Meet the Bears at Montana Grizzly Encounter
Have you met the bears at Montana Grizzly Encounter?
Founded in 2004, MGE is a Grizzly Bear Rescue and Education Sanctuary in Bozeman, Montana. This organization provides a spacious and natural home for rescued grizzlies, while providing educational opportunities for the public.
Four of their five bears were born from inhumane captive situations all over the United States and could never be released into the wild.
Each bear at Montana Grizzly Encounter has a unique story. Before you plan your visit, let's meet the bears!
In 2002, Brutus' future was uncertain. When we was adopted by Montana Grizzly Encounter, he was about the size of a squirrel. Today, he stands about seven feet tall and weighs close to 900 pounds!
Casey Anderson, founder of Grizzly Encounter, could see that Brutus was special as he grew up. He became accustomed to human interaction and went on to star in several bear safety videos and two feature length films.
Brutus enjoys wrestling with Sheena, swimming in the ponds, foraging for treats, and showing off for his human visitors!
Bella was born in Delta Junction, Alaska. She was found orphaned in a tree when she was about five months old. After a few days and a call to Alaska Fish and Game, Bella was rescued and taken to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, where she was fed and brought back to health.
"When I came out of my crate into my new den for the first time I was quite scared. It didn’t take me long to realize my new family would go to great lengths to make me happy and healthy."
Sheena was born in captivity with her twin sister, Christi, in 1986. The pair was sold at an exotic animal to private owners in Texas. Sheena and her sister ended up living in a six by four foot cage for fifteen years.
When the bears were eighteen years old, the USDA intervened and contacted Montana Grizzly Encounter to secure a safe home forever. Once they arrived, it took along time for the two to adjust to having so much space.
Sadly, Christi passed away in 2009. Sheena continues to live her happy life: sleeping in, cuddling with her soft blankets and soaking in the pond!
Jake & Maggie
Jake and Maggie were born at a wildlife park in Georgie in 2006, but were unable to to live there. Once they were two years old, Montana Grizzly Encounter took them in.
The bears loved their new dens, but they were terrified of the snow! It took them two months to finally go outside and explore the new fluffy stuff. Now they love playing in the snow and education people from all over the world about bear safety and conservation!
Lucy was born in the wild under the care of a loving mother. Unfortunately, for reason not known, she was seperated from her mother and wound up in the middle of a small town in Alaska - terrified of this other world.
"No one is sure what happened to the mother bear, but it quickly becomes clear to the humans who find her that baby Lucy is alone in the world. Locals from the area rescued her and contacted Fortress of the Bear in Sitka, Alaska – but not without a fight. One of the first lessons that Lucy was taught in the wild as a cub was to fear humans. Lucy held her own, a fierce and snarling five pound ball of fluff, skin & bones with the fight of a bear twice her size, undoubtedly a spirit that she inherited from her mother. This vigorous spunk is surely the reason she survived for as long as she did – long enough to find her way into the arms of a man named Les.
Les Kinnear is the founder of FOB, a bear rescue facility in Sitka. With a voice that booms like the roar of a grizzly, and a beard that is definitely bearish in nature – the baby bear, who Les dubbed “Pandora,” grew to love him as her new protector. Les loved her wholly, but also knew that with FOB full to capacity, he would not be able to provide the baby bear with everything that she would need in order to live a fulfilling life. With a heavy heart and beautiful intentions, Les contacted Montana Grizzly Encounter."
Now Lucy joins her fellow bears as an ambassador for her wild cousins!
Fun Fact: Montana Gift Corral donates loads of food to feed the bears at Montana Grizzly Encounter every year! We love Montana Grizzly Encounter!
By Zach Altman