Meet the Locals!

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is committed to conservation of Alaska’s Wildlife, and is involved in several programs that further their commitment to this worthy cause. From taking in orphaned and injured animals when they can not fend for themselves, to the Wood Bison Restoration Project, AWCC is involved in projects great & small. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center strives to work in cooperation with federal & state wildlife agencies, as well as with our community members at all levels to ensure that conservation remains top of mind in their mission.

Meet the Locals!


Jack arrived at the center as a 3 day old moose with bite marks on his hind end, and a broken leg, and a 20% chance of survival. Vanessa, one of our fantastic interns took it upon herself to nurse Jack back to health. Because of her hard work, Jack is a happy and healthy addition to the center.

These days Jack has taken up acting! He’ll be starring in a set for the upcoming feature “The Frozen Ground“. After filming for a week in Anchorage, Vanessa Hudgens felt the need to visit Jack and get to know her co-star a little better.


In the summer of 2010, a Musk Ox calf was rescued from an oil facility in Prudhoe Bay. The staff of several different companies in the area assisted with the capture of the orphaned female musk ox. The same staff worked with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to relocate the calf to AWCC. From here, AWCC’s interns stepped up and took the animal in, nursing it through a couple bugs it had, and working very closely with Large Animal Research through the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Mukluk, as she became known, is doing very well at AWCC. She spent the winter in an inclosure nearby the existing musk ox herd, and this spring, was introduced into this herd. She’s had a couple of ‘learning opportunities’ with the other Musk Oxen, but overall is fitting in nicely and doing well! AWCC continues to work with Large Animal Research for the best care for Mukluk and the other large animals at the Center. In the meantime, be sure to come down to the center to visit Mukluk – They’ll all be glad you did!


Hugo is a female grizzly from Hugo Mountain near Kotzebue, AK. Two men riding snow machines found her in November 2000 with hundreds of porcupine quills imbedded in her paws. She was severely dehydrated and malnourished and was unable to walk or eat when brought to AWCC. Although she has made a good recovery, she cannot be released into the wild because she does not have the needed skills to survive on her own. Hugo was the first bear to be given a permanent home at AWCC. Photo courtesy of Gary Lackie.


Snickers the porcupine is a favorite at AWCC! He is a gregarious little fellow, having been raised in a home, and relocated to the AWCC after this. Snickers is excellent for school presentations, where he will come out of his cage for the afternoon to entertain and teach the kids personally. Snickers became a star last year, when a Youtube video of him went worldwide and received over 1,800,000 views! See that video here, and another of our favorites HERE.

Alaskan Coyotes

Alaska’s coyotes are often mistaken for wolves as they have a somewhat similar look. They are, however, less than half as large. A coyote’s distinctive features include a sharply pointed nose, sharply pointed ears (that never droop) and a long bushy tail. Their yipping-yapping howl is often heard at AWCC, especially when a distant train blows its whistle.

In early June 2004, AWCC received a call from Elmendorf Air Force Base asking if our staff could care for a litter of coyote pups. The parents had built a den too close to the runway and the animals were in danger of getting injured or killed by the frequent aircraft take-offs and landings. The litter was captured and the parents were expected to relocate their future den in an area where the family will not be disturbed. The coyotes have been placed in the 18 acre brown bear exhibit. Since they have enough space and food, there has been no conflict between the brown bears and the coyotes. Coyotes are occasionally seen hunting mice or snowshoe hares. They scavenge remains from the bear feedings and are also fed nightly.

Thank you to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center for the content provided and Doug Lindstrand, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center for the Photography. Click here to learn more about the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center!


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