Much like spandex pants and memories of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ glory years, certain wild animals cannot survive without the conservation efforts of a dedicated few. Support safe refuge for our animal friends with today’s Groupon: for $37, you get a one-year supporting membership to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, located south of Girdwood (a $75 value).
A nonprofit organization that provides critical care for ill and orphaned critters, the AWCC gives members the thrilling opportunity to experience Alaskan wildlife face-to-snout. This supporting membership includes a family season pass, good for two adults and their dependents, so parents and children can bond over black-bear watching or hold tag-team head-butting contests with musk oxen. The wild animals that the AWCC shelters in its expansive tundra refuge include elk, moose, coyotes, eagles, and—after more than a century of extinction in Alaska—the only wood-bison herd in the United States. Members are invited to bring cameras and hold photo shoots with as many animals as they can spot from a safe distance.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) shelters orphaned, injured, and ill animals that could not otherwise survive in the wild. Bears, elk, and coyotes roam in a natural-habitat enclosure where they are regularly fed, rehabilitated, and given medical attention under the direction of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The AWCC seeks to educate the public about protecting Alaska’s native species with educational programs and tours. Patrons can also see the animals living in near-wild conditions, with bald eagles swooping to the ground in search of prey and wood bison plodding through 65 acres of tidal terrain. The latter comprise the only herd of wood bison in the U.S.: the species had been extinct in Alaska for more than a century until the AWCC acquired its herd from the Yukon as an effort to reintroduce the animal to the state.