• 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
PORTAGE –

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

  • Lifestyle

    Bethel physician Dr. Jill Seaman on splitting her time between Alaska and South Sudan

    by Anna Rose MacArthur/KYUK on Aug 27, 18:26

    This story originated from KYUK Public Media and was republished with permission. A Bethel physician is getting ready to return to South Sudan and the medical organization she’s helped run there since the 1980s. Dr. Jill Seaman spends about four months a year in Bethel working at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. Then she travels to Old Fangak, […]

  • News

    AST: Army, wildlife troopers help rescue injured pilot following crash

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 27, 17:42

    A U.S. Army helicopter and crew, along with Alaska Wildlife Troopers, helped find and rescue a Fairbanks pilot after his plane crashed Saturday. An online Alaska State Troopers dispatch stated 69-year-old William Larry was alone when his Piper Super Cub plane crashed seven miles northeast of Harding Lake. The crash was reported at 10:49 a.m., […]

  • News

    AFD: At least one unit in Reka Drive building damaged by fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 27, 15:39

    At least one home on Reka Drive was damaged by fire Saturday. The Anchorage Fire Department responded and was able to put the fire out. Multiple people called to report the fire at 2:03 p.m., according to a fire dispatcher. She said 14 AFD units were sent to the fire, which caused visible damage to […]

  • Crime

    Former Bethel officer Andrew Reid sentenced, victim’s sister speaks up about lasting trauma

    by Adrian Wagner/KYUK on Aug 27, 13:53

    This story originated from KYUK Public Media and was republished with permission. BETHEL — Former Bethel police officer Andrew Reid has been sentenced by a Bethel judge to the maximum penalty allowed for the two crimes he pleaded guilty to: one count of first-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree official misconduct. Reid will spend a maximum […]

  • News

    Boston police officers cover vet bill for dog who ‘took a bullet’ for his owner

    by Jennifer Earl / CBS News on Aug 27, 13:29

    An innocent young woman and a family dog were struck with bullets after an argument erupted in gunfire in a Boston neighborhood early Thursday. According to CBS Boston, police are still searching for suspects in the shooting of 18-year-old Dashaye Mizhari, who is now in the intensive care unit. The teenager was reportedly shot three times as she ran for cover. But officers believe there could have […]

  • Lifestyle

    Hunting, fishing licenses on sale again in Washington following hack

    by KTVA / AP on Aug 27, 13:21

    Hunting and fishing licenses are on sale again in Washington state, after someone hacked or attempted to hack into an outside vendor’s system, exposing several million records containing the personal information of hunters and anglers throughout the Northwest. Washington halted all license sales after the intrusion was discovered last week, but resumed them Saturday through […]

  • Lifestyle

    Governor’s daughter-in-law among runners in race to benefit cystic fibrosis patients

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 27, 12:46

    ANCHORAGE — Gov. Bill Walker was one of many Alaskans cheering on runners in this year’s Lost Lake Run, which benefits patients living with cystic fibrosis. Walker was supporting his daughter-in-law, Sabrina Walker, who has cystic fibrosis. She was a participant in the race Saturday and with her team has helped raise more than $11,000 […]

  • News

    Recent oil refinery owners share contamination cleanup costs

    by Associated Press on Aug 27, 11:38

    Alaska’s Supreme Court says recent owners of a North Pole oil refinery share costs of cleaning up a contamination that has reached about 7 square miles of groundwater. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Friday ruling keeps onsite cleanup costs attached to Flint Hills while former refinery owner Williams Alaska Petroleum is responsible for the […]