Meet the   Residents of the GWDC...

Each species has its own distinct purpose towards our mission 

The BEARS at the GWDC were all wild bears at one point, and they have come to reside here for different reasons. Many were orphaned in the wild as young cubs before they had acquired the skills necessary to survive independently. Others were able to obtain human food, unsecured pet foods, garbage, and other food attractants, and therefore, they came to associate humans with food sources. These bears are labeled ‘nuisance bears’; if a nuisance bear, or problem bear, cannot be relocated in the wild, they are removed and euthanized if a captive facility cannot be found. Regardless of its age, once a bear is removed from the wild, it can never return. The GWDC is fortunate in that we have been able to give these animals a second chance.

The WOLVES are captive-born animals that lack the skills and abilities necessary to survive, therefore could never be released into the wild. The GWDC agreed to take numerous pups from different litters when they needed new homes. At the GWDC, in their habitats, these wolves were given the opportunity to develop strong social ties, similar to how they would develop mentally and socially in the wild and have since formed cohesive packs. They act as ambassadors, engendering a greater appreciation and understanding of this predator in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

The North American river OTTERS ambassadors have the dual role of helping to educate visitors about this unique species and the importance of maintaining a healthy riparian ecosystem; additionally, they provide the opportunity for grassroots involvement that will ultimately help save wild predators and the wild places in which they live.

The RAPTORS have all been diagnosed ‘non-releasable’ by veterinarians, and must remain in captivity. These birds have all sustained some type of injury or were abandoned as chicks making it impossible for them to survive in the wild.

Meet the little critters - Uinta Ground Squirrels