Located just across the street from Bear Mountain Ski Resort, Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a zoo in Big Bear Lake, California, United States opened in 1959 and is one of only two Alpine zoos in the United States. The 2.5 acre facility specializes in rehab and release of local Alpine species but also has a permanent collection of animals. If you’ve ever skied The Bear, you’ve no doubt seen this, now here’s a look inside:

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo was started in 1959 as an Alpine wildlife center to rehabilitate and release injured wildlife. Most of the non-releasable animals here at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo are here because of human interference. As residents of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, these animals take on the important role of ambassadors, helping us to connect our guests to wildlife. Our commitment to our ambassadors begins with our pledge to provide the best quality of life possible, enabling all of our animals with opportunities to thrive.
Currently located on 2.5 acres, guests will enjoy an up-close and personal experience with our animals. Additionally, we offer enrichment talks every day at 12, 1, 2, and 3 PM.
Big Bear Alpine Zoo rehabilitates injured, sick, or orphaned native wildlife and releases healthy animals back into their natural habitat. Our goal is to provide the best welfare possible with minimal human interaction. When we accept wildlife from the public, we will use those opportunities to promote conservation education and stewardship of wildlife, habitat, and our mountain ecosystem.
Each year the Big Bear Alpine Zoo receives well over a hundred animals that have been impacted in such a way that they cannot survive in the wild without intervention. Our primary goal is threefold: assess, treat, and release. Best practices in animal welfare and support from veterinary experts enable us to release 90% of wildlife that comes to us.
If an animal cannot be released into the wild, Big Bear Alpine Zoo provides a permanent residence, where they become ambassadors for our local wildlife. As rescued wildlife, our ambassadors help us to connect our guests to wildlife and promote the importance of conservation and stewardship.
The work that we do in wildlife rehabilitation and rescue is made possible through our valuable partnerships and community support.
New Zoo: Spring/Summer 2020!
Plans are underway to build a new facility with completion set at late Spring or early Summer of 2020. Construction the new facility began in August of 2017. The outside structures will be modern and designed for enriching the lives of our animals and for optimal guest experience. Although we have changed the design of the zoo, our heart will remain the same…still saving wildlife since 1959!
Designed for Maximum Animal Welfare
With choice and control over their environment, our animal ambassadors will benefit from naturalistic environments, allowing for better enrichment opportunities and the opportunities to express species-specific behaviors. Modern holding areas will provide greater opportunities for behavior husbandry training.
Designed for Maximum Guest Experience
Not only will our guests enjoy seeing our ambassadors in a new and larger facility, zoo guests will also share in the benefit of seeing animals in specially designed, enrichment-based exhibits.