See Jackson Hole wildlife in action at the Teton Raptor Center
by Ryan Kunz
You’ve already seen the elk and the deer. It’s time to experience a new breed of Jackson Hole wildlife. Did you know there’s a place where you can meet real, live raptors? With electric fences between you and prehistory’s deadliest hunter, step back in time and watch as raptors stalk their prey in a miracle 65 million years in the making. But don’t worry, you’re safe. As long as they don’t figure out how to open doors.
Wait, not those raptors?
Oh. The bird kind. Not the Jurassic Park kind. Okay. Well, the bird kind of raptors are pretty cool, too. Raptors—birds that hunt and feed on other animals, like hawks and falcons—are in many ways not unlike the big reptilian hunters portrayed in the movie. They’re fast, for instance. Peregrine falcons have been clocked at over 240 miles per hour. And they’ve got razor claws evolved to make less fortunate creatures have a very bad day.
Want to meet them up close? Welcome to the Teton Raptor Center.
Located in nearby Wilson, Wyoming, the Center keeps raptor populations from going extinct through rehabilitation, research, and education. The people there rescue birds who are too injured to get back on their feet (so to speak) in the wild and enlist those birds’ help in teaching people about raptors.
Got some clever girls and boys who want the full raptor experience? Bring your family around to a Raptor Encounter at 2 pm on Saturdays (from October to May) and Wednesdays (from June to September). You can also schedule a personalized experience to get a closer look at our feathered friends.
If you’re more of a general bird enthusiast than a tourist, you can still learn more about the ways you can help embattled raptor populations, including the Poo Poo Project (which keeps birds out of the unenviable position of getting stuck in vault toilets) and the Golden Eagle Rescue Network (which is pretty much just as cool as it sounds).
Can’t make it this week? There will be other chances visit the raptors. Life finds a way—you will, too.
Ryan Kunz is a copywriter, blogger, and outdoor enthusiast who turned to a writing career after his parents told him his first choice for a career path, a Jedi Knight, was not a real thing.