Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
January 16, 2013
News from The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
In This Issue
Around the Center
Eye Candy
Quick Links

Hello and welcome...

Thanks for dropping in to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, a not-for-profit, AZA-accredited wildlife park and educational facility, with a diverse crew of staff and volunteers. We're glad you're here with us.    


We're sending a slightly abbreviated issue of the newsletter this week. We hope to see you soon, right here in West Yellowstone, relaxing and watching the animals, or participating in one of our interactive programs and displays, but until then we wish you all the best. We want to dedicate this week's Discovery newsletter to Joseph.  


Take care, and we'll be back with you in another two weeks. Until then, we hope you continue to enjoy the New Year and keep in touch with us. We'll see you soon. 

Pam Talasco 3 Joseph
Pam Talasco, Joseph
Around The Center
What's Happening at the GWDC

We have sad news this week. It's hard to know the best way to share this, what to say, and when and how to say it. We lost Joseph, the omega wolf in the River Valley Pack, at the turn of the year. We are deeply saddened and deeply touched by his loss.

An incident occurred during a natural pack interaction which reflects behavior that would normally be observed in the wild. Unfortunately this is little consolation to any of us. As you know, we strive to maintain a stimulating, natural environment for the animals here, but captivity is a tricky place sometimes. Alpha wolves are always reestablishing their dominance; lower-ranking wolves are ever vigilant for an opportunity to move up. Wolves are incredibly social and want to be with each other. The day before the incident, many of us had the privilege of watching the River Valley Pack come together in the morning for a wonderful pack greeting - all was right in their world. Sometimes, as in this case, an animal can be put in a vulnerable position due to the role they play in the pack, and as the event escalates, an animal can get seriously hurt. This was the case with Joseph. After critical injuries and exemplary care, 5-year-old Joseph died peacefully on December 28th, 2012. The other pack members howled for him over the following two days. It was heartbreaking to hear that mournful sound. We will remember Joseph's gentle spirit, his beauty, and his unfaltering loyalty to his pack.

We wanted to contact adopters and special friends of Joseph, and visitors who were here on the day of the incident, before we made this news public. We are thankful for everyone's kindness and dedication in the face of this tragedy.

Remember if you have any questions, or just want to know more about any aspect of the Center, you can always give us a call at 406.646.7001, reply to this newsletter, or email We will try to keep you informed and up to date in as many ways as we can. Thanks again for tuning in.
 USGS, Thermal Photography
Knowledge Is a Powerful Tool
Just a few words about the weather, the season, and the way our work continues. It's been extremely cold, with morning temperatures at the beginning of the week hitting -26 degrees. If you've ever wondered how the wolves in Yellowstone or here at the GWDC stay warm when temperatures plummet, you can see from this thermal image that wolves, and all of the other wild animals that inhabit this ecosystem such as eagles, bobcats, pikas, wolverines, bison, etc. are all very well adapted to surviving and staying warm in this harsh climate. Wolves have two coats of fur. They have a thick downy undercoat used for insulation and an overcoat of long guard hairs which repel snow and water. This photo of one of our wolves was taken with special thermal imaging equipment by USGS scientists. As you can see, except for the face, wolves are so well adapted for cold that they lose no heat from the rest of their body, which is why they cover their faces with their tails. Remember, just because you're cold, doesn't mean they're cold.

We'll have more news for you next time. Please stay tuned.



Joseph 2
Pam Talasco, Joseph
In Memory

We are honored to have many artists and photographers visit and support the GWDC. Their vision and talents inspire and enliven our work here, so we thought it would be nice to feature some of their work in every issue of our newsletter. Thank you Pam for this beautiful and lasting image.

Gretchen River Valley
River Valley Wolf Pack, Summer 2012
Thank you for sharing our sadness and our joys here at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. Thank you for your kind words, your questions, and your concern.

We are truly thankful for you this season and throughout the year. We wish all of you a wonderful and peaceful 2013.
Pam T Joseph
Pam Talasco, Joseph

The GWDC Staff
Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
Gift Shop
We had a great holiday season in Admissions and Gift Shop. Many travelers came to visit the Center last month for the first time. We had many adoptions and memberships from those that came to town to enjoy our winter. 

We now sell freshly roasted coffee from local roaster Morning Glory Coffee & Tea. We also had a Christmas Stocking Raffle full of amazing gifts last month.   A family in Laurel, Montana were the lucky winners. 


Happy New Year to all!


Thank you for supporting and shopping at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center!   

We will see you soon! Peace and Joy to you and yours in 2013...