Visitors to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on Saturday, February 12 and Monday, February 14 will notice some unusual red and heart-shaped items in several of the exhibits with the animals! On Saturday we are hosting a Valentine Animal Enrichment Day for many of our animals and on Monday, Valentine’s Day, we will celebrate Amari the leopard’s 18th birthday.

Enrichment activities help enhance the care that keepers provide for Zoo animals, by adding variety and stimulation to the animals’ daily routines and encouraging natural behaviors. Each enrichment item is specifically developed for each animal species. You might see decorated paper bags filled with raisins for the chimps and meat treats for lions and leopards.

You might witness the giraffes delicately lick an ice treat, while the polar bears wrestle an ice block filled with fish. You never know what you might find, which is enriching for our visitors! Weather permitting, the animal enrichment that guests will see on Saturday will be in the following areas:

  • 10:30 Polar Bears
  • 11:00 Lions
  • 11:00 Chimps
  • 11:30 Giraffe Keeper Talk (inside the Giraffe House)
  • 11:30 Otters
  • 12:00 Leopard
  • 1:00 Penguin
  • 1:30 Farmyard
  • 2:00 Elephant
  • 2:30 Arctic Fox training demo and/or enrichment
  • 3:00 Ravens

On Monday, February 14 at 1:30 pm, if weather is on our side, the Animal staff has created a variety of enrichment activities just for our leopards Amari and Hobbes, to celebrate Amari’s 18th birthday: A python snakeskin woven through the exhibit tree. A “bloodcicle” in the shape of a heart (ice treat with meat juices frozen inside). Valentine’s wrapped “presents” that will have hidden meat within.

Hoofstock soiled bedding (or potentially elephant feces?) in the shape of a heart on exhibit ground. Yes, this sounds gross but they LOVE rolling in it!

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is open Fridays through Mondays from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Admission in February is half off the regular weekend admission price — adult admission is $8.00, children ages 2-11 $5.50 and seniors $6.50. Children under 2 and members are always free! Check our website at www.MarylandZoo.org or become a fan in Facebook (www.facebook.com/marylandzoo) for up-to-date information on the Zoo in the winter, as well as possible weather-related closings.

Read the full press release