Draper Museum of Natural History

Kamila Kudelska

Early one morning, eight volunteers surrounded a table with a 400 pound grizzly bear carcass in its center. Draper Natural History Museum Assistant curator Corey Anco said they are defleshing the animal.

"They are removing all of the meat around the bones, all the meat around the ribs, all the meat around the vertebrae," said Anco. "And they're trying to get this as clean as we can reasonably so."

Nicole Meyer

The Draper Museum Raptor Experience will be 10 years old in 2021. In honor, we are featuring the 11 raptors in the program.

Salem is an American Kestrel, which is a falcon species. It's the smallest Falcon species in North America. At one point it was one of the most common raptors across north Central and South America. But their numbers are actually in decline across most of North America. Scientists are researching the decline in an effort to figure out why. 

Jeff Victor

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone 25 years ago, after intense debate and under serious scrutiny. Park rangers exterminated the last wolves in Yellowstone nearly a century ago, and their return has restored the park's ecosystem to a state not seen in a long time.

Wikipedia

It is unusual to find a snowy owl in Wyoming because they breed in the arctic tundra and usually spend their entire lives there, but Dr. Charles Preston, the former curator of the Draper Natural History Museum, said these owls are known to erupt.

Credit Nathan Horton / Draper Natural History Museum

  

At one point in time, the swallow-tail kite bird was a common species in the Great Plains, including eastern Wyoming.

But Dr. Charles Preston, the former curator of the Draper Natural History Museum, said they no longer are found in this region.

Corey Anco

Before the expansion of the West, there was an estimate of almost 600 million beavers throughout North America. But in the early 1800s, when unregulated harvesting of beaver pelts began, the beaver almost went extinct within a 40-year period.

Kamila Kudelska

Between 1995 and 1997, 41 wolves from Canada and Northwest Montana were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Twenty years has passed and the population has grown close to 400 in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Kamila Kudelska


It's Christmas Eve 2000. The curator of the Draper Museum of Natural History, Dr. Charles Preston and his wife were driving along the North Fork corridor when they spotted a truck.