The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is home to nine grey wolves that live in three different packs. The wolves were born in captivity and are unable to live in the wild. The facilities they were born in did not have room to keep them and the GWDC was able to provide them a home. Here, the wolves give visitors an up-close look at their normally secretive lives.
Features such as tall grass, logs, trees and a pond with a waterfall give the wolves a very comfortable natural home. The keepers provide plenty of stimulation by hiding bones and spraying other animal based scents. Live trout are added to the pond during the summer. A natural diet of elk and deer meat, hides and bones are provided by local hunters and meat processors.
BRIDGER, OBSIDIAN AND SHASTA
The Hoodoo wolf pack consists of three wolves. They arrived at the Center as pups from another captive facility in Montana in the spring of 2019. Bridger is a male named after Jim Bridger, a mountain man and wilderness scout after which the Bridger Mountain Range was named. His brother, Obsidian, is named after the black volcanic glass that forms Obsidian Cliff in Yellowstone. Their sister, Shasta, is named after the Shasta Pack, which was the first wild wolf pack in California in nearly a century. These three littermates are very playful and curious, and spend a lot of time chasing each other around their habitat. This pack helps us to appreciate the role of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
SURA, BOULDER, COLTER, HARLEQUIN, MERIWETHER
The Fossil Butte Pack wolf pack started with two adult wolves that arrived in the fall of 2019 from another captive facility in Montana. On April 30, 2020, the female “Sura” gave birth to a litter of four puppies – two males and two females. While breeding animals at the GWDC has been extremely rare, the Animal Management Team made the decision to let this one-time breeding take place. Unfortunately, in December of 2020, the 14-year-old male “Lakota” was euthanized due to severely compromised mobility challenges.
SURA – the Inuit word for “new life”, this darker female was born in April of 2010. Mother to the other four Fossil Butte pack mates, Sura continues to be highly protective of her offspring as they develop their own personalities and status within a pack structure.
The GWDC’s goal is always to allow for the animals that reside here to express natural behaviors so that visitors may better understand and appreciate their wild counterparts. Having a family group raise young together allows visitors to observe some of the most important social processes in a wolf pack.