Establishment of the WSU Bear Center
The Washington State University Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center was established in 1986.
Prior to the establishment of the Bear Center, both federal and state biologists responsible for understanding and managing wild grizzly bears occasionally wanted to use captive bears in their studies. In their attempts to use bears in zoos, biologists found that few zoos have the resources or sufficient sample sizes of bears to obtain meaningful data. The WSU Bear Center was established to fulfill this need.
The captive bear facility currently has 6 indoor-oudoor dens/runs, a 2.2-acre exercise yard, a kitchen with a walk-in refrigerator and freezer, and a medical room. Bears are rotated into the yard on a daily basis.