Photo © Jerrianne Lowther

Flat Stanley Visits Alaska
By Stanley Lambchop

Animals Everywhere!

Nick hoped I would bring back photos of Alaska's famous wild animals, so I asked Miss Kitty where to find them and how I could get my picture taken with them. She had lots of ideas about where to find them -- especially those in captivity. She showed me where to look up information about them.

We saw moose browsing willow shrubs right in Anchorage. We checked out the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward, the Big Game Alaska Wildlife Center in Portage, the Musk Ox Farm and the Reindeer Farm in Palmer and Ahpun, the polar bear, at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage.

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Moose browsing in Anchorage, left; a musk ox in Palmer, right.

But I still wanted to see more animals out in the wild ... and I wanted pictures. Miss Kitty said we should go to Denali National Park, but she warned me that getting close enough to have my picture taken with wild animals in the park was against national park rules. Wild animals have sharp hooves and big teeth, she said. "You could get your head kicked off by a moose or bit off by a grizzly bear."

Since Miss Kitty and I don't drive, she suggested we ride on the Alaska Railroad train to Denali and take our wildlife tour on the park shuttle buses. The buses stop for pictures, she said, but we couldn't get out and approach the animals. It's not allowed. As a bonus, she said, we would be able to get great views of Mt. McKinley, North America's highest mountain -- weather permitting.

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Train, left; Mt. McKinley, North America's highest peak, right.

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Caribou shoving match, left; wolf watching caribou, right.

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Grizzly bear, left; how many moose can you count in photo at right?
(If you look closely, you can see at least five.)

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Dall sheep dot a mountainside, left; Dall sheep close up, right.

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Dall sheep resting, left; molting ptarmigan in autumn dress, right.
(When you say ptarmigan, the "p" is silent. The Willow Ptarmigan is Alaska's state bird. All ptarmigan have brown feathers in the summer and white feathers in the winter. In the spring and fall they have some of each, so they blend very well with the ground. Their protective coloring makes it much harder for foxes and other predators to find ptarmigan and eat them.)

Click here for Flat Stanley's next Alaska adventure.