The Story of the Zoo
The Baltimore Zoo was created by act of the Maryland state legislature on April 7, 1876. (Its name was changed to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore in 2004.) It is the third oldest zoo in the country, behind Philadelphia (1873) and Cincinnati (1874). It actually had its beginnings as early as 1862, when the first of many citizens gave animals (the first being 4 swans) to Druid Hill Park for public display.
Today the 160-plus acre zoo property is owned by the City of Baltimore and leased to the State of Maryland. The Maryland Zoological Society, established in 1967, operates the Zoo under a lease agreement with the state. The Zoological Society assumed full management of the Zoo in 1984. Currently the Zoo’s animal collection encompasses more than 1,500 birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, representing nearly 200 species. Animals are displayed in natural settings replicating their native habitats.
Exhibits at the Maryland Zoo
Polar Bear Watch, the Zoo’s new state-of-the-art exhibit about life on the edge of the Arctic, features an authentic Tundra Buggy® from which visitors can watch Alaska and Magnet cavort in and out of the water. At our camel ride exhibit, visitors get up close and personal with our favorite humped animals. Be sure to take a ride on the back of one of these incredible creatures. Visitors learn about animals in their own backyard, as well as those in more exotic locales, when they take a trek through the Maryland Wilderness, home to the award-winning Children’s Zoo, or embark on an African Journey.
The Zoo is a natural environment and insect repellents are recommended.
Our AZA Membership
The Zoo is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), assuring excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors and a better future for all living things.
The Zoo’s mission is to inspire and educate people to join with it in the active support and conservation of wild life and wild places. The Zoo is committed to serving its communities by engaging people with the wonder of the living world through personal encounters that foster lifelong harmonious relationships with nature.
Have a great visit, but please remember…
- Only smoke in designated areas
- DO NOT feed the animals – they are on strict diets
- DO NOT bring pets into the Zoo
- Keep your shoes and shirt on at all times
- Stay on pathways and respect barriers
- Turn in or claim lost items at the Wild Things Gift Shop
- DO NOT bring any of the following: bicycles, skateboards, skates, scooters, balloons, Frisbees, squirt guns, balls, whistles, glass, alcohol or radios
- Understand that animals need rest and privacy, just like humans. Animals may have access to off exhibit areas during the day and may not always be visible
- Feel free to ask any Zoo staff if you need help or have any questions
- Understand that we cannot control the weather. We do not give refunds for inclement weather
- Keep the Zoo clean by putting litter in the proper trash receptacles
- Do not solicit without prior Zoo approval
- HAVE A GREAT VISIT!
Please do not bring these items to the Zoo
- Skate Boards
- Squirt Guns