BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was the perfect day to visit the Maryland Zoo.
There was great crowds, great weather and the largest renovation in the zoo’s history.
“This is a redefining moment,” Don Hutchinson of the Maryland Zoo said.
The elephants will roam closer in a savanna three times the size of the old one, and there’s a new walkway so the giraffes within a year will mingle with their pachyderm neighbors.
“We’ve done everything we can for the animals and even more than that for the people who are going to come to visit,” Hutchinson said. “This is a once in a lifetime experience to see lions and giraffes and elephants stand in one place and see them at one time.”
There are still some touch-ups happening in the elephant area, but as of Friday, the African Journey is now open.
The animal handlers were honored with a ribbon cutting for all of the extra work it took during construction to keep the animals safe and happy.
The transformation cost $20 million, but thanks to the State of Maryland, donors and sponsors, it has already been paid for.