Monthly Archives: July 2016



There is nothing simple about jellyfish, except the creatures themselves. From their taxonomy to their lifecycles, jellyfish are complicated. When I am out on the boat with our summer guests, I answer many questions about jellyfish, and since I am never 100% certain of my answers, I decided to tackle jellyfish for a blog post. Once and for all, I planned to conquer these gelatinous creatures. The more I read, though, the more confused I became. There are many species of jellyfish, so, of course, lifecycles vary between species and may also vary depending on water temperature and nutrient availability. In this post, I will try to keep things as simple as possible and will describe a generalized jellyfish lifecycle. Keep in mind, though, when it comes to jellyfish lifecycles, there are many exceptions and exceptions to those exceptions.

Our guests ask us: How long can a jellyfish live? What do jellyfish eat? What eats a jellyfish? Why do jellyfish form large groups? How do jellyfish reproduce? Will these jellyfish sting me? Are these jellyfish dangerous?

First of all, most biologists now refer to jellyfish as jellies, because they aren’t fish. This week I will cover basic facts about jellies and tell you about some of the poisonous species. Over the next two weeks, I will discuss two of the most prevalent jelly species in the North Pacific near Kodiak Island.

Let me begin by attempting to explain one of the most complex lifecycles in the animal kingdom. Most species of jellies reproduce by a combination of sexual and asexual reproduction, and their lifecycles include several stages. The jellies you see floating in the ocean are in the adult or medusa stage of their lifecycle. Adults are usually either male or female (not even this is a given with jellies, though), and they release eggs and sperm at incredible rates. When an egg and sperm unite, a larva is produced. Each larva attaches to a hard surface, such as a rock on the ocean bottom. At this point in the lifecycle, the organism is called a polyp.

Polyps have only rarely been seen in the wild, but biologists believe polyps may blanket large expanses of the ocean bottom in some areas. Scientists also think that a jelly may remain in the polyp stage of its lifecycle from days to years or even decades until temperature and food availability are favorable for it to survive as an adult. When conditions are favorable, a polyp elongates and reproduces asexually by budding. These buds develop into young jellies that grow into adults, completing the life cycle. A single polyp may produce a large number of jellies, and a large field of polyps can produce tens of thousands of jellies at a time.

The medusa phase of the jelly may last from a few hours to several months, depending on the species. Most jellies live 2 to 6 months in the medusa stage. The medusa stage is usually the end of a jelly’s lifecycle, but one unusual species, Turritopsis dohrnii, has the ability under certain conditions, to transform from the medusa stage back to the polyp stage, making this species theoretically immortal.


Because polyps bud when conditions are favorable, a large number of medusae may be formed at one time in a particular area. Waves and tidal currents often congregate the medusae in groups of thousands. These groups are called a bloom, a swarm, or a smack. We often see blooms of moon jellies, and when viewed from the deck of our boat, they make a large, white patch in the water that can be seen from quite a distance. When we get closer, we can make out individual medusae in the bloom.

Jellies range in size from a few millimeters in bell height and diameter to nearly two meters in bell height and diameter. The lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) is considered one of the longest animals in the world; its fine, thread-like tentacles may extend to 120 ft. (36.5 meters) in length, although most are much smaller than that.

Medusae are carnivorous and eat plankton, crustaceans, fish eggs, small fish, and other jellies. They use the venom-filled nematocysts on their tentacles to sting and stun their prey, and then they trap the prey in their mucous. Jellies ingest their food and eliminate their waste through the same hole in the center of the bell. Some fish and invertebrate species are immune to the stings of certain jellies and may form symbiotic relationships with them.

One of the questions we are most often asked is what eats a jellyfish? Other jellies are some of the most common predators, but jellies are also food for sea anemones, tuna, shark, swordfish, sea turtles, shore birds, and possibly even salmon. Nevertheless, jellies are not eaten in large numbers, and since many jelly populations have expanded in recent decades, biologists worry that jellies are becoming more dominant in some ecosystems, replacing fish that once thrived in these areas. Jellies can live in areas with low-oxygen levels. In water that has been polluted by agricultural runoff, nutrient levels are high, but oxygen levels are low. These conditions favor jellies over fish that cannot tolerate such low levels of oxygen.

The nematocysts or stinging cells of most jellies are so small they can’t penetrate human skin. Others may cause a slight sting or irritation, but the sting of a few jellies can cause severe pain and in some cases, even death.


