If you’ve been visiting Yellowstone and have not seen bears and wolves in the wild or they are too far away for a good view we highly recommend Exploring the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. In a few hours, you can see more bears, wolves, and otters than you can inside the park in a week’s time.
One of the best things about the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is that it isn’t like most zoos, where the animals are asleep in a corner far away from view. The animals here are very active because they are rotated in to search for food in the viewing area every 90 minutes or so.
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- An Overview of the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
- Wildlife at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
- Exhibits and Educational Programs
- Grizzly Bears: The Ultimate Predator
- Gray Wolves: The Keystones of the Ecosystem
- Otterly Adorable: Dive into the Playful World of Otters!
- Product Testing
- Conservation and Research Efforts
- Other Things To Do In The Area
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is an AZA Accredited, Not-for-Profit Wildlife Park and Educational Facility situated in West Yellowstone, Montana. Its primary focus is on conserving and protecting the grizzly bears and gray wolves, two of the most iconic species found in the Yellowstone region.
The center’s mission is to provide a safe and natural habitat for grizzly bears and gray wolves while educating the public about these magnificent creatures. The center is home to several nuisance bears or the orphaned cubs of nuisance bears. The center is also home to eight grey wolves that live in three different packs. The wolves were born in captivity and are unable to live in the wild.
Visitors can observe these animals in their natural habitat from the safety of viewing platforms, where they can learn about their behavior, diet, and habitat. The center’s exhibits showcase the animals’ natural behaviors and offer insights into their lives in the wild. Naturalists hide food within the habitat for the bears to find when released into the enclosure
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center offers several educational programs, including naturalist-led talks, workshops, and guided tours. These programs are designed to educate visitors about the importance of preserving these animals’ habitats and the role that they play in the ecosystem.
The center is actively involved in conservation efforts to protect grizzly bears and gray wolves in the Yellowstone region. It partners with other organizations to promote research, conservation, and education on the importance of these animals’ survival.
Overall, the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is an excellent place to learn about grizzly bears and gray wolves and their role in the ecosystem. It provides visitors a unique opportunity to observe these animals in a safe and natural environment while promoting conservation and education efforts to protect them for future generations.
An Overview of the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is located at 201 S. Canyon St. in West Yellowstone, MT, just a few blocks away from the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The center is open 365 days a year and hours are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Note: At the Center, the bears DO NOT hibernate because they are offered food throughout the winter.
Admission fees vary by age and group size, with discounts available for seniors, military personnel, and groups of 15 or more. The center offers several facilities and amenities, including a gift shop, snack bar, and picnic area. Tickets are good for two consecutive days.
Wildlife at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is home to several grizzly bears and gray wolves, as well as other wildlife such as otters, eagles, and raptors.
Exhibits and Educational Programs
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center offers several exhibits and educational programs that are both interactive and informative. Some of the most popular exhibits include:
- Bear Country: an exhibit that showcases the natural habitat of grizzly bears, including a river, waterfall, and forested area. Visitors can observe the bears in their natural surroundings and learn about their behavior and biology.
- Wolf Woods: an exhibit that features a pack of gray wolves and their natural habitat, including a forested area and a den. Visitors can observe the wolves in their natural surroundings and learn about their pack dynamics, communication, and hunting strategies.
- Banks of the Yellowstone: an exhibit that features playful North American River Otters. Visitors can observe these playful creatures frolic and look for food above and below the waters of the indoor river.
- Raptors of Yellowstone: an exhibit that showcases various species of birds of prey that can be found in the Yellowstone region, including bald eagles, falcons, and owls. Visitors can observe the birds up close and learn about their biology and conservation status.
Grizzly Bears: The Ultimate Predator
Grizzly bears are one of the most iconic animals in the Yellowstone ecosystem, and the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center provides a unique opportunity to observe them up close.
Visitors can watch the grizzly bears as they forage for food, play, and interact with each other in a naturalistic habitat that is designed to mimic their wild surroundings. The center is home to several grizzly bears, including some that were rescued from the wild after being injured or orphaned.
Grizzly bears are the ultimate predator, with powerful jaws and sharp claws that make them well-adapted to their natural habitat. They are omnivores, feeding on a diet that includes berries, nuts, roots, insects, and other mammals. Grizzly bears play an important role in the Yellowstone ecosystem, helping to regulate populations of other animals and maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. However, grizzly bears face many challenges in the wild, including habitat loss, climate change, and conflicts with humans.
Gray Wolves: The Keystones of the Ecosystem
Gray wolves are another important species in the Yellowstone ecosystem, and the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center provides a unique opportunity to observe these animals up close. Visitors can watch the gray wolves as they howl, play, and interact with each other in a naturalistic habitat that is designed to mimic their wild surroundings. The center is home to several gray wolves.
Gray wolves are the keystone species of the Yellowstone ecosystem, playing a critical role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. They feed on a variety of prey, including elk, deer, and other animals, and their presence helps to regulate populations and prevent overgrazing. However, gray wolves also face many challenges in the wild, including habitat loss, hunting, and conflicts with humans.
Otterly Adorable: Dive into the Playful World of Otters!
Also The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is also home to otters. Visitors can watch North American river otters as they swim, play, and interact with each other in their exhibit.
