After ten years of design and construction, the Banks of the Yellowstone River Otter Exhibit opened. Featuring North American river otters, a series of exhibits takes each guest on a journey of discovery, where it is possible to take a stroll through a Yellowstone riparian habitat next to simulated ponds, streams and waterfalls. Visitors can experience the diversity of wetlands and learn how all members of the ecosystem are interconnected – especially grizzly bears and gray wolves. Located adjacent to one of the wolf habitats, this unique indoor group of displays features other native species, including Yellowstone cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling. Of course, the stars of the exhibit, the river otters, are sure to captivate visitors of all ages with their boundless energy! Children will especially enjoy exploring a special streamside hands-on venue where they can seek out signs of wildlife in a riparian habitat.
In addition to viewing otters and fish, visitors can see invertebrates and amphibians including the seldom seen, seclusive Western Tiger Salamander and learn how the introduction of lake trout has affected cutthroat populations. Also on exhibit, is one of the most common reptiles in Yellowstone Park, the Western Terrestrial Garter Snake. In addition, the exhibit is home to two Columbia spotted frogs and a rubber boa (snake).
This multi-species building showcases connections between Yellowstone’s native species throughout the food chain and across natural habitats. The immersive experience of seeing the animals in a naturalistic setting is supplemented by educational graphics to help visitors explore the connections between the animals as they view them. Our hope is that you leave with a greater understanding of the diversity of species that are connected to bears and wolves in the Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Come visit and watch the otters play while getting a complete understanding of the intricacies of the Yellowstone ecosystem!
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is the home of the world-class exhibit BEARS: Imagination and Reality. After traveling the country with phenomenal success, the Center was able to acquire the exhibit as yet another educational tool. The display is an interactive museum exhibit produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota comparing and contrasting the bear of myth, art, literature, history and folklore with the bear scientists, outdoorsmen and researchers. Features include six thematic areas, taxidermic mounts of grizzly and black bears in naturalistic settings with examples of food and behavior habits.
Throughout the day, the Museum Theater hosts staff presentations and demonstrations, Yellowstone Park Ranger talks, children’s programs and a variety of educational wildlife movies. Please check the daily schedule inserted in your admission handout – Today’s Discoveries for movies and program times.
Visitors to the GWDC have the opportunity to experience awe-inspiring wolf pack dynamics in the Naturalist Cabin.
The Naturalist Cabin is located between two of the GWDC’s wolf habitats where visitors have the opportunity to watch the wolf packs interact with each other from the comfort of the cabin. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow for intimate glimpses into the complex social lives of these wolves. A large fireplace gives everyone a chance to warm up on those cold West Yellowstone winter days. The cabin also features interpretive displays and a life-sized wolf model. Center Staff utilize the cabin as a comfortable environment to learn about wolves through its “Wolf Pack Chats and Enrichment”.
Check your Today's Discoveries admissions handout for our weekly Program Schedule for “Wolf Pack Chats and Enrichment” times.
Due to the ongoing highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak, we are taking precautionary measures to protect the animals that call the center home.
Out of an abundance of caution, the birds of prey are being kept inside and are NOT VIEWABLE at this time.
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.