• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 13s

Get Out: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

By Brett Shepard 6:48 PM May 1, 2014

This week’s edition is for the animal lovers. We went to Portage for an up-close look at a unique park in this beautiful corner of the state.

Portage is at the end of the Turnagain Arm and is one of the most scenic spots in Southcentral Alaska.

There are a large number of animals that get to call this amazing spot home at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

It’s a 200-acre park that is designed to be an open, more natural environment.

“With all of our animals we do everything we can do to introduce them back into the wild. So every animal here has a special and unique story. A special and unique reason why they are here in captivity,” said Scott Michaelis the director of marketing and sales at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Aside from the elk, all of the animals at the park are exclusively Alaskan.

And since it’s spring they are expecting new additions to their elk herd, musk ox and big additions to their wood bison.

“A really exciting thing this spring will be for our wood bison herd. We could expect as many as 50 newborn calves,” Michaelis said.

Many of the wood bison will be moving from Portage in the near future as AWEC employees hope to re-introduce many of them into the wilds of Alaska in 2015.

This spring has brought us warm weather and all of the bears have come out of their dens, though they were being a bit shy when we were there.

The bear den has been the site of a lot of work recently with a new boardwalk and a soon-to-open amphitheater.

If you are familiar with the weather in Portage it can be kind of messy at times. The great thing about this park is that you can enjoy it from the comfort of your car when the weather does get a little ugly.

Rain or shine the animals and visitors seem to enjoy themselves.

“Nice to kind of see them in a natural habitat. You can’t beat the background of the mountains. I mean it’s like nothing we’ve seen before,” Joy Downs from Raleigh, North Carolina.

The bear enclosure, it’s 18 acres, and at a zoo you just see a pen with a bear in it. This way you get the wild and the animal there. It just seems more natural,” said Joy’s husband Tim.

For more information on the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center you can visit their website at http://www.alaskawildlife.org

If you have any ideas for the Get Out series you can contact Brett Shepard at bshepard@ktva.com.

Latest Stories

  • News

    2 Alaska case studies in National Park Service’s climate change response report

    by Associated Press on Nov 30, 11:22

    The National Park Service has released a report detailing agency efforts to address problems caused by climate change. The report lists 24 case studies of threats to infrastructure, natural and cultural resources in U.S. national parks and monuments. Two of the case studies are in Alaska. The agency says coastal erosion, reduced sea ice and […]

  • On-Air

    Teacher of the Week: Sam Struempler

    by Megan Mazurek on Nov 30, 10:56

    Sam Struempler says if you think you have middle-schoolers figured out, think again. “It’s right at that [age] where they start making decisions,” said Struempler, a music and drama teacher at Golden View Middle School. “To be there at that moment is pretty cool.” Struempler has been helping his students find their voices for the […]

  • DayBreak

    Story Time with Aunt Phil, Nov. 30

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 30, 9:14

    ANCHORAGE – One-hundred-twenty years ago today, religious history was made in the Last Frontier. Peter Trimble Rowe was consecrated as the state’s first Episcopal bishop. He arrived from Canada, and traveled by dog team, boat and snowshoes to establish Alaska’s Episcopal churches during his decades-long tenure. Laurel Downing Bill, author of the “Aunt Phil’s Trunk” […]

  • News

    Texas agency helps seek owner of lighter bought in Alaska

    by Associated Press on Nov 30, 8:53

    A Texas sheriff’s office has joined the hunt for the owner of a cigarette lighter used by a deputy more than 50 years ago but recently purchased in Alaska. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office on Monday posted a photo of the lighter on its Facebook page. Sheriff’s officials in San Antonio are checking the records […]

  • Lifestyle

    Researchers in Alaska try to find cause of chickadee beak deformity

    by Daniella Rivera on Nov 30, 8:04

    Researchers in Anchorage are trying to figure out what’s causing beak deformities in black-capped chickadees and other species of birds in Alaska. “The beaks can grow in different directions, so it affects the ability to come and pick up a seed or also access food from a feeder, just because the beaks are all twisted […]

  • News

    Seward Highway reopened after head-on collision in Girdwood area

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 30, 7:47

    An injury crash closed the Seward Highway near the Alyeska Highway early Monday morning, state transportation officials say. According to Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters, a southbound Jeep Cherokee lost control when rounding a corner and slid into the northbound lane, hitting a Toyota Camry head-on. The drivers — and the only occupants in […]

  • News

    Anchorage Fire dispatch coaches 911 callers through CPR to save lives

    by Sierra Starks on Nov 30, 7:37

    Stephenie Wolf says having to dial 911 after a loved one suffers cardiac arrest is stressful, to say the least. “It’s the worst day of their life, and they’re not trained to call 911,” said Wolf, lead dispatcher for the Anchorage Fire Department. In her experience, Wolf says a lot of people think the dispatcher is […]

  • Lifestyle

    Coloring books for adults: Wasilla woman creates unusual way to unwind

    by Eric Ruble on Nov 30, 6:50

    Brittney Kauffman spends her weekdays as a medical assistant at a neurologist’s office. In her free time, she’s an artist. Her creative interests fill a wide spectrum; she has spent time painting, crocheting and making jewelry. Her latest ambition, however, is making coloring books for adults. “A lot of people these days don’t stop to […]