Located outside the West Entrance to Yellowstone, the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center provides visitors to the Yellowstone area with educational details and knowledge about the grizzly bear and gray wolf. Their goal is to educate visitors with comprehensive knowledge about both grizzles and wolfs through their informative educational programs.
Grizzles and wolves are at a great threat, as the environment is negatively compromising the areas they rely on for life sustaining measures for raising their young.
Many of the center’s grizzly bears that are rescued and come to reside at the center are not able to function in the outside world. Some were considered “nuisance bears,” others were dangerous around humans, etc. This center gives them a second chance at life and shows how humans can take proper action to help ensure that bears stay wild in natural habitats forever.
The wolves in the center are all captive-born. The pups were taken from different litters and have developed into three wolf packs. Wolves have a strong, unbreakable family structure that is easy to observe in their daily rituals and functions. The social structure of wolves is one of the most fascinating within the animal kingdom. Visitors can personally witness ear and tail positions, body posturing and each canines’ position in the pack.
The center also has a wide selection of birds of prey that are not able to be released to into the wild due to injuries or abandonment. The center has worked with these animals one-on-one to help rehabilitate them.
The center is also home to Nakiska, a female Karelian Bear Dog. This breed originates in Finland and Russia and was originally bred to hunt bears and moose. Nakiska has undergone rigorous testing, which includes skills and temperament assessments, bear conflict management, bear protection and dog companionship.
The center has an amazing museum, which is home to an excellent exhibit of bears. This interactive exhibit was originally produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota, which analyzed the contrasts of bears in art, myths, literature, folklore and history. The highlights of this exhibit include over 25 grizzly and black bear taxidermy mounts in natural settings of them scavenging for food, water and exhibiting their behavior habits. The primary exhibit themes include: The Sacred Bear, The Bear of Our Imagination, The Vanishing Bear, The World of the Bear, Bears, Wilderness and People and Bear Encounters.
The museum also features a theater that hosts several different presentations throughout the day. Schedules regularly change, so it is best to confirm when they offer Yellowstone Park Ranger discussions, educational wildlife movies and children’s programs.
With a convenient location just outside the entrance to West Yellowstone, there are several West Yellowstone campgrounds nearby, including Hebgen Lake cabin rentals and a Hebgen Lake RV park.