Yellowstone is full of wildlife and is one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots in North America. It is home to most of North America's largest animals, like grizzlies, elk, bison, and wolves. Learn more about the wildlife of Yellowstone at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. It is a not-for-profit wildlife park and educational facility in West Yellowstone where visitors can see grizzlies and wolves up close and personal.
Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park is a particular favorite for wildlife tours to frequent. The behavior of the wildlife varies significantly by the season (bears hibernate, birds fly south, the musk, etc.) If one would like to see the wildlife of Yellowstone, then one should plan a trip around the mating and migration patterns of the animals.
Yellowstone's Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
At the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, visitors get to see live grizzlies and wolves. They get to see the bears as they forage for food, play in their ponds, and tussle with each other.
The center is entertaining and educational with bird of prey presentations, Yellowstone Ranger talks, films and multimedia presentations, safety in bear country programs, and more. It is an ideal place to take the whole family for a fun and educational day out while at Yellowstone.
Come early in the morning or evening, and visitors may even get to see wolf packs howling. At the Naturalist Cabin, people can see exceptional views of the wolves through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is also home to other North American animals like river otters, fish, squirrels, and more.
The center is focused on conversation, education, and animal rescue. Many of the animals at the center have been rescued.
The Bears At Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
All the bears at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center were nuisance bears or orphaned cubs of nuisance bears. In the center, they are taken care of where they can't bother people. They enjoy a large naturalistic outdoor habitat complete with a pool and waterfall. They have private indoor areas where they can retreat to.
Staff hide food around their habitat for them to forage and stock the pond with first so that they can learn to catch food like they would in the wild.
The center has a bear exhibit that delves into the perceptions of bears in myth, art, literature, and folklore with the bears as known by outdoorsmen and researchers. It also has over 25 taxidermic mounts of grizzlies and black bears.
The Center's Wolves & Other Exhibits And Attractions
The center has two packs of wolves in different habitats that are separated by the Naturalist Cabin. The Naturalist Cabin is situated between the two wolf habitats and lets the visitors see the two packs of wolves from the same indoor location. It also has interpretive displays and a National Geographic film about wolves.
Other exhibits include the ground squirrel exhibit. The exhibit explores predator and prey relationships. The ground squirrels also hibernate from around August to March.
The Bird of Prey exhibit houses raptors who are no longer able to survive in the wild.
- Bird Of Prey Exhibit: Open April to November
They have also recently opened the new Banks of the Yellowstone Exhibit, which has large freshwater aquariums. The aquariums have North American river otters, Cutthroat Trout, Arctic Grayling, Tiger salamanders, Columbia spotted frogs, Rubber Boa, and Garter Snake.
Tiger Salamanders are reclusive and rarely seen. Learn how the introduction of lake trout has affected cutthroat populations.
Planning A Visit To The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
The center is open year-round, and grizzlies do not hibernate at the center. The center has the Warming Hut, where the bears can come and stay warm in colder times.
- Days Open: 365 Days A Year
- Opening Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (May Change Seasonally)
Admission is good for two consecutive days in case visitors would like to repeat the experience the next day.
- Adults: $15.00 (13 and Up)
- Children: $10.00 (5 to 12)
Not all of Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming. The center is located in the small town of West Yellowstone in Montana, just adjacent to the park.