Lions, giraffes and elephants, oh my!

The Maryland Zoo’s mane event is almost here! On Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23 the Zoo will host an opening celebration for the newly renovated and expanded habitats in the African Journey section of the Zoo! The celebrations center on the new and improved African Journey habitats, which offer richer and more diverse environments for the Zoo’s four elephants, four giraffe and two lions. The $20 million renovation began in March 2018.

This weekend celebration will mark the first time the three habitats and new public pathways will be open to the public. The lions made their debut in their new habitat in March and the giraffe have been slowly acclimating to their new habitat since mid-May.

New habitat highlights include:

  • The elephant’s outdoor habitats have been expanded by transforming the former Rock Island penguin exhibit and tripling the amount of outdoor space
  • Areas for dusting, bathing and wallowing
  • A water cannon and hay hoist for elephant enrichment
  • More accessible and expansive deck and boardwalk spaces with wide views of the various elements of elephant habitat
  • A guest pathway in between lion and giraffe, which provides guests a more intimate viewing experience with an eye-level passage to lions on the left and giraffe on the right
  • A larger giraffe habitat, increased by 33 percent
  • A new lion habitat with an open feel, a large viewing window, and a training demonstration area where visitors will be able to watch keepers interact with the lions during positive reinforcement training sessions

Special events will be offered for Zoo guests throughout the weekend including keeper chats, training demonstrations, education stations, face painting, and more!

View Celebration Event Page

View Member Preview Page

For updates on the opening celebrations, please visit our facebook page.

View Press Release