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An ode to the grizzly

Posted by: Roxanne Murphy, Community Relations

Currently, I'm having a great time going through the Woodland Park Zoo's docent training program. Since I've only been with the zoo for nine months, words can't express how much there is to learn to even try to catch up with my co-workers. This training has afforded me the opportunity to develop a more intimate understanding of our animals, exhibits, horticulture, education and conservation efforts. Best of all, it's fun, and it has introduced me to such dedicated, smart and passionate volunteers and animal and conservation advocates.

One of our core assigments was to develop a brief presentation about one of the Woodland Park Zoo's Partners for Wildlife. Lucky for me, our team got the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project.

Personally and professionally, I love grizzlies so much that part of my contribution to the presentation included writing a poem about them. We delivered the poem last Saturday and it received laughter and applause. I was just hoping that it might brighten your day, too.

An Ode to the Grizzly

On days both sunny and drizzly,
You will find our friend, the grizzly.

They weigh up to a thousand pounds.
And in the fall, they get quite round.

They feed on animals and plants.
They have thick fur like warm sweat pants.

They're such a strong and mighty bear.
But, sadly, they are now so rare.

Their own habitat has been kicked.
And with the humans, they conflict.

So, some people made a plan.
To support the grizzly life span.

They teach humans about the bear.
And here they host a Bear Affair.

They want us to live side-by-side.
And to be smart when we're outside.

We'll think about the way we camp.
And treat the grizzly as a champ.

For every grizzly, everywhere,
We want them to know that we care.

Woodland Park Zoo partners with the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project to study and protect bears in North America and teach communities how to live sustainably with wildlife. Do you live or camp in an area with bears? Study these Bear Smart tips and don't miss the zoo's Bear Affair event on June 4 to experience up close the importance of bear safety.

Photos (from top): Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo, Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo. Video by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.