Snow-damaged Maryland Zoo in Baltimore to reopen March 13

February storms caused $1.5 million in damage

some exhibits to remain closed

March 03, 2010|By Liz F. Kay | liz.kay@baltsun.com

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore will reopen March 13, but some exhibits will remain closed to visitors after damage caused by February's historic snowstorms, a zoo spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The zoo's March 1 opening was postponed when storms brought down trees and destroyed two aviaries, causing $1.5 million in damage, and the costs of repairs, employee overtime and lost revenue have provided more challenges as the institution tries to emerge from recent financial difficulties.

The African Aviary might not reopen until the fall, zoo spokeswoman Jane Ballentine said. The storm also destroyed the netting on the Maryland Aviary, but visitors will be able to walk the paths inside that exhibit and view wild birds.

"You'll see native birds, but it'll be a little different," Ballentine said.

Zoo officials will make daily decisions about whether it is safe to exhibit animals in other areas. Announcements will be posted on the zoo's Web site and Facebook page, "so we can give a full picture of what you can and cannot see on any given day until things clear out," Ballentine said.

Zoo officials have planned a reopening celebration for March 13 and 14, with $5 admission.

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