The sea wasp box jelly, found in Australia, is considered the deadliest jelly in the world. Since 1954, 5,568 people have died from the sting of this jelly. A sea wasp has 15 tentacles, extending up to ten feet in length. On each tentacle, there are approximately half a million microscopic darts, and each dart is full of venom. One of these darts holds enough venom to kill 60 people. The venom acts very quickly and may cause cardiac arrest in a few minutes. In addition to the venom, the pain of the sting is so intense; it can lead to shock. Some other species of box jellies are also poisonous. One member of the box jelly family, the Irukandji jelly is only 0.2 inches in length, and is nearly transparent, making it almost invisible. Its toxin is 100 times more deadly than that of a cobra’s. The Portuguese Man o’ War is not a jelly but is an organism called a bluebottle. Its sting leaves a welt like a whip mark and may remain painful for days. The venom can cause fever, shock, and may lead to cardiac or pulmonary arrest.

Most jelly stings cause only mild pain similar to a bee sting, so what is the treatment for a jelly sting? Barrier clothing, even something as thin as pantyhose can protect a swimmer or diver. If stung, use a credit card to scrape the affected area to remove remaining nematocysts. A 10% solution of aqueous acetic acid or vinegar may be used to soothe the skin. You can also wash the affected skin with salt water, but do not wash the skin with fresh water, alcohol, ammonia, or urine. These solutions may cause the nematocysts to release more venom.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll write about the two species of jellies we most often see around Kodiak Island. I also want to invite any of my readers who haven’t already done so, to sign up for my monthly Mystery Newsletter. Each month I write about a true crime in Alaska.

Facebook Launch Party Recap


This week, I decided to write a post about my Facebook launch party for the release of my novel, Murder Over Kodiak. For frequent readers of my blog who enjoy reading my wildlife posts, I apologize for this divergence. I’ve had several people, including other authors ask about my virtual, book-release party, though, and instead of answering everyone separately, I thought it would be easier to write about my experience in a blog post that anyone can access. When I first thought about having an online launch party, I found some helpful blog posts, and now I would like to return the favor. I’ve been asked how I planned the party, how I invited guests, and what it was like during the party. The question I’ve been asked the most is, “Was it successful?”

First of all, I would like to thank all of you who either came to my Facebook party last month or signed the guestbook on my website. 180 people attended my Facebook party, 99 signed my guestbook, and 63 signed up for my newsletter. Honestly, my party was successful beyond my wildest dreams. I hoped at least 25 people would show up, so I was quite surprised. I learned a great deal during the planning process for my party, especially about the technical aspects of Facebook and my website, and since I am not the most social creature, I had to drag myself out of my shell. Still, a virtual party was less painful for me than a physical party would have been; I am not comfortable being the center of attention. I’ll break down the process for you and tell you what I learned (good and bad).

Why Facebook and Why a Launch Page on My Website?

I’m sure you all know that Facebook is by far the largest social media website, and it is difficult to be a successful author today without having a presence on Facebook. I don’t love Facebook, but I realize it is necessary for me to use it. I originally planned to have my launch party on my website, but I soon remembered that I am not a technical genius, and I live in a remote area with only satellite Internet. It would have been impossible for me to do a party on my website in “real time.” I began exploring my options and soon realized a “Facebook Event” would be the easiest alternative. The biggest problem I had with a Facebook Event was that a guest could not attend my party unless she had a Facebook account or was willing to sign up for Facebook. I know several people who hate Facebook and would never sign up for it for any reason, so I decided that in addition to the Facebook party, I would also have a “Book Launch” page on my website, complete with a guestbook that visitors could sign. This page had links to the synopsis of my novel as well as to links to where the novel could be purchased. Several people thanked me for offering an alternative to attending the Facebook party, so I was glad I had the launch page on my website, plus it was a good way to get people to visit my website, and by signing my guestbook, they gave me permission to add their e-mail address to my newsletter list.

How Did I Create My Facebook Event Page?

Creating a Facebook Event page is as easy as clicking a button. I made a banner for the top of the page, and then I started to get nervous. In all my research, I noticed several businesses that, for a price, would help you with your Facebook party. I thought I probably could do the party by myself, but during a moment of panic, I hired a party planner who specialized in virtual book launches. I don’t know if the money was worth it because I did most of the work myself, but she was there to answer my questions, and that was nice.

