Big Game Alaska Wildlife Center – Portage Glacier, Alaska
Taking care of the injured and orphaned wildlife of Alaska is a huge challenge but here, at the Big Game Alaska Wildlife Center, the animals get the care and protection they need. The Center is situated on 140 acres of Alaska wilderness and was opened to the public in 1993.
Although it began as a place for the owner to raise buffalo and elk as a hobby in 1984 it grew to be the place that wildlife officials began bringing the orphaned moose for him to care for. That led to the Wildlife Center that is open today. ca
You will be able to see the log lodge that was hand built using trees killed by spruce bark beetles. Nothing goes to waste when it can be used in the Center. The attention to detail that built the lodge is the type of attention to detail that the Center implements in all of the dealings with people and with animals.
Injured or orphaned animals are regularly brought here for care. There is a Bald Eagle that suffered a gunshot wound. He ended up at the Center and gained the name Adonis. There are Great Horned owls, who suffered the same fate but they are safe at the Center. There is a black bear that ended up at the Center when his mother was destroyed in Girdwood. There are moose, deer, black and grizzly bears, bison, musk ox and a variety of game birds all requiring care at the Center.
Did you know that bison are gregarious and live in herds and have poor eyesight and depend on their sense of hearing and smell to survive? Then there are the moose that have been commercials including the Pep-Boys brake commercial. The Sitka black0tailed deer are often residents at the Center because they come from the area where logging is active and so the risk of getting run over is huge. They are smaller than the southern cousins and have antlers similar to the mule deer, forking rather than all points coming from a single main beam.
You can see Elk from the Yukon territory that were sent to the Center for care. The female elk will abandon her calf if it is born late in the season because it would not survive the cold northern winter.
There are Caribou at the Center too but not because they were orphaned. If a parent dies the other members of the herd usually take in the calves. These Caribou were moved to the Center when the islands they lived on became over populated and the threat of starvation required some of the animals to be relocated, some ended up here. The nomads of the north these animals are constantly on the move. At least 13 different herds have been identified in Alaska.
Musk Oxen are members of the goat family with a thick coat consisting of long (up to 36 inches) guard hairs covering a dense winter coat of harvestable warm fur called Qiviut. This is considered to be one of the warmest materials in the world. the under wool is combed out in May and used for products sold in the gift shop at the Center.
Location: Portage Glacier, Alaska
Musk Oxen are members of the goat family with a thick coat consisting of long (up to 36 inches) guard hairs covering a dense winter coat of harvestable warm fur called Qiviut. This is considered to be one of the warmest materials in the world. the under wool is combed out in May and used for products sold in the gift shop at the Center, just don’t forget your ShoppingVouchers when you shop.