Big Bear Lake Zoo
The Big Bear Lake Moonridge Animal Park is a unique animal sanctuary. A large number of the resident animals have been rescued in the wild, either from life-threatening injuries or separation from their families. Visitors can peruse bears, bobcats, eagles, wolfs, snow leopards, foxes, owls, a variety of birds and numerous other animals living here.
A small number of the animals are considered non-releasable wildlife due to their injuries, thus making Moonridge essential to their survival. Each year, around 200 animals that are incapable of surviving in the wild, come to Moonridge to be rehabilitated. Many of these animals are then successfully released back into the wild.
In the afternoon, kids can embark on a daily feeding tour. Follow the zookeeper around the park, and watch the animals scarf down their dinner, as the zookeeper tells fascinating animal fun facts. Every day at noon there is an animal presentation that usually includes owls and the occasional raccoon.
Grizzly Success Story
Among the many success stories behind the animal rehabilitation efforts of Moonridge - the tale of Tutu the unruly grizzly stands out among the rest. On numerous occasions Tutu invaded Yellowstone National Park; threatening visitors, rummaging through garbage and just causing an all-out uproar. As part of Yellowstone's policy, dangerous animals are removed from public areas for obvious safety reasons. In 1995, Tutu and her two cubs were relocated to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, but her disorderly conduct continued, and she was ordered to be euthanized.
In effort to save Tutu's life, the Moonridge Animal Park began raising money to have her stay with them. With the help of the community, and generous contributors she was relocated to Moonridge where her grizzly angst is now in check. Visitors can see Tutu and her cubs in the grizzly exhibit.