WSC was founded as a federally funded research facility in 1976, in order to observe and document the physiology and behavior of a captive population of gray wolves. Although the Center no longer receives federal funding, its distinctive research continues. However, since achieving 501(c)(3) status in 1991 it has concentrated its assets and knowledge on educational programming. It offers both on and offsite interactive presentations and overnight camping experiences to Minnesota youth by partnering with school and community-based organizations. Through its research and educational efforts, the WSC’s expertise is often sought by international, national, and regional institutions, regarding the care, handling, breeding, and ecological significance of wolves.
The mission of the Wildlife Science Center is to serve as an educational resource for all ages; by: providing exposure to wild animals and the body of knowledge generated for their conservation;to advance understanding of wild animal biology through long-term, humane scientific studies on captive populations, thus contributing to technical training for wildlife agencies, educational institutions and conservation agencies.