When Yellowstone Bear World showed up on our radar, not far off our path down to Arizona from Montana it was a no brainer that it was now part of our plan. If you know anything about me, I love adventure, wildlife and anything that could get me close to that.
To be honest, it was Jason who saw it and he knew right away that we needed to go and that I would be elated with the feels. What I didn’t know was that he planned to get the package so I could feed the baby bears. See, it was approaching my birthday, 4 days before to be exact, and I had done nothing but complain for months that even though I was in Glacier National Park I hadn’t seen a single bear. Nope, not even one. Yes, I went out hiking, exploring, etc. A lot of the times I did these things on my own. Silly bears, don’t they know I was just begging to be bear bait?
So, upon arrival I will have you know that this place was definitely designed with the traveler in mind. It had big parking spots for people with rigs to park and explore the area. It would be fair to mention that it wasn’t laid out the absolute best and the entry to get in to the parking lot was a little thin, so much so that I was kind of worried that Wanda was going to be too wide, but she fit with a few inches to spare. So, if you have one of those big, fancy, wide rigs, you might want to plan a different parking lot to park in and then drive to the attraction.
Anyways, we get in, park Wanda and get settled and it’s time to explore. The first thing we decide to do is the drive. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Not exactly. To be honest, the drive was borderline a waste of time but I’m glad we did it none the less. Honestly, we didn’t see much of anything on the drive until we got to where the bears were, and still, I think the only reason we were seeing bears was because we were following a tour that was feeding them. These bears know when it’s dinner time; that’s for sure. If you want to do a great drive through a wildlife area and get a lot of wildlife action, go to Bear Country USA. We were literally stuck at a stand still several times for wildlife just roaming around aimlessly enjoying the sun and nature.
So, we get done with the drive and decide it’s time to go to the petting zoo. Now, I am a sucker for a petting zoo. Again, all the feels with animals being right there for me. Maybe I should quit this lifestyle and have a big ol’ farm with a ton of animals for my viewing pleasure. Yes, I indulged in the purchasing of food to feed the little guys while I was petting them. Let me tell you, they are not little. I actually started to get really sad about the whole situation. A lot of these animals looked so obese that they wouldn’t even be able to get up on their own. Some of them just laid there and ate the food on the ground without even moving while more and more people just kept throwing them more. It wasn’t long before I decided I didn’t like this area anymore and almost wondered if it could be considered animal cruelty. But that’s another post for another time.
Without further ado, it is time to go see the baby bears. Even as I think about it now it still makes my heart smile thinking about the happiness and cuddliness of these baby bears running around. They truly seemed happy and loved in this little area. The people who took care of them knew them inside and out. How to hold their bottle, their name, where they came from, why they were there, what mannerisms they had and their preferences. They staff was also very friendly, helpful and professional.
After waiting around for the time to come to feed these little bears it was finally time. The whole process was very well thought out and organized too. Once we all got in to the designated area these bears were going nuts. Literally seemed like they were going nuts. They knew exactly what was coming and they couldn’t wait anymore. It was so cute to see them get ready, jump up on their little pallet and start eating. By the time it was my turn my face hurt so much from all the smiling and excitement, however that didn’t stop me from having the BIGGEST smile. I was beyond excited. I was finally going to feed the bear. On top of that, I even got to pet it. Yes, you read that right, not only did I get to feed all 6 bears by the time the whole thing was over, but I also got to pet the little babies. All I wanted to do after that was hug one, unfortunately that was not allowed, but we did get to see the staff hug and play with them. If my heart could actually melt, it would have right then and there.
After all the excitement was over, we were corralled out of the area and over to the hand washing station. Honestly, I was more than excited to wash my hands afterwards. I kinda felt dirty in a way but still elated to the max. To my surprise while we were doing that the staff was coming around with photos for us. Part of the package was a professional photo. Talk about the whole package! I got to feed, pet and swoon over baby bears, and then it ended with getting a picture to prove it. Yep, that there was the icing on the cake.
Needless to say, the experience was something that I will never forget about. In fact, sitting here writing about it right now I want to do it again and I want to brag about it more. In fact, it is making me think that maybe I should have been a wildlife vet or rescuer of some sorts. Is 36 too late to start schooling and do this? Hahahaaa. No, seriously?
Yellowstone Bear World
6010 South 4300 West
Rexburg, ID 83440