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“lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of ZooMontana

ZooMontana
2100 South Shiloh Road, Billings, MT 59106
406-652-8100
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Ranked #16 of 65 things to do in Billings
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Attraction details
Owner description: ZooMontana is a zoological and botanical garden and educational facility dedicated to the conservation of wildlife throughout Montana and the 45th parallel of earth. ZooMontana cares for over 100 animals of 51 different species, including wolves, grizzly bear, otter, eagles, and Lynx. Located in the picturesque tourist destination of Billings, MT, ZooMontana offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about Yellowstone ecosystem fauna through direct observation, interpretive displays, and experiential educational programs. Annually, community and educational programs serve over 8,000 students and over 80,000 visitors, most of whom hail from the northern Rockies. Led by a 16 member staff, ZooMontana enjoys strong community support through volunteerism, donations, and outreach.
Laurel, Montana
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

My husband and I went here for an impromptu picnic. We walked around the zoo and saw all the wonderful critters and then brought in our wine and cheese and sat in the sensory garden. It was so nice and in beautiful surroundings. I know the zoo has gone through some trials but this year I bought the annual membership. We would like to go this winter to see the animals playing in the snow. We went in the summer last year and it was so hot the animals just laid in the shade and slept. Definitely a nice diversion in a hectic world.

Visited November 2011
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Date | Rating
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English first
Glasgow, Montana
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“working on improvements”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

Needs TLC. When visiting you can see what the zoo is trying to accomplish, but several areas are in disrepair, animals gone, other areas torn up. We were there last summer and the ponds for the ducks and geese were being torn up and are still this way this summer. The otter exhibit was empty, the memory garden needed work. I know the zoo is working to improve things and I hope they are successful.

Visited August 2012
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1 review
“Shut it DOWN!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

This zoo is horrible. I live in billings and am ashamed to even call it a zoo! The animals are poorly cared for, the water in the otter area is green enough you cant see the hand in front of your face, and the animals are nowhere to be seen. The "pool" in the bear area is prob about 9 to 10 inches deep. No keepers around to clean up or feed the animals . There was even a used pizza box in the tiger area. They try to say there animals were transfered for breeding. In reality its because they lost thier accreditation! And sevral of thier animals have died in the past. How long until they relized they were dead!! Bottom line. DO NOT GO.! They need to be shut down and animals transfered to a caring facility

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Billings, Montana
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
74 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Hardworking little zoo”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

Surprised to find a zoo in such a small city, but it seems to have existed for a while. Nice habitats as a rule, a lovely little "grassy knoll" at the entrance area, and pleasant trails winding through shady areas. Grounds need a corps of horticulture volunteers. No many animals, but they seemed happy and healthy.

Visited June 2012
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Billings, Montana
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
“Quite good for what it is”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

ZooMontana limits its exhibits to animals found at Montana's latitude. There are no tropical or arctic animals. The environment is not suited for elephants, hippos, giraffes, polar bears, penguins, etc., as all its large animal exhibits are outdoors and not climate controlled. It's not big. It's not flashy. And it is not on par with San Deigo or Cincinnati. If that's what you're looking for, you will be disappointed.
If you're looking for walking paths through a wild landscape — native grasses, towering cottonwoods, the occasional cottontail rabbit — dotted with enclosures designed to look natural in the environment inhabited by animals that can thrive in Montana, then ZooMontana is a good pick.
The zoo has Rocky Mountain animals, including a bald eagle, big horn sheep, Grizzly bears, grey wolves, Great Horned owl, river otters, porcupine, and beavers. There are also animals from cold climates in Asia — a Siberian tiger, red pandas, and sika deer.
Our kids loved feeding livestock at the farm exhibit. There we saw a Clydesdale horse, pygmy goats, ducks, chicken, rabbits, and peafowl. The indoor exhibits — reptiles, amphibians, insects, and rodents — had step-stools so the kids could get right up against the glass. Creepy-crawlies are not my cup of tea, but our children enjoyed them.
The grizzlies, otters, beavers, and tiger were active and readily interacted in the viewing areas. We had a tougher time seeing the wolves as it was the hottest part of the day and they had the good sense to get out of the heat. There's also a botanical garden (again, native and cold-hardy species) and a playground/picnic area.
Parts of the zoo are clearly under construction or being remodeled. The waterfowl exhibit was drained and closed, and parts of the gift shop were being repainted. According to the local newspaper, the zoo had been in financial hardship (it's not publicly funded) but had recently appointed new leadership.
We decided to get the family pass. It was more affordable than paying multiple daily admission and allowed us to take the kids to the exhibits or the playground for as long or short of time as we needed. It's also not crazy crowded. You can get snacks and beverages, but there is no food court. Packing a sack lunch is okay.
All in all, I think it's quite nice for what it is and the price is good. Again, if you want tour guides and cement, that's not ZooMontana. It's more like a nature hike with animals.

Visited August 2012
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