A Yellowstone-area naturalist has received an “Outstanding Interpreter” award for her work with grizzly bears, wolves, and raptors.
Earlier this month Encapera was awarded with the 2015 Outstanding Interpreter award for the Zoos, Wildlife Parks and Aquaria Section of the National Association for Interpretation. The award is for a front line interpreter at a zoo, wildlife park or aquarium anywhere in the country, and recognizes excellence in interpretation and contributions to the field and facility that the interpreter works for, according to Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center curator of education AJ Chlebnik.
“I was surprised and honored,” Encapera said of receiving the award. “I’m grateful to be associated with the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center and making a difference with education and conservation.”
Encapera began working at the Center four years ago in admissions, but took a chance after one year to transition into interpretation, eventually becoming a preeminent naturalist at the GWDC, winning the admiration of peers and visitors.
“We’re really excited with the enthusiasm Sarah brings to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center,” Chlebnik told WYN. “We’re lucky to have Sarah on staff.”
“Some people want to know how to be safe in grizzly country and it’s important for me to keep grizzly bears away from human food sources,” she told WYN. “We want to keep bears wild and away from humans. My biggest passion is bear education and to keep people safe and keep the bears out in the wild where they belong.”
The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, located in West Yellowstone, just outside the West Entrance, is a popular draw for visitors looking to learn more about grizzlies, wolves, and raptors such as hawks and eagles.