to Coram.
Coram moved into the Grizzly & Wolf Discover Center because he just loved human food, and was pretty bold about getting it - he would climb right up onto residents' porches! After three relocation attempts, wildlife officials worried that things might get ugly, and he came here in 2011.
Roosevelt, Grant and Coram show you how much fun they can have in a campsite.
If this doesn't convince you that leaving food in your tent is a bad idea, nothing will.
The bears at the center work for their keep.
Manufacturers of bear resistant containers bring their products to the center for testing. Tasty treats, such as raw meat, fish and fruit jam are placed inside, then the bears spend the next 60 to 90 minutes trying to get at the goodies inside. If they fail to open it, the container is certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and is allowed to be marketed as "bear resistant."
Six wolves live at the Grizzy & Wolf Discover Center.
The wolves here were all captive-born, so they cannot survive in the wild. Instead, they educate and entertain guests here.
Meet Kootenai and Akela.
This sister and brother duo arrived at the center in 2007, when they were just five weeks old. They were born in captivity in another center in Montana.
Leopold and McKinley love to howl.
They arrived at the center when they were 15 weeks old. McKinley is a big guy, weighing in at 125 pounds.
Josh the Bald Eagle is one of several birds of prey who live here.
When Josh arrived, he was injured and weak. He had been shot in the left wing, some of which had to be amputated. Today, Josh and the other birds of prey educate visitors about their species.
Nahani is a rough-legged hawk - another of the center's birds of prey.
She was hit by a car near Bozeman and was seriously injured. No longer able to fly, Nahani was transferred to the center in 2001.
Nakiska is a Karelian Bear Dog.
Born in 2011, Nakiska was trained to work with bears to both protect them and chase them out of human environments. She lives at the center to help educate people in the "Living With Bears" human-bear conflict prevention program.
Visit the Grizzy & Wolf Discovery Center 365 days a year. It opens at 8:30 a.m. every morning, and closes at various times (between 4:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.), depending on the time of year. The bears don’t hibernate here, so you can see them year-round. Admission is $13.00 for adults, $8.00 for children 5-12 and free for kids four and under. Admission is good for two consecutive days.