Been missing the lions while the Zoo has been under construction? Good news! Their new habitat opens to the public tomorrow! (And with sunny weather and Zoo Bloom happening, it will be a great time to visit!)

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced today that the newly renovated lion habitat in the African Journey section of the Zoo will open on Saturday, March 16. The lion habitat, along with the giraffe and elephant habitats, has been undergoing sweeping changes since construction began in the spring of 2018.

According to the zoo, the new lion habitat was designed to create additional opportunities for animals to engage naturally and actively with their environment and to make choices about when, where and how to engage. A newly created guest pathway, the African Overlook, was developed as a cul-de-sac in between the lion and the giraffe habitats, adjacent to the Giraffe Feeding Station. This pathway will have a dramatic impact on the visitor experience by providing guests both a more intimate eye-level viewing experience of lions on the left, and a dramatic panoramic view of giraffes.

Zuri with an enrichment item - The Maryland Zoo

Zuri with an enrichment item – The Maryland Zoo

The barrier along the lion side of the African Overlook path is a combination of stainless steel mesh and glass, giving the lion habitat a more open feel. There is also be a large window with a training demonstration area where visitors will be able to watch keepers interact with the lions during positive reinforcement training sessions. 

The Zoo’s lions, five-year-old female Zuri and twelve-year-old male Hassan, have been living behind-the-scenes since construction started and moved back to the habitat this week. But be sure to let your kids know that it may take a little time for them to acclimate to their new surroundings. The animal team is working closely with the lions to make them feel comfortable with the changes, but the Zoo cannot guarantee that guests will see the lions on any specific day at this time.


Images provided by The Maryland Zoo