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ZooMontana receives anonymous donation of $333K

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Posted at 12:21 PM, Apr 04, 2022

GREAT FALLS — ZooMontana announced on Monday, April 4, 2022, that it has received one of the largest donations in its history.

The $333,000 gift from an anonymous donor will be used to semi-endow the zoo’s education program, according to a news release from ZooMontana.

Jeff Ewelt, the director of ZooMontana, said, “We are beyond excited to receive this gift, and will dedicate ourselves to meeting the donor’s wishes. This wonderful philanthropist asked that the money be used for area youth, so we will safely invest the gift and utilize the yearly interest to purchase necessary, yearly supplies needed to run the Zoo’s educational programming”.

ZooMontana’s education program reaches more than 20,000 students per year, both on and off Zoo grounds. In 2020, the Zoo’s education team created virtual programming as a response to COVID, allowing them to reach a worldwide audience that included programming in India, Qatar, and Brazil, as well as numerous communities across Montana.

Ewelt added that specific gifts such as this allow the zoo to bolster programming, while freeing up money for other aspects of the facility, helping to ensure overall sustainability of the organization.

ZooMontana cares for more than 80 animals of 56 species, including Amur Tigers, Grizzly Bear, Wolverine, River Otters, Takin, and Canada Lynx, among others, many of which are rescues.

As one of the few zoological parks in the country that does not receive public tax support, ZooMontana raises operating funds through admissions, memberships, events, and private contributions.

Click here to learn more about ZooMontana, which is located off the I-90 Zoo Drive exit in Billings.