Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center - Montana

On August 3, 1997 I visited the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana - just outside Yellowstone National Park.

The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center was started by Lewis S. Robinson, and opened in 1993 with three bears as the Grizzly Discovery Center. It was intended as a sanctuary for bears that were removed from the wild because they had become too familiar or aggressive with people.

In 1995, the G.D.C was sold to New York-based Ogden Entertainment. A wolf exhibit and ten captive-born wolves were added to the center in 1996.

At the time I visited in 1997, they had live Wolves and Grizzly Bears on display in a San Diego style zoo display.

In 1999, Ogden Entertainment decided to close the center if a buyer could not be found. Three long-term managers of the center formed a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and made a $1.7 million offer to include the center and undeveloped land north and south of the center. The offer was accepted, and was financed by a 30-year financing package guaranteed by a United States Department of Agriculture program for rural development.

The center then made agreements with Yellowstone National Park to host some of the park's programs and to test bear resistant containers for the United States Forest Service. In 2001 it received accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

In 2002, the center was renamed "Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center," and purchased two buildings north of the center in order to house the "BEARS: Imagination & Reality" exhibit.

Lots of information and pictures on their website.

I got there around eleven and the Wolves were lazing in the shade but did move around once in a while.

Wolf at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Wolf at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Wolf at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Wolf at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana

Wolves at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Wolves at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Wolf at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Wolf at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana


At the time I visited, they had six Grizzly bears. Two were 1.5 years old, 2 were 2.5 years old and 2 were seven years old. Over time the bear population changes. You can see the current population on their website.

Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Young Grizzly Bears, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center,<br />West Yellowstone, Montana
Young Grizzly Bears, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center,
West Yellowstone, Montana

Grizzly Bears at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bears at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bears at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bears at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana

Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear, Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana

Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana

Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana
Grizzly Bear at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone, Montana

They rotate the bears on display so that at the time I visited the four young ones were out at one time, the two old ones another time.

Between times they hide food under rocks, put peanut butter on trees, etc. so the bears move around locating the food. Makes an interesting display.

Was very interesting to watch and photograph them with my long lens.

UPDATE 2013: Much of this facility has been re-designed with new exhibits. There is an ongoing construction program which you can learn about at their website.