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Unexpected Animal Sightings Within 30 Minutes Of Rapid City

I often talk about how fortunate I am to live in Rapid City. I am in the heart of one of the most unique geographical formations in the world and with it comes unique wildlife. When spring breathes life into the hills, these one-of-a-kind critters welcome some of the cutest offspring. Here are some unexpected wildlife you can see within 30 minutes of Rapid City.




Mountain Goats Put The "Mount" In Mount Rushmore

I don’t think there is a wrong time to visit Mount Rushmore, but late March and early April is a special time because you might just see some tiny, but majestic, mountain goats checking out the presidents for the first time. I imagine these snow-white goats wouldn’t recognize a mountain without these famous faces. 




On A “Scale” Of 1 To 10

I love to see the furry babies in the Black Hills, but let’s not forget about the scaly babes that make their debut at Reptile Gardens. While Fluffy the alligator may not live up to his name, I can't get enough of him floating around in the baby gator aquarium. Fun Fact: Reptile Gardens renews their listing as the World’s Largest Reptile Collection this year in the Guinness Book of World Records. 




Not Your Average Teddy

In mid-April, a cuddle overload takes place at Bear Country USA during their annual Cub Fest event. Last year I attended this swoon-worthy event to see the tiny Black Bears saying hello to the world while begging for bottles and cuddles melted my heart. The baby bears aren’t the only little ones you can see at Bear Country, take a stroll through the Wildlife Walk and see newborn mountain lions, raccoons and arctic wolves. 




Born In An Ancient Environment

Badlands National Park is the coolest place to see new life. Each year I go out and try to spot the bighorn sheep that climb on the formations and cliffs. These little daredevils follow their mammas lead and learn how to live their lives on the “edge.”




Begging For Attention

Some of the most unexpected, but popular babies that make their debut are the Begging Burros in Custer State Park. To ensure a healthy start for these little ones make sure you bring nutritious snacks for them to enjoy. 




There’s More Than One Place To See A Buffalo

While the biggest herd in the Black Hills call Custer State Park home, you can find newborn buffalo calves all over. For instance, buffalo sightings are known to happen while hiking in Badlands National Park. Don't forget there is a small herd in Wind Cave National Park so you can watch for these big cuties while you wait for your cave tour.

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Meet the Author

Anne Orban

Anne was born and raised in the Rushmore State and is so glad to call a place with so much beauty home. After spending a few short years away in college, she is happy to be back in the place she loves most, Rapid City.  

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Anne Orban
Social Media and Content Developer

Anne was born and raised in the Rushmore State and is so glad to call a place with so much beauty home. After spending a few short years away in college, she is happy to be back in the place she loves most, Rapid City.  

Anne tries to live her life authentically documenting everything with her trusty Nikon D5200. She can often be found writing in coffee shops, on a new hiking trail with friends, or walking her beagle in any of the parks around town. As a perpetual wanderlust, Anne has taken a few road trips and plans on taking many more. Her favorite past time is playing tourist in her own back yard and finding hidden treasures in the Black Hills.

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