Written by ZooMontana Volunteer, Mary Alice.
Spring is here at the zoo. Forsythia bushes have bloomed in the Sensory Garden and along the
Asia trail and the daffodils are nearly finished. The animals’ outside water features are now
filled, and the beavers are once again on display. May 1st will mark the beginning of summer
hours when the zoo stays open until 4 p.m.! !
Over the past six months the zoo has added several animals that are displayed in the Living
Wall. We have a pair of Virginia opossums that were orphaned when their mother was killed.
Our South American three-banded armadillo, Bandy, is the only species of armadillo that can
curl totally into a ball for protection of his tender underparts.! !
We also have a millipede which is native to the Madagascar rain forest. The millipede plays a
very important role in the rainforest as it recycles nutrients back into the soil. It is poisonous but
not venomous. The poison is cyanide based. It will be used in outreach programs as well as
being on display in the Living Wall!
An exciting event occurred in late February. Ben and Mia, our North American river otters,
became parents for the second time. There are three otters pups in this litter. They will be on
display beginning in early May. Lewis and Clark, the otters born in 2013, will move to new zoos
in the late spring or early summer as their accommodations are ready at other zoos.! !
Duli, our newest red panda, joined Taylor and Zoe in the winter. Notice that Duli is larger that
our original pandas so that you can tell them apart as they roam their enclosure. Also, Taylor is
getting older and is showing signs of gray around his muzzle and head.! !
Jasmine and Sofi, our Siberian tigers, are real crowd pleasers. They love to walk along the
glass at the observation area. You can tell the difference between the two. Jasmine has a lot
more stripes in her coat. If the two are near each other you can also see that Sofi has fewer
stripes on her shoulders!
Spring is a perfect time to enjoy the Sensory Garden. Because of the variety of plants and
bulbs in the garden, there is always a colorful show of blooms that change as Spring progresses
toward Summer. Our botanical society leader has created a “what’s blooming” feature that is on
display in the Nature Store. Samples of what is currently in bloom will be there for zoo visitors
Come out to see us this spring. You may even see Ozzie, our Yellowstone Park grizzly, in his
pool playing with his toes!!