There aren’t that many zoological facilities in North America that focus on the educational display of specific taxa and specifically large carnivores. But the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, since its inception, has administered education and science programs to aid in the conservation efforts for North America’s most iconic carnivore species—the grizzly bear. It later became a sanctury for wolves.
I learned from the noted grizzly bear conservation organization and land trust Vital Ground that the discovery center was recently recognized by a federal agency responsible for the conservation management of the grizzly bear in the Lower 48. The Interagengy Grizzly Bear Commitee (IGBC) oversees recovery efforts for one of the most celebrated large carnivores in the Western Hemisphere and to be recognized by this joint agency is truly an honor. It is certainly commendable to receive an award from a zoo association and indeed the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) recognized the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center for its work on testing bear-resistant containers earlier in the year. However, it is a great distinction to be held in such high regard by a federal agency. The program has been hugely applicable to managing grizzly bears and the awards from both the AZA and IGBC were well-deserved.
According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, “For 15 years, the discovery center has helped the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s bear resistant product testing program. The program uses grizzly bears to test a wide variety of products for use in bear habitat in North America, encouraging the use of bear-resistant equipment on public and private lands.”
The program is not only enriching for bears, engaging and educational for people, but it demonstrates the value of captive animal ambassadors to the management of their wild counterparts.
For more on the story visit the full article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.