What animals will you see on a visit to the Zoo during the winter months?
See below for a list of the exhibits and species you’re likely to encounter during winter months at the Zoo. Which animals you see is largely dependent upon weather conditions. During extremely cold temperatures, this list may change due to the needs of our animals. While every effort is made to allow our guests to view the animals, the health and safety of the Zoo’s wildlife is considered first.
Schaefer Plaza & Main Valley
- Prairie dogs will remain on exhibit. They may choose to stay underground in extreme winter conditions but will likely be out regularly throughout the winter.
- The Northern ground hornbills and crowned cranes in Main Valley may be visible when it’s above 40.
- The grizzly bears will be off exhibit until spring as they naturally hibernate and will be spending significant amounts of time in their dens.
- The bald eagle will remain on exhibit.
- African penguins will have outdoor access and may be visible, especially during feeding time (10:30 and 3:30 daily).
- Penguin Encounters are available all year round – PLUS! Gift an Encounter.
- White-breasted cormorants and Great White Pelicans will remain on exhibit as weather allows.
- Red-crested pochards and Helmeted Guinea Fowl will remain on exhibit in the African Aviary, all other birds are off exhibit for the season.
- The Chimpanzee Forest will remain open and guests will see chimps, colobus monkeys, lemurs, Schmidt’s red-tailed guenon, and Panamanian golden frogs indoors. Several chimp groups will rotate through the indoor chimp habitat, so baby chimpanzees Maisie, Lola & Violet will be regularly viewable but may not be out all day.
- The Giraffe House will remain open and giraffe and okapi can be viewed indoors. Due to potential heat loss in the building, if the temperature drops too low, the building may need to be closed early.
- Flamingos will be on exhibit throughout the winter and are typically not affected by colder weather.
- Rhino, zebra, and ostrich will be outdoors on days when the temperature allows (typically 40+ degrees).
- The Amur leopard, cheetahs, and lions will be visible on exhibit for most of the season. They are sometimes out in the snow!
- Addra gazelle, lesser kudu, and warthogs may be visible in their outdoor habitats if the temperature is over 40 and weather conditions are appropriate. Additionally, the Cape porcupines may be visible in their outdoor habitats if the temperature is over 35 and weather conditions are appropriate.
- Elephants will be on exhibit as temperatures and habitat conditions allow. Generally, if the temperature dips below 45 degrees it’s likely they will be indoors and not visible.
Maryland Wilderness & Farmyard
- Bobcat, otters, and hellbenders are on exhibit in all weather.
- The Giant Tree and Cave habitats will remain open, however, some animals inside are going through brumation and will not be visible.
- The Giant Tree slide will be open!
- The Marsh Aviary will be open and most species will remain out all winter unless there is severe weather.
- The Farmyard area will be open weather permitting. Alpaca, sheep, donkeys, pigs, goats, Trumpeter swans, and peafowl are visible there throughout the winter. The Miniature Texas longhorns may be visible when it’s above 40.
- The Goat Corral will be open when it’s above 40.
Rides, Concessions & Gift Shop
- The Zoo’s Whistle Stop Grille will remain open throughout the season with a full menu of options.
- The train and carousel will be open as weather allows.
- The Zoo’s Wild Things Gift Shop will remain open throughout the season. NEW! Purchase a souvenir from the gift shop online.
- During colder weather, animal ambassadors can typically be found in Chimp Forest and/or Penguin Education Center (staff permitting).
- Animal Experiences will be available throughout the winter including Penguin Training, Rhino Training, and Otter Training.
- A brilliant seasonal spectacle is coming to the Zoo again this winter! Drive or walk through a festival of lights shaped like wildlife and your face might just light up too. Plus, get that warm glowing feeling inside knowing you are supporting the Zoo’s animal care and conservation work.
Have a question about a specific animal or exhibit? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 443.992.4585.