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: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Family: Castoridae

Genus: Castor

Species: canadensis

Height: Head and body, 23 to 39 in (60 to 100 cm); tail, 7.75 to 12 in (20 to 30.5 cm)

Weight: 60 lbs (27 kg)

Lifespan: Up to 24 years


  • Beavers are primarily aquatic animals, and the largest rodents in North America. They have a waterproof coat and use their webbed rear feet like swimming fins,and their paddle-shaped tails like rudders.  They can remain underwater for up
    to 15 minutes without surfacing.
  • Beavers eat bark and cambium (the softer tissue under the bark of trees). They also eat water vegetation, as well as
    buds, and roots. Cellulose, which usually can not be digested by mammals, is a major component of their diet.
    Special microorganisms allow them to digest this material.
  • Beavers create habitats for themselves and other animals by building dams. Gnawing trees with their strong teeth and powerful jaws, they create massive log, branch, and mud structures to block streams and turn fields and forests into the large ponds that beavers love.
  • Domelike beaver homes, called lodges, are constructed of branches and mud. They are often strategically located in the middle of ponds and can only be reached by
    underwater entrances.



Currently at ZooMontana:

  • Huck:  Female, Born May 2010
  • Finn:  Male, Born May 2011



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














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.