Zoos are zoos everywhere you go, right? Not so in Billings, Montana, where ZooMontana is unique in many ways. The folks at ZooMontana created a wonderful space where family travelers can spend a day among nature’s finest in the midst of a trip to Billings, a town surrounded by nature and steeped in history.
The zoo, the only one in the state of Montana, is small compared to some, with a little more than 100 animals in residence. While this may seem like a drawback, it actually creates a more pleasant experience for both the animals and visitors who come to see them.
Following the philosophy of quality over quantity, the zoo provides exceptional care and attention to its resident wildlife, housing animals in habitats specially designed to mimic their natural habitats and giving them plenty of open space to roam. The animals are given plenty of toys to stimulate them and engage their curiosity. The zoo also allows the foliage to overgrow because in nature where these animals would roam freely there are no gardeners cutting the grass.
By only having animals native to Montana and the 45th parallel around the Earth, the zoo can ensure each of the animals is able to withstand the local climate year-round. Despite the hot summers and extraordinarily cold winters Montana is known for, the animals enjoy the outdoors most of the year.
Most animals living at ZooMontana are rescues, adding to the facility’s unique personality. The zoo prides itself on giving a home to animals in need of a safe environment, where they can recover and recuperate from past mistreatment and neglect.
The zoo also takes extra care to meet the needs of its visitors with its Sensory Garden, a neighborhood designed to provide sight- and hearing-impaired visitors with a rewarding and memorable visit. Sensory bags, available at the zoo’s entrance, and a sensory quiet zone located in the middle of the park demonstrate the zoo’s commitment to meeting all types of needs.
The zoo is open year-round, with the exception of Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day and Easter. The zoo only closes when temperatures reach 0 degrees or colder in order to ensure the safety of the staff and guests. Admission is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8 for children ages 3–15. Children 2 and under enter for free and on-site parking is available at no charge.
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