Earthfire Stories

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

Baby chipmunk being fed with a syringe by a wildlife rehabilitator
Outfoxed By a Chipmunk

She came to us tiny, cold, and limp, a baby chipmunk barely a few weeks old. Prospects didn’t seem good. But it is amazing what warmth and tiny doses of...

Red ant on a leaf

Yesterday, I had a conversation with an ant. A tiny little red one. Well, maybe it wasn’t a conversation, as it was sort of one-way, but I enjoyed it. Most...

Brown bear playing in a pond

When the bears wake up, it is a wondrous occasion. The land begins to pulse with their powerful presence. They emerge slowly, tentatively—is it time yet? A nose. Sleepy little...

Woman holding a black and white fox

A few weeks ago, our very beloved fox Loki passed away due to kidney failure. He was with us for nine glorious years, quite long for a fox that had...

Wolf climbing a willow tree

Many years ago, Jean, Co-founder of Earthfire Institute, saw a magnificent old cottonwood tree stump lying on a sidewalk in Driggs, ID. It lay on its side in the hot...

Grizzly bear surrounded by rocks and bushes

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...

Grizzly Bear surrounded by aspen trees
A Journal Entry by Environmental Educator Deb Matlock

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...

Brown bear eating a pie

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...

Jessica Hallstrom snuggling with a shelter dog

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...

Turkey poult

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...

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