This is the third time ZooMontana and American Prairie have teamed up for “ECO-Critters. Animals visiting on November 12 include a plains hognose snake named Wilbur, an eastern screech owl named Scout, and some Vietnamese walking sticks.
During this event, visitors can explore multiple stations and learn about the natural world the animals live in and how they are cared for at the zoo. Visitors can also tour the National Discovery Center exhibits and learn even more about prairie plants and animals.
The plains hognose snake is native to the Central Montana prairie from Helena eastward. When threatened, it will flatten its neck and raise its head off the ground, similar to a cobra, and hiss. To protect itself, it may also “play dead” by sticking out its tongue, bleeding from its mouth, and releasing an odor.
Scout, the screech owl, is the first bird of prey to be showcased as part of the ECO-Critters program. Scout came to ZooMontana after a car strike blinded him in his left eye; today, he is serving as an amazing ambassador for the zoo.
ZooMontana Education Specialist and Outreach Coordinator Fernanda Mora and Education and Social Media Coordinator Brooke Tucker will be on hand to answer questions and handle the animals.
ECO-Critters is one of a number of new educational programs currently being developed by American Prairie’s National Discovery Center staff, who are excited about their ongoing partnership with ZooMontana. This will be the third visit this season by zoo staff from Billings, who also hope in the future to visit Lewistown schools, virtually and in person.
The American Prairie National Discovery Center is located at 302 W. Main Street in Lewistown, and is open Thursday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Visit americanprairie.org/national-discovery-center to learn more, and follow American Prairie on Facebook for updates on upcoming events and programming.
About American Prairie
American Prairie’s vision is to create a vast and collaboratively-managed prairie destination that serves as a fully functioning ecosystem for wildlife, and offers visitors permanent access to the landscape that shaped our nation’s character. Already open to the public for recreation including camping and hunting, American Prairie offers visitors an opportunity to connect with nature on a truly grand scale. Learn more at americanprairie.org.