To create a Facebook Event, look at the left side of your Facebook “Home” page. Under the heading “Create,” click on “Create Event.” You now have an Event page! Next, you will want to make a banner for the top of your Event page. The banner needs to be 784 x 295 pixels. It takes only a few minutes to design your own banner in a program such as Photoshop or Canva. I used Microsoft Paint to design my simple banner. If you don’t want to tackle designing your own banner or if you want an intricately designed banner, you can hire a graphic designer to create it. Perhaps the designer who created your book cover could design your event banner. You can visit my Event Page to see the simple banner I designed. It has a background scenery photo, a photo of my book cover, and photo of me. A graphic designer or artist would have created a more eye-catching banner than the one I designed, but I was on a budget, and I didn’t think a fancier banner would be worth the cost. Don’t forget to include the date and time of your party on the banner. Also be sure to state the time of your party for various time zones, because you will have people from across the U.S. and perhaps from around the world wanting to attend your party, and they will need to know the time of party where they live. I thought it was most important to include Eastern and Alaskan times for the party. Be sure to post a description of the event under the “About” tab.

How Did I Invite Guests to My Party?

To invite friends to your Facebook party, go to your Event page and click on the “Invite” button in the lower right-hand corner of the banner at the top of the page. Checkmark the friends you wish to invite, and an invitation will be sent to them. I also posted an announcement about my party on both my personal and author Facebook pages and asked my friends to invite their friends. They invite their friends in the same way you invited them. They simply go to your Event page, click on “Invite,” and choose the friends they wish to invite. Before you know it, you’ll have hundreds and perhaps thousands of people invited to your party. Approximately 1400 people were invited to my party.

I sent e-mails to acquaintances who were not Facebook friends, told them about my book launch, and invited them to attend my Facebook party, sign the guestbook on my website, or better yet, do both. To sweeten the incentive to sign my guestbook, I told everyone to enter my drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card on my website once they signed my guestbook.

A few days before my party, I reminded my Facebook friends about the date and time of the party and described some of the prizes I would be giving away. I also posted about my party on Goodreads in the groups I belong to that allow that type of post (be sure to read the rules for each group; some do not allow authors to promote their books). I tweeted about my party and pinned the invitation to my Pinterest board. Those are the only social-networking sites I use, but if you use others, be sure to promote your party on those as well. I did not pay for any advertising, but the party planner I used sent invitations to her list, and that was helpful.

A few days before the party, I began posting comments on the “Event” page. One of my friends told me she would be hanging out by the pool, so I posted about that and let everyone know there was a large pool at the party venue. When I reminded my friends about the party on my Facebook page, I told them there was no dress code, so they could wear whatever they had on or nothing at all, and a few guests joked about that.

Any time you want a post to stay at the top of the Event page and not get moved down the page by subsequent posts, you can “pin” the post. Write the post and then click in the upper right hand corner of the post and click “pin”. You can only pin one post at a time, so if you later write another post that you want to pin to replace your previous pinned post, you must first click in the upper right hand corner of the pinned post and “unpin” it. You can then “pin” another post.

How Did I Plan My Party?

I chose to have a two-hour party, and I spent many hours planning my two-hour party. I worked out the details of every post I planned to make, found a corresponding photo for each post, bought two cartoons to use, and even planned the posts for after the party when I would list the answers to the questions I had asked. Most of my posts were questions, and I awarded prizes either to the guest or guests who answered the question correctly, or I drew a name from the list of everyone who commented on that post.

My party was mostly a fun quiz, and I had very positive feedback on this format, but there are many other options, including simply chatting with your guests and posting funny photos and videos. No matter what you do at your party, the party should reflect the novel you are promoting. I write mystery novels that take place in the wilderness of Alaska, so I did a series of posts I titled “Test Your Wilderness IQ,” where I did such things as post a photo of two berries and ask my guests which berry was safe to eat. I also created a few wilderness scenarios and asked my party guests what they would do if they were in this situation. The answers were fun, and several of the guests interacted with each other, discussing the correct answer. For my wilderness IQ posts, the top ten guests who answered the most questions correctly won an e-book of my novel. I also posted two bear photos and asked my guests to write funny captions for them. I had folks still posting captions two days after my party ended! For the funny caption posts, I randomly drew winners.

I live in the wilderness and have satellite internet which can be slow, so my biggest concern about this party was how long it would take me to post and upload each photo. As the party progressed and got busier and busier, I spent nearly all my time preparing the next post, while my husband sat at his computer and ran interference for me, telling me who was commenting on each post. The more questions I posted, the more hectic it got, because each of my posts was receiving comments at the same time. When someone commented, my computer dinged, and the dinging was non-stop until one hour after the party ended. When it was over, I had a headache, but I also had a smile on my face. The party had been fun and a success. I’d pulled it off, and the two hours were over in a flash.

