Bear World!!! :)

Trip Start May 25, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2009

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Yellowstone Bear World

Flag of United States  , Montana
Friday, June 5, 2009

Today was all about Yellowstone Bear World!!!  We got up early and left yet another Walmart parking lot and headed for the park, which is a few miles south of Rexburg, Idaho
There was no shortage of bears in this place, which is the whole point since the family who started the park remembered seeing bears everywhere in Yellowstone decades ago; but they were disappointed that you can't do that anymore, so they came up with this idea to fix that problem.  They have a fenced-in paved road just loaded with bears (28 to be exact), both grizzly and black.  The grizzlies were behind electric fences, but the black bears were just out roaming freely between the cars driving through.
It was really amazing to see bears up that close.

      But no doubt the highlight of the day were...
                         THE CUBS!!!!

Jim writes:  There were six of them about five months old - three triplets, two twins, and an only child.  They were so funny to watch - just like little puppies, always biting and playing with an occasional nap to recharge!
Heather paid "a bit" extra to bottle feed them and
judging by the big smile on her face when it was over,
I'm guessing it was well worth it!

Heather writes:  Jim started chatting up one of the bear keepers, who was really interesting to talk to.
She told us that she has worked there almost since the park started, and that she and the head keeper live on site.  The baby bears are taken away from their moms after only three weeks because the adult male bears in the big pens are a threat to their survival.  So this keeper got to take them all home with her and bottle feed them for the rest of the winter!  They obviously still recognize her from the rest of the staff even now that they live permanently at the public facility.  She also told us that she worked at Michael Jackson's private zoo before moving to Idaho, and bought his elephant because it had made such fast friends with her friend's movie star elephant!  She still talks to it on the phone every day (the elephant lives in Acton, CA).

Finally, the keeper said that when this park was first created, they hired bears from the movie business to live there only during the summers until they were able to get their own permits to own their own wildlife.
All of the bears that live there now were born in captivity, and the moose was orphaned and rescued by the state of Idaho.  I thought it was really interesting that the owner is friends with other owners of similar parks in other states, and they trade animals back and forth depending on how many are born, who needs special care, etc.  What a business!
Jim and I have been wondering if there may be a demand for a similar "Yosemite Bear World", which would of course be located in Lee Vining, CA....  ;)


From there we were on to West Yellowstone to stay at the Grizzly RV Park.  The place got a ton of good reviews from other travelers on Trip Advisor and when we arrived, the employees were very helpful.
No big RV problems today, so maybe we're done with that for awhile.  After we got the RV all hooked up, we went out for Chinese food at Chinatown Restaurant.
That was great for us since we can't get Chinese food where we live.  Now we're listening to it rain outside and hoping that the weather won't be too bad tomorrow, but from the looks of it, we might be in for another soggy day.  Oh well, at least we're finally in Yellowstone National Park!
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