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    Posted January 28, 2013 by
    Girdwood,, Alaska
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: A Highlight of Any Trip to Anchorage, Alaska

    The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a wonderful place to visit while in Anchorage or Seward, Alaska. Located in Girdwood, along the scenic Turnagain Arm, the Conservation Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, public education, and quality animal care.

    The Center takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides spacious outdoor enclosures and quality animal care. Animals that cannot be released into the wild are given a permanent home at the center.

    While visiting in early October of 2012, I took the "Winter Wildlife Tour" with with Salmon Berries Travel. The afternoon was spent driving along the Seward Highway south from Anchorage. We got to the Conservation Center just as a steady rain began to fall so most of us stayed in the tour van but got out occasionally to get up close and personal with the animals.

    And there were some great animals there! Caribou, lynx, muskox, reindeer, Sitka deer, wood buffalo, a porcupine, a bald eagle, owl. moose, and two bears. Unlike a zoo where there's usually "healthy" animals locked up, the AWCC is dedicated to rehabilitating or raising sick or injured animals. For example, the bald eagle in a cage was the victim of an illegal hunt with one of its wings completely blown off.

    There are wide expanses within the preserve for these animals to roam freely about. Though the roads through the Center can be bumpy, the small price of admission is well worth being able to see these magnificent animals up close. An interesting fact that our tour bus operator mentioned is that roadkill in the area is donated to AWCC and local supermarkets also help with food for the preserve animals.

    Additionally, there is an adoption option. What a wonderful gift: for $30, you can adopt an animal at the AWCC. By adopting an animal at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, you can enjoy animal parenthood without all the work! The center's professional staff does all the work looking after your charge. They will provide the special diet, environment and veterinary care that your adoptee requires. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to support your selected native animal at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. You receive an official adoption certificate & quarterly AWCC Animal Ambassador Newsletter.

    Particularly if you arrive in Seward on a cruise ship, a tour of the Girdwood Center might be one of the few times you have the opportunity to view so many of Alaska's most beautiful animal residents in one place.
    When in the area, do not miss the chance to visit this most awesome animal sanctuary.
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