No, we cannot get enough of bears. Sure, we saw a couple back in Glacier, but when we were driving through the Black Hills of South Dakota and saw a sign for Bear Country USA, there was little question what we were doing next.

Bear Country USA is a safari style zoo. Elk, reindeer, antelope, mountain goats, wolves, bears, and other wild animals are housed in wide gated fields across 200 acres. Visitors drive themselves along the winding 3 mile road at their own pace or, at least, within the realms of courtesy. It is is one lane road and there are other cars that may not want to spend as much time staring at mountain goats as you. I might wonder why, then, they came to a wildlife park, but that is their own issue.

Mature elk lounging in the field.
Right out of the gate, we first spied a mature elk lounging in the field. We’ve seen plenty of elk on our travels but none with such an amazing rack as this.

Mountain goat licking a rock…one would think there is probably salt there.
Bears Lounge in the shade to escape the hot afternoon sun.

Baby Land

Along with the drive through portion of Bear Country USA, there is also Baby Land, a more conventional zoo section where smaller animals were in sunken pens so that visitors could easily observe them. I don’t quite know what inspired the zoo to include skunks in their display but I just wish I could have gotten a better view of the otters.  There really is only one reason that this section of Bear Country USA is called Baby Land. The real draw to this section is the baby black bear pen where I’m taking bets on how many baby black bears can fit in one tree. So far, I’ve counted 5 at one time.

Badgers scamper around their pen. Should it decide to go underground, a badger can dig a hole faster than a person can dig it out.

The Ground hog, (AKA woodchuck) really likes diggings holes in rolling farmland and distressing superstitious snow dwellers.
Even raccoons find a place in Bear Country USA. They may be cute but I wouldn’t want these scavengers near my camp or trash cans.
A red fox huddles in a shady patch of grass. It make look cute, but red foxes have scent-glands that can emit a skunk like odor to mark their territory.
The intensely cute and energetic American Martin. it is a member of the weasel family and prefers eating squirrels and chipmunks though the list of what they eat is quite extensive. Their range stretches across Alaska, Canada, and edges of the northern 48.

Bear cubs climb into a tree. As spindly as the tree may be compared to the cubs, as many as five cubs were scrambling around in it at one time. Nowhere is safe!

Lexi lives in a truck camper down by the river.

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