Otters are known for their playful and energetic behavior, and visitors can witness this firsthand at the center. The otter exhibit is designed to simulate a natural river habitat, complete with waterfalls and a shallow pool.
The otters are rotated in and out of the habitat throughout the day, and spend the rest of their time either in their dens or in a behind-the-scenes outdoor play area. Animal keepers carry out enrichment between each rotation adding food and objects of interest to the habitats for the otters to interact with. This creates an outlet for the otters’ natural instincts for play and curiosity.
In addition to observing the otters, visitors can also learn about their biology and behavior through educational programs and exhibits. Otters are important members of aquatic ecosystems and play a vital role in maintaining the health of rivers and streams.
Overall, the otters at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center provide a unique opportunity to observe and learn about these fascinating animals in a safe and educational environment.
Book The Best Yellowstone Wildlife Tour Now!
A fun program designed for kids ages 5-12. This unique hands-on 30-minute program teaches kids about grizzly bear eating habits. Then the kids will accompany the naturalist into the bear habitat to hide food for the bears. After the food is hidden, they can see first-hand how bears use their sense of smell to search for the food they had hidden. How fun is that?
Discover all the facts about the birds of prey that reside at the Center.
Bear Spray Demonstrations
Learn what it is, how to use it, and how not to use it. Watch as the Naturalist acts out a bear encounter and how to fire a can of bear pepper spray
Join a Naturalist as live bears help teach visitors how to make the right decisions when living and recreating in bear country. Learn what not to leave outside residential and vacation homes in bear country, and find out if grizzly bears can climb trees.
Wolf Pack Chat
Join a naturalist to observe wolf activity and learn about how the animal keepers provide opportunities for the wolves to engage with each other and their changing habitats.
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center cooperates with state and federal agencies in the examination of containers designated for bear-resistant food and garbage storage. The association between people and food may instigate bears to become dangerous and consequently, they may be euthanized or detained.
Most of the bears at the center are there because they were a nuisance breaking into garbage cans and other places they shouldn’t be. The most effective method of ensuring the survival of bears in their natural habitat is to obstruct their access to human food and garbage.
The testing procedure starts with the manufacturer presenting their product to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, following which it is positioned in the bear’s habitat and baited with delectable foods. From there, the bears try to access the container for 60 minutes for it to be considered tested. If the bears are unable to penetrate the container or obtain food from it, the container is certified as “bear-resistant” by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC).
Any containers that fail the test can be modified and re-examined at a subsequent date. Any container that passes the test can be used to prevent bear-human conflicts.
A fun place to explore is the containers that have failed testing. It’s amazing to see how badly some of the containers held up to the bears ripping into them.
Conservation and Research Efforts
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is committed to the conservation and preservation of grizzly bears and gray wolves, as well as other wildlife in the Yellowstone region. The center has several conservation and research projects in place, which aim to improve our understanding of these animals and their habitats.
Some of the center’s conservation efforts include:
- Bear management and safety: the center provides information and resources on bear safety, including tips on how to prevent bear encounters and proper use of bear spray.
- Habitat conservation: the center works to protect and restore the natural habitats of grizzly bears and gray wolves in the Yellowstone region, which are crucial for their survival.
- Wildlife rehabilitation and rescue: the center has a rehabilitation program for orphaned or injured grizzly bears and gray wolves, which aims to provide them with care and support until they can be released back into the wild.
- Research and monitoring: the center conducts research and monitoring projects to better understand the behavior, biology, and conservation status of grizzly bears and gray wolves in the Yellowstone region.
Other Things To Do In The Area
The Yellowstone Ecosystem is an amazing place that has an endless amount of things to see and do. No matter what your interests are we’re sure you can find fun things to keep you occupied during your visit.
- Hiking to Lone Star Geyser: An Unforgettable Experience
- Hiking Yellowstone National Park – Rabbit Creek Hot Springs
- Being Bear Aware – Hiking in Bear Country
- Hiking Yellowstone National Park – Trout Lake
- Avoiding Yellowstone Crowds – Off The Beaten Path
How long does it take to go through the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center? Two to Three hours will give you enough time to catch a few different bears, observe the wolves doing wolf things and see the otters and birds in their habitats.
How much does it cost to go to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center?
|Adults (13 and older)||$16.50|
|Seniors (62 +)||$15.50|
|Children (5 – 12)||$11.50|
|Children 4 & under||FREE|
Are there guided tours available at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center? Yes, guided tours and educational programs are available for visitors of all ages. These programs are designed to provide visitors with a better understanding of the animals, their behavior, and their habitats, as well as the center’s conservation efforts.
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is a unique and educational destination for anyone interested in wildlife conservation and the Yellowstone region. With its exhibits, educational programs, and conservation efforts, the center provides visitors with a better understanding of grizzly bears, gray wolves, and other wildlife in their natural habitats. Whether you’re a family with kids, a group of nature enthusiasts, or a solo traveler, the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is a must-see destination in West Yellowstone, MT.
What interesting places can you recommend? We’re always looking for neat out-of-the-way experiences to add to our list of places to visit. Thank you for reading our article. If you have any comments or questions we’d love to hear from you below.