GIRAFFE CALF VIEWING GUIDELINES:
- Small groups will be escorted into the building by Zoo staff.
- Expect lines and potentially long waits – we do expect crowds especially given the unseasonably warm weather!
- Viewing will be limited to a few minutes to allow as many guests to enter as possible.
- For the health & wellbeing of mom & calf, the Giraffe House may close at any time if Animal Care staff deem it necessary.
- You are welcome to take photos, but no flash photography, please.
- We encourage guests to check the front page of the website, and The Zoo’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/marylandzoo) for updates and schedules prior to visiting.
Starting Friday, February 24, the Giraffe House will be open for Zoo guests to see Juma and her calf with limited viewing. “We have been observing Juma and her calf while bringing in small groups of zoo staff this week,” said Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager. “Juma is certainly keeping a close eye on visitors, but she and Willow do not seem to be bothered by slow-moving groups of people in the building.”
Over the unexpectedly warm President’s Day holiday weekend, the Zoo had record crowds with 17,865 visitors in four days. On Sunday there were 7,500 guests at the Zoo, more than any other February day in at least 15 years, if not longer. The Zoo is still operating on winter hours through the end of February, and is open Friday through Monday, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm with $10 admission. Crowds are expected again this weekend and we ask for patience from our guests who want to see Willow.
Because Juma is a first-time mother, the Animal Care team wants to ensure that Willow is introduced to the public in a way that keeps the herd comfortable and at ease. “Because this is new for all of us, there will be a few restrictions with regard to entry in the Giraffe House for the short term,” continued Cantwell. “We ask that everyone bear with us until Juma and Willow are fully acclimated to the sights and sounds of visitors on a regular basis.”