Bewitched by bears? Wondering about wolves? Then Woodland Park Zoo has a super Saturday in store for you: June 4, 2011, is devoted to “Bear Affair & Big Howl for Wolves” from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Topping off all the ursine and canine events is a book signing by bear ecologist and adventurer Chris Morgan, author of Bears of the Last Frontier. This book about black, grizzly, and polar bears chronicles Morgan’s year-long, 3,000-mile motorcycle journey into the heart of bear country in Alaska to film the bears and speak with the people sharing the species’ habitats. It’s a companion to PBS’s three-part series Nature: Bears of the Last Frontier. Both the book and DVDs of the series will be available for sale at the ZooStore.
Morgan will make a guest appearance during various bear demonstrations at the zoo, as well. Also on hand will be representatives from Wolf Haven International and Conservation Northwest. Boy Scouts will offer tips on how to make your campsite a safe one. A Karelian bear dog, employed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to assist in training nuisance bears to keep away from humans, will be there for a meet-and-greet, too.
Woodland Park Zoo is home to several bear species: Malayn sun bears, sloth bears, and grizzly bears. A new pack of four female wolves also awaits zoo visitors to the Northern Trail. The zoo also participates in The Grizzly Bear Outreach Project, a project devoted to community-based outreach and education about grizzly and black bears as well as wolves and cougars.
A highlight of past Bear Affair & Big Howl for Wolves celebrations include the grizzlies’ dismantling of a mock campsite and backyard setup placed in their exhibit, an event that is as educational as it is entertaining–most of the dangerous instances of contact between humans and bears result from careless actions on the part of people, such as keeping food in a campsite or leaving garbage cans filled with ripe trash outside. The demonstrations show zoo visitors just what havoc a bear can wreak and inform them how to avoid letting such scenes unfold.
Enjoy crafts for kids from 9:30 to 3, and make plans to attend these special events:
10:00, 3:00: Keeper Talk –Wolves
10:30: Keeper Talk – Sloth Bears
11:00: Mock Campsite in Grizzly Exhibit with Chris Morgan
noon-1:00: Chris Morgan Book Signing –Northern Trail Exhibit
1:30: Keeper Talk – Malayan Sun Bears
2:00: Home Demonstration in Grizzly Exhibit with Chris Morgan
Bear Affair & Big Howl for Wolves is free with zoo admission or membership.
Regular admission: Adult (13-64) $17.50; Child (3-12) $11.50; Toddler (0-2) Free. Seniors and people with physical disabilities receive a discount and zoo members receive free zoo admission year round. Parking: $5.25.