Bear Center

Driven to dig

The initiative to burrow is strong in bears. The cubs at the WSU Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center are no different, having recently dug out a significant den in the exercise yard for the first time. Grizzlies like the cubs naturally dig to create dens to prepare for hibernation. It’s a little early, but […]

Two photos side by side, one a close up of a hole. The other is from further back.

Face to face with grizzly research

New CAHNRS Dean André Wright came face to face with the grizzlies of the WSU Bear Center in an informational visit Monday, July 30. Grizzlies at Washington State University are partners in research in important experiments affecting the fate of wild grizzly and polar bears, as well as science that could revolutionize how we solve […]

A bear stands behind Wright at the entrance to the large fenced enclosure

If you give a bear a puzzle…

When it comes to creating puzzles for bears to solve, food is an excellent motivator. That’s the main idea behind the WSU Bear Center’s enrichment program. “We’re getting more and more complex, adding pulleys and multiple-action solutions,” said Center manager Brandon Hutzenbiler. “But the simplest enrichment, hiding food in the exercise yard, is really the […]

Brandon crouches on a concrete floor surrounded by PVC pipe, pulleys, wrenches and sockets, a tire, and large, colorful plastic spindles.

Unseasonal wake-up brought about by food

If bears are fed during hibernation, they wake up. But not completely. That’s the preliminary finding from a research study conducted this winter at the WSU Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center, where scientists fed seven bears glucose every day for 10 days. Four WSU bears were not fed during hibernation, serving as the control […]

A bear stands on his hind legs to grab an apple off a pole.

Alum returns to WSU after years studying wildlife in Alaska

If you love wildlife, working for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game is basically the ultimate job. “As a research biologist, I worked with moose, river otters, wolverines, wolves, brown bears, black bears, mountain goats, and probably a few others I’m forgetting,” said Tony Carnahan, currently a Ph.D. student at WSU. One of his jobs […]

Tony sits on the ground with binoculars up against his eyes. A grizzly bear is in the distance behind him.