How Did I Hand Out Prizes?

This is the part of the party I would do differently next time. I promised to post the winners two hours after the party ended, and that was not enough time. I think next time I would announce the winners the following day. At the end of the party I was exhausted, and then it was a race to draw the names and post the winners. Besides choosing the winners from each post or question at the party, I also drew names from the list of people who signed my guestbook, people who signed up for my newsletter, and people who “liked” my Facebook page, and researching all of that and randomly drawing winners took awhile to do. It took me several minutes just to figure out where to find the list of people who “liked” my Facebook page.

By the end of the party, I gave away 40 e-books, two signed copies of my novel, three $10 gift cards, and two $25 gift cards (including the one I gave away on my website). I chose mainly to give gifts I could e-mail, because I live in the wilderness, and mailing items is a hassle. Also, I wanted to spend my party budget on prizes not postage. My favorite prize was when I told my guests I would use the name of the first person to answer the question correctly for a character in my next novel. I also asked if anyone knew the title of my first novel and then told my guests they were all winners, because for the next two days they could download that novel for free on Amazon.

Would I do another Facebook Party?

I absolutely would do another Facebook party, and I hope to help plan a multi-author Facebook party this fall with other Alaskan authors. It would be much easier to do an event like this with other hosts. Not only could they help with the planning and share the expense of the prizes, but each author would bring his or her own friends to the party, introducing them to the other authors, and hopefully, each author would gain new readers from the event. A multi-author event could also last for several hours, with each author in charge of a certain time period.

Were there glitches in my launch party? Of course, but what party doesn’t have glitches? My internet connection slowed down toward the end of the party, and I couldn’t post all the photos I’d planned. Worse still, the code for the e-books I gave away didn’t work, and it took a few days to straighten out that mess. All the winners were patient, though, and didn’t seem to mind the delay.

An event like this is a way to reach potential readers around the world. It’s a promotional event you can control, unlike buying an ad and hoping for the best. I’ve tried advertising on Goodreads, Facebook, and with numerous online book newsletters, and I have never had good luck. With my Facebook party, I sold books, connected with friends, signed up people for my mystery newsletter, and gained new readers who I feel as if I know. Several people e-mailed me to tell me how much fun they had at the party, and that made me smile, because having fun was my main goal!

I have a series of wildlife posts planned for the next several weeks, so be sure to check back weekly to see what’s new.

My latest Mystery Newsletter is about the true crime of the murder of two brothers at their fish site on Kodiak Island. If this sounds interesting, sign up for my Mystery Newsletter and read this story and other tales about true crime in Alaska.



The Fishermen

The Fishermen is another story by Marcia Messier, who cooked for many years at our lodge. This story, as well as the other stories of hers I have posted, will all be part of our cookbook, Tales from the Kitchen at Munsey’s Bear Camp. I love this story, The Fishermen, and I think it is remarkable that Marcia captured the essence of what it is like to spend a day on a boat with a group of sport fishermen. Marcia was always busy in the kitchen and never went out with us on our fishing trips, but between listening to the fishermen spar as they sat around the dinner table and listening to Mike and I as we told her our tales of the day, she pictured our fishing days perfectly and describes it beautifully here.

The Fishermen

by Marcia Messier


It’s not just about bears at Munsey’s Bear Camp. Some guests are passionate about fishing, only fishing! They don’t want to waste valuable time looking at bears. They aren’t interested in photographing the majestic mountains rising straight up out of the bay. They couldn’t care less as Bald Eagles swoop down over their heads. From the moment they excitedly pile out of the float plane, they are in a race to see who can lower their fishing line into the water first. All stare into the mesmerizing deep blue water anticipating the first tug on the pole, and then, “ZIP, ZING, WHIZ,” the sound of fishing line flies off the reel. Ah, the sweet music of Uyak Bay!

Each fisherman has his favorite spot to fish on the deck of the Mary Beth, and they closely guard these spots. Stories are told of how Robin and Mike occasionally suggest different positions for the fishermen when tempers flare, lines tangle, and “the big one” is lost. The arguments are in good fun, though, and they are part of the game plan as Robin and Mike quickly re-bait hooks and make gleeful observations and proclamations to keep the fires of competition burning.

