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Montana tourism effort bears down on Chicago

A bit of Montana landed in Chicago this week.

A moose. A bear and a bison.

Wildlife statues have been placed on the roofs of stairwells at several subway stations.

They went up Sunday and will be curiously staring at L riders for a month. The Montana Office of Tourism is behind the ad campaign meant to lure people to the Big Sky state.

“We want people to be able to see and feel what Montana might be like and encourage them to come out and visit and see these animals for real,” Montana Office of Tourism spokeswoman Donnie Sexton said. “People see them and they’re like, ‘Whoa! Hey, what the heck!’”

Folks overwhelmed by traffic and being around other people all the time should experience the wide-open space Montana has to offer, Sexton said.

“It’s a pretty easy flight and Amtrak also goes to Montana, and it’s not a bad drive,” Sexton said. “We want people to say, ‘OK, Montana is on my bucket list. I’m going.’ ”

If you board the Red Line at Chicago and State, you can't take it to Montana. But that bison is part of an ad campaign intended to make you want to visit someday. | Provided

If you board the Red Line at Chicago and State, you can’t take it to Montana. But that bison is part of an ad campaign intended to make you want to visit someday. | Provided photo

“The goal was to bring the animals to life and have people take a deeper look,” said Chris Pezzello, general manager for Titan Chicago, a transit-focused ad firm that’s based in New York. “Their really one of a kind.”