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The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore (formerly the Baltimore Zoo) is a living classroom, providing a broad spectrum of learning opportunities for its varied audiences, both on-grounds and through innovated programs off-grounds. We are dedicated to preserving the earth's wildlife and wild lands through conservation, education, research, and recreation.
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.
Over 1,100 people give volunteer service to the Maryland Zoo each year, totalling over 40,000 hours. In 2017, we were awarded the "Volunteer Engagment Award for Innovation" by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.