IMG_0559Fish is what the fishermen want to eat.   Halibut salad sandwiches for lunch, or maybe freshly caught, grilled fish on a nearby beach. For dinner, halibut and salmon, baked, grilled, or fried is the popular expectation. If dinner is running a little late, homemade, smoked salmon dip with crackers is put out, pleasing everyone and successfully buying the cook a little extra time. Occasionally, even the breakfast menu includes lightly fried fish fillets.

Along with meals come the fish stories. Descriptive techniques on how to successfully land a 100-lb. halibut are robustly and expertly discussed as well as the reasons these techniques sometimes fail, probably hampered by the swing of the boat or your neighbor’s lack of line control. Imaginative and complicated contests are mandatory and are made up daily. These involve specific fishing holes Mike might have in mind; the size of the fish caught, lost, or thrown back; and the time limits involved in all these maneuvers. Everyone has many opportunities to win! At the end of the day, there are many tales about the one that got away, maybe a mermaid sighting, and always laughter as the tired fisherman make their way to the cabins.IMG_0561

At the end of their fishing trip, as we are pushing and shoving boxes full of fresh fish into the float plane, I’m certain I can detect a faint line of bright silver fish scales creeping out from under the collars and cuffs of our fishermen.


Black Bear Cub

Black Bear Cub

This week I’m hopping across the country to post about a rescued black bear cub in Pennsylvania. One of the many perks of owning a lodge is that I have the opportunity to meet interesting people from around the world, and many of our guests become our friends. A few years ago, Tony and Karin Ross from Pennsylvania joined us for a summer trip, and they have returned to our lodge every year since then. We’ve gotten to know the Rosses well, and we stay in touch throughout the year. Both Tony and Karin work with animals, and Tony is the Northcentral Regional Wildlife Management Supervisor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Luckily for all of us, one of Tony’s hobbies is wildlife photography, and as you can see from the photos in this post, he is very good at it.

This spring, Karin e-mailed and said, “Nothing beats your husband bringing home a bear ub!” She went on to tell me that the Pennsylvania Regional Game Commission office received a phone call from a man who said a small cub was sitting at the bottom of a steep rock outcrop next to a stream near his cabin. The cub appeared to be alone, either separated or abandoned by his mother, and the little guy was crying. Tony and his crew drove out to the area where the man had seen the cub, and the man told them that the cub recently had crossed the fast-flowing creek and ran into the forest. A few moments later, one of Tony’s associates noticed something moving in the woods, and when Tony walked into the forest, the cub ran towards him. The cub stopped six-feet from Tony, sat on a log, and looked up at him. Tony tried to kneel down beside the cub to catch it, but the cub warily moved under some bushes.

Since Tony had three people with him, they slowly circled the cub and caught him with a net. They then took the cub back to their office, dried him off, and put him in a pet carrier with a warm blanket. That night, Tony took the 7-lb. cub home, and he and Karin fed him with a syringe filled with sweetened condensed milk mixed with water. The cub consumed four 12-cc syringes over the next 12 hours.

After catching the cub, Tony and his crew set a trap to try to catch the cub’s mother, but they were unsuccessful, so Tony did the next best thing. He released the cub to a black bear sow who had three cubs of her own. I was fascinated that a black bear sow with three cubs would adopt another cub, and how did the biologists introduce the cub to its new family? I’m used to brown bears, and a brown bear mother with three cubs has her paws full. That’s a large family for a brown bear, and it is unlikely she would willingly feed a fourth cub that wasn’t her own. Tony told me that it is fairly common for a black bear mother to have four cubs; some black bear sows have six cubs. He said they have a list of potential foster mothers for these types of situations. The foster mothers are radio-collared females that already have cubs of their own. When biologists need to place a cub, they locate one of their radio-collared sows, and if they feel she can handle another cub, they follow her until she trees her cubs. They then run to the tree, roll the foster cub in the dirt, and send it up the same tree where its foster siblings are. All the while they are doing this, they have to keep track of the mother to make sure she keeps her distance. Once the foster cub is up the tree, the biologists quickly leave the area and hope for the best.Little Tony with ear tags with new sibling no ear tags

Before a foster cub is released, he is ear tagged, and you can see the ear tag on the foster cub in the photo. Tony said the release of this cub went according to plan, and he said he and his colleagues were happy to see the foster cub climb on and over his new siblings, picking up their odor and making it more likely his new mother would accept him.

