In situations where wild animals cannot be released back into their natural environment, it is essential to find a facility that can cater to their highly specialized needs. The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to providing consistent, quality care for our amazing animals for the rest of their lives. In keeping with our mission, all of our animal residents are native to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, so they don’t have to adapt to an unfamiliar climate. Whether they’re here because they were orphaned, injured, or habituated, they help us with our conservation education work and bring joy into the lives of thousands that come to visit them every year.
Arriving in 2015, Bart had a severely damaged wing that left him unable to fly. He shares an enclosure with our raven Lisa, and they have become a mated pair, yet they don’t successfully nest as they are unable to build a proper nest. They have been observed taunting wild ravens. Reserved like Lisa, Bart keeps his distance when keepers are working in the enclosure.
Big Bird came to YWS after care at a rehabilitation facility for a wing injury. Between the injury and becoming imprinted on humans early in life, Big Bird cannot live in the wild. But he still brings out his wild side, stretching his wings and jump-dancing with the animal care team, playing in water from the hose, and bugling when planes fly overhead.
“Blue" was found orphaned on the Flathead Indian Reservation, and she became accustomed to human care, which left her a potential danger should she be released. Not a fan of winter, Blue goes into hibernation earlier and emerges later than her roommate, Bo. Only about 25% of black bears in the Rocky Mountains have a white patch of their chests, like Blue.
As an orphan, Bo was found by loggers in Missoula. They cared for him for a time, and then he was taken to a rehabilitation center. Bears readily get habituated to humans and so cannot be safely returned to the wild. Except for winter hibernation in his den, Bo spends his days lounging in the water tub or the specially built swing, soliciting grapes from the keepers.
Bob started life as a pet. Because he was accustomed to human care, unafraid of people, and declawed, he could never live in the wild, and he was surrendered to YWS. Bob enjoys playing with scent-filled stuffed animals (mink urine is a favorite) and chowing down a whole deer or elk head, meticulously removing the meat from the bone. He became more active when our younger bobcat, Mackenzie, joined him in the enclosure.
Brought to YWS by a rehabilitation facility, Bobby had been caught in a barbed-wire fence, and the resulting wing and muscle damage makes it impossible for her to fly. She enjoys sitting under a heat lamp and watching keepers feed nearby YWS residents. She is more shy than her roommate, Captain.
Despite surgery to repair a fracture in his right wing, Chris can get only a few feet off the ground, so the state-run Montana Wild rehabilitation center sent him to YWS. His perching is set up so he can readily get around his entire enclosure. He keeps an eye on visitors and our animal care team through his back window. And he loves his daily rat stuffed in a toilet paper roll (who wouldn’t?).
Clare was left behind by her mother and siblings when their den flooded. People who lived near the den waited a few days for the mother to return; when she didn’t, YWS was called. She’s named for Clare Witcomb, a valued YWS supporter. From camera footage and tracks in the snow, we knew Clare was active at night, but she was shy around people. When Dahia, the silver fox, joined her, Clare became much more active in the day.