Kingdom:  Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Canis

Species: lupus

Height: Head and body, 36 to 63 in (91 to 160 cm); Tail, 13 to 20 in (33 to 51 cm)

Weight: 40 to 175 lbs (18 to 79 kg)

Lifespan: Average of 5-6 years, but up to 15 years.


  • Fur color of gray wolves varies geographically, ranging from pure white in Arctic populations, to mixtures of white with gray, brown, cinnamon, and black to nearly uniform black in some color phases.
  • Wolves live, travel and hunt in packs of 7 to 8 animals on average. Packs include the mother and father wolves (called the alphas), their pups and older offspring. The alpha female and male are typically the pack leaders that track and hunt prey such as elk, deer, moose and caribou, as well as beaver, rabbits and other small prey.
  • Wolves develop strong social bonds within their packs.  The social heirarchy is established and maintained through aggressiveness, elaborate greetings, and submission.
  • The gray wolf is the largest wild canine.
  • Gray wolves communicate using vocalizations, scent marking, and body language. Howling is used to communicate territorial cues over long distances and helps to bring the pack back together when they are dispersed. Each wolf has a distinct howl.
  • Wolves play a key role in keeping ecosystems healthy. They help keep deer and elk populations in check, which can benefit many other plant and animal species. The carcasses of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, like grizzly bears and scavengers. Scientists are just beginning to fully understand the positive ripple effects that wolves have on ecosystems.



Currently at ZooMontana:

  • Kali:  Female, Born May 2009
  • Kaluha:  Male, Born April 2010



You can help provide care for our Gray Wolves through our ADOPT program! - Adopt Kali and Kaluha Today!



 Click HERE to Return to the "Meet Our Animals" Page.



North American Beaver: Meet Our Animals











Kingdom:  Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Accipitriformes

Family: Accipitridae

Genus: Haliaeetus

Species: leucocephalus

Height: Body, 34 to 43 in (86 to 109 cm); Wingspan, 6 to 8 ft (1.8 to 2.4 m)

Weight: 6.5 to 14 lbs (3 to 6.5 kg)

Lifespan: Average of 15-20 years, but up to more than 30 years on occasion.


  • Bald Eagles became rare in the mid-to-late 1900s, victims of trapping, shooting, poisoning and pesticide use.  In 1978, they were listed for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  Since then, gentler treatment by humans and the banning of DDT (the bird’s main pesticide threat) have led to their return.  Eagles still face hardships, however,  
    including lead poisoning from ammunition in hunter-shot prey and collisions with vehicles.

  • Bald Eagles build some of the largest of all bird nests.  Called aeries, they are typically 5 to 6 feet in diameter and 2 to 4 feet tall, and ranging in shape from cylindrical to conical to flat, depending on the supporting tree. Both sexes bring materials to the nest, but the female does most of the placement.
  • These birds typically prefer forested areas near large water bodies such as sea coasts,
    coastal estuaries and inland lakes and rivers since fish are at the center of their diet.
  • Rather than do their own fishing, Bald Eagles often go after other creatures’ catches. A Bald Eagle will harass a hunting Osprey until the smaller raptor drops its prey in midair, where the eagle swoops it up. A Bald Eagle may even snatch a fish directly out of an Osprey’s talons. Fishing mammals (even people sometimes) can also lose prey to Bald Eagle piracy.


Currently at ZooMontana:

  • Tokata:  Female, Hatched 1996
  • Amelio:  Male, Hatched June of 2005



You can help provide care for our Bald Eagles through our ADOPT program! - Adopt Tokata and Amelio Today!



Click HERE to Return to the "Meet Our Animals" Page.






Red Panda: Meet Our Animals