16 Nov 2019
The original Big Bear Alpine Zoo was started after a San Bernardino National Forest wildfire in 1959 as a place for rehabilitation of injured animals. It is currently open to the public as a wild animal and rehabilitation facility that offers a place for injured and orphaned animals a place to live and be cared for while offering a chance for the public to come and enjoy seeing wildlife in a safe location for learning more about these amazing animals that we don’t necessarily get to see in our day to day lives. Both kids and adults alike can enjoy the beauty and wonder that the zoo has to offer.
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo offers docent-led tours which aim to educate the public about the specific individualized needs of the zoo animals and environmental issues concerning California wildlife. Many of the animals here have very specialized needs and the new zoo will be designed with the goal of meeting the unique needs of the disabled animals as well as orphaned and ones which have been imprinted by humans. Rehabilitation is still always the main objective.
The largest percent of animals in Big Bear Alpine Zoo are rehabilitated and released back into their native environments. The remaining animals are able to stay under the zoo’s skilled care if they are unable to be released for various reasons.
The most challenging aspect of the new design is for the space to be able to accommodate an ever-changing population of animals, which is different than most zoo environments which mostly have habitats for just one type of animal to live in. The new Big Bear Alpine Zoo habitats will have to be flexible in nature and be suitable for the addition of more or different types of animals.
The new location is just down the street for the original zoo. The building of the new zoo has been in process since 2016 and the community is so excited for it’s opening.
Some of the Animals You May see at the Zoo – Depending on the season you may see a variety of the animals listed below:
American Badger, Arctic Fox, Bald Eagle, Barn Owls, Black Bear, Bobcat, Burrowing Owl, Canada Goose, Chincilla, Cottontails, Coyotes, Doves, Fallow Deer, Flying Squirrels, Golden Eagle, Gray Wolf, Great Horned Owl, Grey Fox, Grizzly Bear, Lesser Gold Finch, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer, Raccoon, Raven, Red Fox, Red tailed Hawk, Red Tegu, Red-tailed Boa, Ringtail Cat, San Joaquin Kit Fox, Sandhill Crane, Screech Owls, Snow Leopard, Snowy Owl, Striped Skunk, Sucata Tortoise.
**The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is located at: 43285 Goldmine Drive in Big Bear Lake, California across the street from Bear Mountain Ski Resort.
For a list of more fun-filled activities in Big Bear for the whole family, see our page: "Things To Do"