Moose, caribou, bears...oh my!
About an hour south of Anchorage some of the most revered and famous residents of Alaska await your visit and cheesy photographs. Some of them have been through a lot to achieve show status -- getting shot at, losing their mothers, getting stuck in traps -- but they eventually made it to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and they're all cleaned up and ready for their close-ups!
I have been to the AWCC three times in the past two years and it never seems to get old. The AWCC rescues bears, moose, elk, eagles...all kinds of arctic animals and brings them to the center for rehab and observation. Can't you just see the brown bears sitting around in their little pond:
"My name's Coco. I lost my mother when I was 4 months old."
"Welcome to Alaska Wildlife Anonymous, and...how do you feel about that?"
Hehehe...makes me chuckle. But all wildlife jokes aside, the center does a great job of showing off the animals being 'wild'. I never feel like they are penned up or stuck there against their will. The moose are always happily munching or sleeping in their manger; the bears walking, playing, or sleeping cosily in trees; the caribou galloping around their spacious enclosure. Sometimes other wildlife not in the center come and visit their friends in rehab. Last year I saw a wild eagle come and perch next to the reindeer....making a fantastic photo op for me!
My favorite has to be the porcupine. He's kinda a fat thing now...been fattening up in there for some time. The eagle is also really cool. He doesn't have a large cage because his wing was amputated after it was shot by some idiot hunter and he can't fly anymore. He was brought to the center and lives happily there not having to worry about getting shot or being unable to fly. It's a really great success story and you get to see him up really close -- he's about 3 feet tall!!!
The center is open year round and the admission prices reasonable -- a whole car load of people is just $25 -- and visitor's fees help support the costs of running the center. You can get out and walk around or do your tour safari style from your car. There's a gift shop filled with all kinds of fantastic Alaska and animal stuff and a coffee shop for those really cold days. I think the center is really one of the best attractions in Alaska, so if you're out towards Portage glacier, driving to Seward, or spending the day in Girdwood, pop on by and support our famous residents! [more]
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