ZooNews

 

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Fall is a BEAUTIFUL time at ZooMontana!  Our many species of trees are in all stages of developing fall colors. It’s time to come walk the trails and enjoy the zoo.

Did you know that Zoo Montana is also a botanical park? The Botanical Society members keep the Sensory Gardens beautiful with the changing seasonal display of flowers. Many of our specimen trees are located in the Sensory Garden.

Our larger outdoor animals are all from northern latitude environments where the seasons change. These animals are on display year round. Our keepers will soon be preparing the exhibits of our larger animals for winter. Pools will be drained of water when the nighttime temperatures fall below freezing on a regular basis.

The otters will have running water in their exhibit during the winter. There is a small upper pool which contains water year round. It is heated and the water circulates to prevent freezing. You will be better able to see the otters from the upper viewing area during the winter.

Ozzie Norris and Bruno, our bears, do not hibernate as they might in nature. During the winter, they may nap more often, but food is available for them every day, so you will still see them moving around their enclosure.

Fierca the Lynx is active during the winter. In the wild she would be able to race across the snow on her large furry paws to catch snowshoe hares, a favorite source of food. In the zoo she doesn’t need to do that for food, but she grows a thick plush coat. Can you see her heavier coat as she gets ready for colder weather?

Sofi and Jasmine, our new Amur (or Siberian) tigers, were born and raised in Florida, far from the normal climate these tigers inhabit. This will be the first winter that they grow heavy winter coats and play in the snow. Come out and see them.

Perhaps you can spot one of our more interesting trees, the western larch. There is one in the Sensory Garden and one on the trail just past the lynx enclosure. Larches are the only deciduous conifers, a member of the pine tree. The needles on the tree turn yellow in the fall and drop off so that the tree is bare during the winter.

We hope to see you here at the zoo soon. Enjoy these lovely autumn days as the season changes to winter.

 

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 Fall Larch Tree