The Maryland Zoo
|Location||Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, Maryland, USA|
|Number of animals||2,000+|
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore — formerly The Baltimore Zoo — is located in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Home to over 2,000 animals, it is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is generally considered to be the third oldest zoological park in the United States, having opened in 1876.
In 2004, the zoo was struck by financial problems and was forced to reduce its collection size by closing parts of the zoo. The Main Valley was closed due to its age, being incapable of holding animals comfortably, and the Reptile House was closed. The reptiles, as well as gibbons and snow leopards were sent on loan to other zoos and aquariums.
In 2008, the zoo was featured in America's Best Zoos 2008.
Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is active in many conservation programs, notably the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Program and Project Golden Frog; it is the zoo that breeds the greatest number of African black footed penguins. It also helps rehabilitate local wildlife, especially birds of prey such as bald eagles.
The largest area of the zoo, the African journey displays a wide range of animals originating from Africa.
Such exhibits include:
- Lappet-faced Vulture, Cranes (Black Crowned and Demoiselle), White Stork, Ground Hornbill and Sitatunga
- African Crested Porcupine
- African Watering Hole: Dama Gazelle, Saddle-billed Stork, Helmeted Guineafowl, White Rhinoceros, Plains Zebra, and Ostrich
- Spur-thighed Tortoise
- African Aviary
- Kirk's Dik-dik
- Vulturine Guineafowl
- Chimpanzee Forest: Chimpanzee, Colobus Monkey, Rock Hyrax, Coquerel's Sifaka, and Slender-snouted Crocodile.
- Red Ruffed Lemur
- Giraffe House & Okapi
- Rock Island: African Black-footed Penguin, Cormorant
- African Elephant
- Camel rides
The zoo features a feeding station where guests may interact with the zoo's three Reticulated Giraffes by feeding them for a small fee.
Renovations on the elephant facility began 2007. In March 2006, the Maryland Zoo announced it would be accepting three female African elephants from the Philadelphia Zoo as part of the expanded elephant exhibit, but construction was then delayed and the elephant loan was canceled. However, two new elephants came to the Maryland Zoo from Arkansas in 2007. On March 19, 2008, Felix, one of the zoo's female elephants, gave birth to a 290-pound male calf, the first elephant born in the zoo's history. The baby is named Samson and is now viewable, weather permitting.
In the spring of 2010, the zoo's warthogs had two male offspring, which were viewable beginning in May of that year.
Maryland Wilderness featuring The Children's Zoo
Displaying animals found in Maryland, visitors can watch otters swim over their heads, jump across lily pads, explore a cave, or climb into giant bird nests.
- The Bog: features the Bog Turtle, an endangered species.
- Marsh Aviary & Lily Pads: surrounds a man-made stream featuring many species of ducks and other Maryland birds.
- The Stream: includes river otters and red fox. You can visit a submerged archway, and watch as otters swim overhead.
- The Cave: a beautifully sculpted life-size model of a cave, featuring more than a dozen small exhibits including snakes, bats, and newts.
- Giant Tree & Slide: features many native reptiles and amphibians animals, mainly snakes. The slide is a fun way for kids to get back to the ground.
- Meadow: has animals such as box turtles and American toads. Kids can poke their heads in large bubble-like windows coming out of the ground.
- The Farmyard: features a variety of rare domestic breeds that can be touched; the highlight is a petting area of friendly African pygmy goats and Nubian goats called "The Kid Zone" because young goats are called kids and it also attracts children. Other animals included in the section include Jacob Sheep, Donkey, Barn Owl, Chicken, Geese, Pig, and Dexter Cattle.
The Maryland Wilderness featuring The Children's Zoo is dedicated to Lyn P. Meyerhoff.
A zoo train operated as recently as 2005, with a replacement train under construction as of early 2010.
Polar Bear Watch
The Polar Bear Watch features polar bears named Magnet and Anoki, as well as Ravens and Arctic Foxes. Guests can view bears from underwater viewing areas, or from the windows of an actual massive Tundra Buggy, purchased from the Canadian company that creates these one of kind vehicles for viewing Polar Bears in their natural habitat.
Magnet won a contest put forth by Microsoft's Zoo Tycoon for best zoo animal. Magnet was available as a downloadable patch for the game and during the game, polar bears purchased via the Magnet icon would play with a red ball.
Base Camp Discovery
Base Camp Discovery is located between the Polar Bear Watch and the African Journey. There, educational activities and various animal ambassadors are presented by zoo educators. Animals that are often shown at Base Camp Discovery include the Boa Constrictor, Egyptian Tortoise, Painted Turtle, Box Turtle, Diamondback Terrapin, Corn Snake, Blue and Gold Macaw, African Gray Parrot, Indian Runner Duck, and Eastern Screech Owl, among many others.
- "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. AZA. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- "Baltimore Zoo No More; Additional Changes Coming". WBAL Baltimore (Wbaltv.com). July 9, 2004. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- "Elephant Program". The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Elephant Program Expansion" (Press release). Maryland Zoo. March 2006.[dead link]
- "Elephant Announcement" (Press release). Maryland Zoo.[dead link]
- Kaltenbach, Chris (May 4, 2010). "A Warthog Debut". Baltimore Sun.
- "Zoo train back on track". The Baltimore Sun. 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- "Polar Bear Watch at the Baltimore Zoo" (Press release). Frontiers North Adventures. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
- "Baltimore Zoo polar bear wins Microsoft promotional competition for new computer game". The Daily Record (Baltimore, Maryland). December 14, 2001.