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Experience the Wildlife and Zoos of Idaho

Throughout Idaho, there are exciting spots to talk to the animals (and marine life). If you love Appaloosa Horses, you must add the Appaloosa Horse Club to your travel itinerary. Set on the Washington Border in Moscow, Idaho, this club celebrates the breed. It also hosts numerous events, including the National Appaloosa Show, which has run annually in early July for more than 70 years.

Native Intermountain West animals are featured in the Pocatello Zoo (aka Zoo Idaho), one of only two zoos in the United States to do so. They are home to over 40 species of animals for you to visit, including Bear, Elk, Bison, Pronghorn and more. Bonners Ferry is home to the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. Walk along their trails or stop on the overlooks to see if you can spot one of the 220 species of birds that call the Refuge home. You can also see reptiles, fish, amphibians, and mammals as you explore.

Boise is home to the impressive Aquarium of Boise and Zoo Boise. From the Russian tortoise to the shark nursery, the exhibits at the Aquarium of Boise will enthrall you. It is home to more than 250 species of marine life and animals. Meanwhile, Zoo Boise will take you on an “African” boat ride, to kids’ farm, and a butterfly garden. From the giraffe to the scorpion, from the Amur tigers to the Striped Hyena, every corner reveals a thrilling possibility. 

If you love the idea of seeing bears in the wild, but know that walking up to one isn’t the wisest move, explore Yellowstone Bear World. This is a drive-through park where you can see Grizzly and Black Bears, gray wolves and Rocky Mountain Elk, among many others, as they roam to the parkland.

Aquarium of Boise

Found in western Boise, the Aquarium of Boise was originally built in a remolded 10,000 square foot warehouse. With exhibits designed around interactive touch tanks, the aquarium is a popular destination for school groups and traveling guests.

Don't miss highlights like the shark nursery, the coral reef habitat, jellyfish tank, and tide pools. The aquarium also includes terrestrial and plant-based exhibits, such as chameleons, tree frogs, and lories.

Pocatello Zoo

Plan your next visit to Idaho and explore the Pocatello Zoo. It features 40 species of animals native to the Intermountain West on twenty-three acres in Ross Park. It was established in 1932 in Pocatello and remains one of the two zoos in America with Intermountain West native animals.

A few of the highlights at the Zoo include the 900-square-foot tree house, the petting area the 30-foot-high tipi. The Zoo has several special year-round programs available, including Zoocamp, Zoorific Tours, Outreach Programs, Birthday Bearnanza and Zoo SnooZzzz – the ultimate pajama party.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife viewing in Idaho. The Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful haven for more than 300 species of wildlife in northern Idaho. The refuge encompasses more than 2,700 acres of land, a few miles west of Bonners Ferry.

It was established in 1964 as a resting place for migrating waterfowl and has become a great place for visitors to view the variety of wildlife. The Refuge contains meadows, wetlands, agricultural fields, riparian forests, as well as the Cascade Creek, Deep Creek and Myrtle Creek.

Visit this protected land to see the fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and more than 223 species of birds, while strolling along the Refuge's five trails or stopping at one of the overlooks. During the winter, the Auto Tour Road is an excellent area for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Yellowstone Bear World

Meanwhile, if a trip to Rexburg is in order, you won’t want to miss venturing into Yellowstone Bear World. This is a drive-through park that allows you glimpse wild Black Bear, Grizzly Bears, Rocky Mountain Elk, moose, and gray wolves, among many other magnificent creatures.