Glacier National Park's 'Bark Ranger' Gracie, is a fan favorite. The pup has more than 14,000 followers on Instagram.
Most of her followers may view her as cute, fluffy border collie. But animals like goats, sheep and deer see Gracie as a predator, which helps her do her job.
For those who don’t know 'Bark Ranger' Gracie, shes serves the park by herding wildlife away to protect visitors. She works alongside her owner and fellow park ranger Mark Biel.
Biel recalls Gracie’s first day on the job.
“Me in uniform and her with official vest on. The sheep turned around left the parking lot and went about 50 yards and stayed there," said Mark Biel, Natural Resources Program Manager, Glacier National Park.
Gracie’s border collie instincts are what help her get the job done.
“They get that border collie stare and that crouch and start walking. That is enough whether it’s the sheep or the goat or the deer to move away from the area," said Biel. “But Gracie’s job doesn’t end at herding wildlife in the park. It’s also being a wildlife ambassador.”
Biel said Gracie spends winters visiting schools and other events to help remind people how to visit the park and enjoy the wildlife safely.
“Get people thinking when they go up there, 'Oh, that sheep or goat is walking towards our car. We should roll up the windows, stay in it till it leaves and not try to feed it.' Or don’t approach a goat on a trail and try to pet it," said Biel.
It’s just another way Bark Ranger Gracie protects visitors and wild animals using her own animal instincts.
For more information on the program go to https://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm.