Best Western Clocktower Inn Billings - Billings, Montana, 59101

The Bear That Predicts the Super Bowl Winner

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The last day of January 2017 was Ozzy’s chance to once again amaze and confound. But Ozzy, all 680 pounds of him, shuffled left, leaned right, and stalled.

To be fair, Ozzy had a lot of pressure on him. For the past five years, Ozzy the grizzly bear has successfully predicted the winner of the Super Bowl. His technique is simple yet effective (so far). Two cakes are placed on top of a cardboard box. This year, one cake is decorated with the logo of the New England Patriots. The other cake bears the colors of the Atlanta Falcons. Whichever one Ozzy chooses will win the big game.

Alas, Ozzy, overwhelmed by the snow, knocked down the entire display and wandered off to play with the Huck and Finley, two grizzly cubs temporarily sharing space with Ozzy (and who also passed up the opportunity to choose).

Ozzy will get another chance, and you can go ask him about the game in person at ZooMontana. The 70-acre wildlife park in Billings is Montana’s only Zoo and Botanical Park. ZooMontana uses the natural climate as its starting point, keeping their emphasis on wildlife native to the Montana, the Rockies and other cold temperature regions at or above the 45th parallel. Indoor exhibits feature animals from around the world.

ZooMontana offers a full calendar of activities, classes and more for toddlers through teens. And the expansive park has plenty of room for big events, like the Yellowstone Highland Games and the annual Montana Renaissance Festival.

But the stars of the show are the animals; the local North American Beaver, the Milk Snake and the Savannah Monitor from the immediate neighborhood, and the Sichuan Takin, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and the Red Panda from out of town. In all, there are five major areas in ZooMontana: America’s Waterways, Asia, Discovery Area, Homestead Bard and Rocky Mountain Adventure.

The ZooMontana Botanical Society is made up of all volunteers, and they’re dedicated to Jane Reger Sensory garden, the Children’s Garden, Dotty’s Garden and other natural spaces.

So how did Ozzy eventually make out with his Super Bowl prediction? Visit www.ZooMontana.org and check their news feed for the answer. And while you’re there, start planning your visit!

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