Tony told me that each year the Pennsylvania Game Commission places orphaned cubs with foster moms. Sometimes a cub’s mother is hit and killed by a vehicle, and sometimes, cubs are just abandoned by their mothers for some reason. Worst of all, people occasionally take cute little cubs from the field and try to keep them, but when they become a handful (and that doesn’t take long), people contact the game commission for help. Tony and his colleagues do their best to place each orphaned cub with a foster mother, and while they don’t have the resources to follow each cub, they know that many of these tagged cubs have grown into adults, so the placements were obviously successful.

I was fascinated by Tony and Karin’s encounter with the black bear cub, and I was reminded how much black bears differ from brown bears. Tony and his fellow biologists with the Pennsylvania Game Commission work hard to ensure every orphaned cub is placed with a new mother and has a chance to survive until adulthood. Brown bear sows sometimes adopt cubs, but I believe it is a rare occurrence.

I find it interesting that any wild animal would adopt a baby that isn’t its own. Please leave a comment if you have information or stories about wild animals adopting “foster children.” Also, don’t hesitate to ask Tony a question; I’ll be sure he gets it.


For more information on the Pennsylvania Game Commission, their biologists, and their research projects, go to I checked out this website, and it is full of information. Spend some time reading about the ongoing research projects of the game commission; I found it extremely interesting.





Munsey and Boda


20160530_084322 (2)This past Memorial Day, my cousin and his wife, Mike and Mary Kohr, drove from their home in Minnesota to Marshfield, Wisconsin to visit Munsey and Boda at the Wildwood Zoo. Those of you have been following my blog know that Munsey and Boda are two of the three bear cubs we helped rescue last spring after their mother was shot by a hunter. If you haven’t read these posts, follow these links to read the first one and the second one.

We were thrilled that Mike and Mary planned a trip to see the bears. We had seen recent photos of the cubs and knew they were thriving, but from the photos, we only caught glimpses of the bear enclosure at the zoo. Mike promised to take photos and videos of the enclosure and to send them to us. The thumb drive with the photos and videos arrived a few days ago, along with a special treat: The Marshfield, Wisconsin Visitor’s Guide. Guess whose photos are splashed across the cover of the visitor’s guide? That’s right! Two spunky, healthy Kodiak Bear cubs dominate the visitor’s guide. Not only are their photos on the cover, but the guide has a nice, long article about the cubs and how they came to call the Wildwood Zoo home.

20160530_081745Mike and Mary’s photos and videos provided us with great views of the bear enclosure. This enclosure was completed just before the bears were transferred to the zoo, and it is spacious and beautiful. The Wildwood Zoo is not a large zoo, and the bear enclosure is the centerpiece of the facility. The enclosure cost 1.3 million dollars to build. Designers took an existing 1,200 square-foot outdoor exhibit and expanded it by adding 4,600 square feet. This enclosure includes a one-acre wooded area called the “Bear Woods,” and an enclosed bridge that spans 65 feet connects the woods to the primary exhibit area. Additional pools with recirculating water were added to the exhibit, and state-of-the-art containment and care facilities were added to the existing den building. The bridge joining the woods and the primary exhibit area is usually left open, allowing the bears to wander back and forth, but the bridge can be closed if the staff needs to isolate the bears from each other for some reason.

Here is what Mike Kohr had to say about Marshfield and the Wildwood Zoo: “Marshfield, Wisconsin is a small rural town of about 20,000 people. The Wildwood Park and Zoo complex is small but well maintained and seems to be very popular. The zoo itself is small and does not charge admission. It has mostly birds and a few mammals. However, the Kodiak Bear complex/exhibit is spectacular by any standard. I love zoos and have been to many around the world. Munsey and Boda are in a great place that rivals any bear exhibit I have seen.”20160530_081734

 Mike said that wherever he and Mary went in Marshfield, people asked them if they had seen the bears. Munsey and Boda truly are the stars of not only the zoo but the entire town. For two little bears that nearly died from dehydration and hunger on a Kodiak mountainside, life at the Wildwood Zoo is very sweet.

Thank you, Mike and Mary for visiting the zoo and sharing your photos, videos, and observations with us. The Marshfield Visitor’s Guide is a treat that we will share with our guests. If any of you are in Wisconsin in the near future, take a little extra time and swing by the Wildwood Zoo to say hi to Munsey and Boda. E-mail your photos to me at, and I will share them on my blog!

Thanks to everyone who came to my Facebook Book Launch party and/or stopped by the Book Launch page on my website. Laura Nelson was the winner of the raffle for the $25 gift card on my website, so congratulations, Laura, and thank you to everyone who entered.