FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will unveil a new “Be Bear Aware” exhibit when the facility opens for the season March 1. The wildlife center’s newest exhibit will shine a light on the status of black bears in Kentucky, and highlight ways that people can coexist with bears in the state.
“Black bears are making a natural comeback in Kentucky, and it’s very important for people to know how to live alongside these animals,” said Conservation Educator Geoff Roberts. “This exhibit illustrates relatively simple ways that people can successfully coexist with bears, whether they’re a resident of Eastern Kentucky or someone who may experience a chance encounter with a bear elsewhere in the state.”
Visitors will also learn about the black bear’s population range within the state, as well as the role of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in bear management. Highlights of the exhibit space include two mounted bears, one of which is a 450-pound specimen from Pike County.
The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation funded the new exhibit. The bear aware exhibit receives its official unveiling at 10 a.m. Friday, March 17.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources operates the Salato Wildlife Center as part of its goal of educating the public about the state’s native wildlife. The facility offers viewing opportunities for a variety of wildlife, including a bear, eagle, bobcats, deer, bison, birds of prey and more.
The center is off U.S. 60, approximately 1½ miles west of the U.S. 127 intersection. Look for the bronze deer statue at the entrance of the main Kentucky Fish and Wildlife campus.
Hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday. Salato is closed on Sunday, Monday and state holidays.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth 5 to 18. Children younger than 5 are admitted free. The center also offers annual memberships for individuals and families.
Find more information about the Salato Wildlife Center online at fw.ky.gov, searching under the keyword Salato.