BALTIMORE — The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has officially opened newly renovated African Journey habitats for their lions, giraffes and elephants.
Portions of the new area opened in phases earlier in the spring with the lions making their debut in March and the giraffes slowly becoming acclimated to their new habitat. Friday's grand opening celebration marked the first time that the three habitats and new public pathways would be open to the public.
“These habitats, which provide new space that benefits not only the animals, but also Zoo staff and guests, is the largest renovation project that The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has done in its history right here in Druid Hill Park,” said Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford. “Beautiful to see, practical to use, these new outdoor habitats for the elephants, lions, and giraffe that reside here have been almost five years in the making."
One of the habitats for the African elephants nearly tripled in size by transforming the former camel ride area and penguin exhibit into a savanna-like habitat. The giraffe habitat improved animal health and safety by leveling slopes. A unique part of that renovation included a pathway for the giraffes to cross over into the Upper Savanna section of the elephant habitat.
“This will not only give the giraffe additional room to roam, but to eventually share the Upper Savanna with elephants as they would in the wild,” said Don Hutchinson, president and CEO of The Maryland Zoo.
These areas are now open to the public, and will be the focus for the Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.