Right outside of Yellowstone on the Montana side is the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. This center is a non-profit that rescues grizzly bears and wolves and also provides education to visitors.
We started our day with a tour of the facility and animals, the tour was great and our guide extremely knowledgable. Our first stop was a grizzly habitat that housed Kobuk and Nakina. They are brother and sister, their mother and other brother were killed in Alaska. That was our lucky day, our guide said they were usually pretty docile in the mornings, but today they played. It was a little scary looking too (see the pictures). Although these two were playing, the behavior was similar to bears in heat.
After the bears we moved on to the Wolf area. There were only a few wolves out that morning, but they were beautiful. We learned about the alpha male and the hierarchy of wolves, very interesting. It also reminded me of Twilight.
There were also a few birds on property, including a Bald Eagle who had been poisoned. His brain was screwed up from that and he was always looking in funny directions and was obviously screwed up, it was sad. But it was also nice to know that there was a safe place for him to go.
After our tour of the animals we were invited to go inside the museum, they just displayed a few things to learn a bit more. This section is probably more appropriate for someone who is not on a tour, but it was nice to take a walk around.
Outside there is a display of bear safe containers. When containers want to be certified for bear safety, this is where they come for testing. Kobuk it seems is very good at getting into containers, so they give him the containers and if he can’t get into them in a prescribed period of time (don’t remember what the time is) then they are certified as bear safe.
After that we all went into the shop. The shop had a good selection, but my favorite thing was that there was a giant bear chair, and that was just fun.
If you’re in the area of West Yellowstone I think it’s absolutely worth it to stop here, if for no other reason then it is your best chance to see bears and wolves in yellowstone. But it’s also nice to learn a bit about these animals and why you should not get too close to them in the park.