The Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife provides an opportunity for endangered animals to lead a much more natural life and to be protected from the hazards of encroaching civilization. The Refuge offers leading-edge interpretive programs that make learning about nature fun and fascinating for children and adults alike, but it has also been working to establish itself as a prime spot for pioneering scientific efforts to preserve the grizzly bear population—identified as a threatened species in British Columbia. In 2001, Grouse Mountain became home to two orphaned grizzly bear cubs. Grinder and Coola were only 8 months old when they arrived at Grouse Mountain. Coola was brought to the Refuge after his mother was killed by a passing vehicle. Grinder was discovered wandering alone and dehydrated; the fate of his mother remains a mystery. As managing director and veterinarian of Grouse Mountain Refuge, Ken Macquisten was committed to keeping the bears safe and learning how to optimize their care. One of his concerns was keeping an eye on the bears during the months of hibernation, when the animals disappear into their den for months at a time. He approached Panorama Technologies for ideas on how to monitor the activities of the bears on a year-round basis.
Panorama Technologies recommended an innovative use for security technology traditionally used to protect more civilized facilities: vandal-proof video surveillance cameras. Using armored cameras bolstered with infrared illumination, the Refuge closely monitors the daily activities and behaviors of the bears. HRSD DVRs offer greater data compression, which means that more data can be stored for longer periods of time.