An Alpine Animal Refuge

Hello All!

       For those of you who would like to help our cold loving arctic and alpine animals from North America and around the world! You can visit and donate to the Big Bear Alpine Zoo where injured, orphaned, and rescued alpine animals are taken in, rehabilitated, and released to the wild upon recovery. The Big Bear Alpine Zoo’s unique location high in the San Bernardino Mountains at 7,140ft is ideal for these creatures who thrive at high elevation and cold temperatures.

       The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is refuge to over 85 species including: Cotton Tail Rabbits, Doves, Kestrels, Ravens, a Red Fox, Bobcats, Grizzly Bears, Mule Deer, a Yellow-Bellied Marmot, a Turkey Vulture, a Badger, Coyotes, Fallow Deer, Black Bears, Raccoons, Mountain Lions, Barn Owls, Gray Wolves, Arctic Wolves, Striped Skunks, a Canada Goose, Flying Squirrels, a Screech Owl, Burrowing Owls, a Ringtail, Sandhill Cranes, Golden Eagles, Red-Tailed Hawks, a Swainson’s Hawk, Great-Horned Owls, a Bald Eagle, a Snowy Owl, a San Joaquin Kit Fox, an Arctic Fox, Grey Foxes, Crows, a Long-Eared Owl, and Snow Leopards! The zoo’s reptile house is also refuge to a Columbian Red-Tailed Boa, a Red Tegu, a Sulcata Tortoise, and many other reptiles, spiders, and insects.

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is owned and operated by Big Bear Valley Recreation & Park District, a Special District of San Bernardino County. The 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. They have been shot, hit by cars, found orphaned, confiscated from pet shops or have been taken as babies and raised as pets until the owner could not or would not care for them anymore or they were confiscated as illegal pets. 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.

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo’s Mission

To enhance human understanding and respect for the value of the ecosystem through rescue, rehabilitation and education; enhanced by our unique collection of animals that have been permanently impacted by humans and can never be released back into the wild.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo Core Values:

  • We passionately commit our expertise and resources to saving animals and enhancing their long-term survivability whether in the wild or permanently within our facility.
  • We reach for excellence in every endeavor.
  • We give maximum effort to thinking laterally and acting proactively.
  • We value partnership and cooperation.
  • We provide animal interactions that create lifelong memories.
  • We will support conservation efforts in the wild, accentuating our goals and objectives.
  • We are a trusted resource for our community, and provide programs and services that make meaningful contributions toward enriching the human condition.

Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo

The zoo is supported in part by the Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to support the Big Bear Alpine Zoo by inspiring understanding, respect, and responsible action for wildlife and wildlife habitat through public education, volunteer support, fundraising and development, and key project financial support. The Friends of the Big Bear alpine Zoo was established in 1989 after three bald eagles were found massacred on the North Shore of Big Bear Lake. The Friends conducted a fundraising drive to provide a security system for the zoo as well as for other needs of the animals. Today, the role of the Friends has expanded and provides continuous support with conservation education, tours, the gift shop, and fundraising events. Much of the funding for the zoo relocation project resulted from the dedicated fundraising of the Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo.

Donation details here!



Half-Off Origami Black Bears and Arctic Wolves with your Donation!

       Origami for an Interdependent world would like to thank donors by offering a 50% discount off any origami Black Bear or Arctic Wolf in the shop for a donation of half the origami’s listed value. Just send your donation receipt to and you’ll receive a coupon code that you can apply in the shop!

Origami Black Bears (and one Blackboard Bear), each designed and folded from a single uncut square of lokta foil paper

Origami Arctic Wolf, designed and folded from a single uncut hexagon of foil paper