Earthfire Stories

From our wildlife ambassadors to rehabilitation patients and local wildlife, these posts tell the stories of animals that call Earthfire Institute home.

Grizzly bear surrounded by rocks and bushes

The Golden Bear

The day I was told of the passing of Teton Totem, one of Earthfire’s resident grizzly bears, many emotions washed through me: sadness, shock, and disbelief. However, what resounded within me as I made myself go through the motions of my day was an aching sense of regret. His death

Read More
Grizzly Bear surrounded by aspen trees

Retreat Participant Honors Teton Totem

One of the most beautiful things in life is when we are touched at our very core. When our preconceived notions are shifted dramatically in an instant, when what we thought we knew well is deepened. Thanks to Teton Totem, I experienced such a moment. Gazing into his enclosure, I

Read More
Brown bear eating a pie

Top Executive Chef Prepares Pies for Our Bears

We want our bears to be really plump before they go into hibernation, and this fall, they weren’t plump enough for our comfort. Among other girth-widening foods, they were only partially eating their sweet potatoes. Our animal caretakers observed that Teton Totem was refusing his cold oatmeal– he wanted it

Read More
Jessica Hallstrom snuggling with a shelter dog

Experiences that Heal

I remember almost all of them. Not all by name, but by other things—one pair of remarkably upright terrier ears, the way an enormous Great Dane tiptoed so timidly to her kennel door as I approached, the gentle bulldog who needed the folds of his face cleaned with a warm

Read More
Turkey poult

Conversations with a Turkey

It is a beautiful fall day. As I prepare breakfast, from outside comes a series of contented avian sounds. No, not our fine chickens—they tend to only make noises when they are squabbling (a universal feature of sentient Life I believe) or effusively celebrating the laying of an egg. Rather,

Read More
A broken fan and extension cord outside a domestic bear's enclosure

Teton and the Fan

It was hot. Very, very hot. Teton has a thick bear coat and even in the shade it was difficult to cool him off. It bothered us. What could we do? He had shade cloth sprinkled with water, and cool watered grass to lay on, but he was still uncomfortable.

Read More
Two foxes touch noses in the grass

A Foxy Friendship

The result of a Russian breeding experiment, Loki is an unusual fox, different from the others in appearance, mannerisms, and heredity.  Playtime in the animal garden had been somewhat lonely for him. The other foxes repeatedly rejected him. Although they had shown curiosity by circling and sniffing him, it was

Read More
An egg starting to hatch

The Mysterious Egg

The early morning silence in the vast sagebrush field was profound. Meditative. The dense fog lent a quality of mystery. The world was still. Out of the mist came the call of a raven in the nearby woods and suddenly, the air itself was filled with a sense of life

Read More
Grizzly bear laying on his stomach in the snow

Ramble the Grizzly vs. 10 Heads of Lettuce

Ramble the bear had a stomach ache, and it was a sad thing to see. There he was: lying on his stomach, front paws down along his side, bottom of his pads turned up to the sky, chin flat on the ground, and large round bottom high in the air,

Read More
White German Shepherd Dog in the snow

Led Astray by a Bounding Snow Dog

An odd movement just outside the office window caught the corner of my eye. What was that? I turned to look and saw a column of steam rising as if a whistling tea kettle was coming to a boil. What could be burning outside in the snow? I stood up

Read More
Grizzly bear surrounded by rocks and bushes

The Golden Bear

The day I was told of the passing of Teton Totem, one of Earthfire’s resident grizzly bears, many emotions washed through me: sadness, shock, and disbelief. However, what resounded within me as I made myself go through the motions of my day was an aching sense of regret. His death

Read More
Grizzly Bear surrounded by aspen trees

Retreat Participant Honors Teton Totem

One of the most beautiful things in life is when we are touched at our very core. When our preconceived notions are shifted dramatically in an instant, when what we thought we knew well is deepened. Thanks to Teton Totem, I experienced such a moment. Gazing into his enclosure, I

Read More
Brown bear eating a pie

Top Executive Chef Prepares Pies for Our Bears

We want our bears to be really plump before they go into hibernation, and this fall, they weren’t plump enough for our comfort. Among other girth-widening foods, they were only partially eating their sweet potatoes. Our animal caretakers observed that Teton Totem was refusing his cold oatmeal– he wanted it

Read More
Jessica Hallstrom snuggling with a shelter dog

Experiences that Heal

I remember almost all of them. Not all by name, but by other things—one pair of remarkably upright terrier ears, the way an enormous Great Dane tiptoed so timidly to her kennel door as I approached, the gentle bulldog who needed the folds of his face cleaned with a warm

Read More
Turkey poult

Conversations with a Turkey

It is a beautiful fall day. As I prepare breakfast, from outside comes a series of contented avian sounds. No, not our fine chickens—they tend to only make noises when they are squabbling (a universal feature of sentient Life I believe) or effusively celebrating the laying of an egg. Rather,

Read More
A broken fan and extension cord outside a domestic bear's enclosure

Teton and the Fan

It was hot. Very, very hot. Teton has a thick bear coat and even in the shade it was difficult to cool him off. It bothered us. What could we do? He had shade cloth sprinkled with water, and cool watered grass to lay on, but he was still uncomfortable.

Read More
Two foxes touch noses in the grass

A Foxy Friendship

The result of a Russian breeding experiment, Loki is an unusual fox, different from the others in appearance, mannerisms, and heredity.  Playtime in the animal garden had been somewhat lonely for him. The other foxes repeatedly rejected him. Although they had shown curiosity by circling and sniffing him, it was

Read More
An egg starting to hatch

The Mysterious Egg

The early morning silence in the vast sagebrush field was profound. Meditative. The dense fog lent a quality of mystery. The world was still. Out of the mist came the call of a raven in the nearby woods and suddenly, the air itself was filled with a sense of life

Read More
Grizzly bear laying on his stomach in the snow

Ramble the Grizzly vs. 10 Heads of Lettuce

Ramble the bear had a stomach ache, and it was a sad thing to see. There he was: lying on his stomach, front paws down along his side, bottom of his pads turned up to the sky, chin flat on the ground, and large round bottom high in the air,

Read More
White German Shepherd Dog in the snow

Led Astray by a Bounding Snow Dog

An odd movement just outside the office window caught the corner of my eye. What was that? I turned to look and saw a column of steam rising as if a whistling tea kettle was coming to a boil. What could be burning outside in the snow? I stood up

Read More

For more Earthfire Stories, subscribe to our newsletter.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our privacy policy.