Montana Grizzly Encounter

Montana Grizzly Encounter

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Posted 2022-08-27 by Lana Van Cleavefollow
Recently on a trip to Montana, we stopped at the on our way from Bozeman to Gardiner. We are so glad that we did.

Grizzlies are placed here after having been rescued in the wild or out of unsafe captive situations. They are sheltered and cared for in a natural habitat for them. These bears will live out their lives in this sanctuary as they do not have the skills to return to the wild.



The staff was very enthusiastic about caring for these grand creatures. They readily spend time with visitors who come to watch the bears in a natural, open area rather than behind the bars of a zoo. The staff is very well informed and seeks to educate the public on the habitats and habits of the grizzlies and provide information about bear safety—what to do should you encounter one.



We met Max. He's a three-year-old 900-pound brown bear who had been abandoned by his mom in Alaska. Because he was not taught the survival skills necessary by his mom to remain in the wilderness, the sanctuary accepted him. He will reach 1400-1500 pounds when he reaches adulthood. He was magnificent to watch as he played with a log and took a swim. He sat by the side of the pond and began playing with the pond liner sticking up. The staff member called out "Max" in a firm voice. He immediately looked up toward her. She continued, "You know you aren't to play with the pond liner." He placed his gigantic bear paw over the area he had been playing with and began to look around as if to say, "Move along. Nothing to see here." It was so comical to see him react to her. He knew her voice, and I believe he understood her words. Yet he responded like a true adolescent.



After a while, he decided to come to check out those of us watching him. He lumbered over, sniffed the air, and then stood up on his back legs. He seemed to know that he had a "captive" audience and wanted to entertain us. He continued for a while and then wandered about his enclosure to search for treats the staff hides to give him things to do.

We learned the difference between brown bears and black bears—hint: it isn't the color. And we learned the different tactics to use should you find yourself in the way of either kind. One notable suggestion was to not scream. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I may not remember that one in the moment's excitement.

It is a noble service to care for these giant creatures that either can't exist in the wild on their own or were mistreated in captivity. Stop by if in the vicinity and learn about Max and his friends. It is worth the time.

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73681 - 2023-01-26 02:12:28

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