• Skip Erickson stands inside the World Wildlife Experience inside the Children's Museum of Northeastern Montana. Photo by Sean Heavey

    Glasgow native donates wild gift to children’s museum

    The Children’s Museum of Northeastern Montana in downtown Glasgow is a cool place to play. It’s full of books, toys and even has a treehouse.

    Now, thanks to Glasgow native Skip Erickson, it’s home to an almost unbelievable set of wildlife trophies.

    As writer Andrew McKean explains in our Nov/Dec issue, it’s hard to imagine the menagerie that Erickson has donated to the museum. The hunter, who is battling colon cancer, has donated everything from a 12-foot alligator to a wildebeest.

    It amounts to a wildlife collection – called the World Wildlife Experience – that Erickson hopes will allow area kids to be transported around the world.

    “Not everyone is going to be able to travel the world and have the experiences that I’ve had,” acknowledges Erickson. “But I hope that when a kid looks at these animals, that they are transported, even for a few minutes, from Glasgow, Montana to the Himalayas or to Central Asia or to Australia.”

    We’ve put the full story about the World Wildlife Experience online today. To say the least, it’s a heartwarming piece that captures the love Skip has for his hometown, and the passion the town shares for giving its kids a window to the bigger world.

    - Jenna

  • Brutus the Bear lives in a wildlife sanctuary outside Bozeman. Photo courtesy of Ami Testa

    Have you met Brutus the Bear?

    I’d heard about Brutus the Bear a couple times before I was fully introduced to him in the March/April issue of Montana Magazine. The first time I ran across his name was when he showed up inside Washington-Grizzly stadium in Missoula and because he learned to swim in swimming pool in Helena.

    He really is an unusual bear. And, as it turns out, so is his best friend. Writer Corinne Garcia profiled Montanan Casey Anderson and his quest to educate people about wildlife like grizzly bears in her great piece for us.

    Anderson grew up in Helena and after years working with and tracking wildlife, became the host of his own National Geographic Channel show America the Wild.

    As for Brutus (who was rescued by Anderson in 2002), he’s found a home at Anderson’s Montana Grizzly Encounter outside Bozeman. If you get a chance, maybe you can go visit him.

    For now, here’s a little more about Brutus the bear:

    • Age: 12
    • Demeanor: Laid back, cool, charismatic, charming. “He’s like a hot surfer dude of a grizzly bear,” caretaker and best friend Casey Anderson said.
    • Favorite place to hang out: In his customized travel trailer, complete with air conditioning, with his buddies at Montana Grizzly Encounter, or on Anderson’s Paradise Valley property.
    • Best Bear Pals: Lucy, 3, his girlfriend, and Sheena, 27. “When he first met Lucy, she was intimidated, and he just laid there until she came over to him,” Anderson said. “They’ve been together ever since.”
    • Favorite Foods: The bears at Montana Grizzly Encounter eat a diet that’s comprised of 80 percent fruits and vegetables. But Brutus’ all-time favorite meal is sockeye salmon and avocados, and cake on his birthday.
    • Typical Day: Likes to sleep in late (like a typical teenager) in his private denning area (cave). He tends to interact with any of the other bears that are out and about then. “It’s like a soap opera sometimes,” Anderson said. “Every bear loves him and wants to hang out with him, and he’s the only bear they all love.”

    - Jenna 

     

    • An odd couple on Hauser Lake, by Marcie Rand Galick.

      An odd couple on Hauser Lake, by Marcie Rand Galick.

    • Sleep owl, by Beack Kowgirl.

      Sleep owl, by Beack Kowgirl.

    • A Yellowstone Valley coyote, by Mark LaRowe.
    • A moose wades through Bouchard Lake, by Stephanie Nordberg.

    Readers share their Montana wildlife shots

    Montana wildlife. Two great words.

    And our great Facebook friends have shared some pretty great shots of the Montana wildlife they’ve seen across the state.

    A special thanks to Mark LaRowe (coyote), Beach Kowgirl (owl), Marcie Rand Galick (birds on Hauser Lake)  and Stephanie Nordberg (moose) for sharing these photos with us.

    Enjoy!

    - Jenna