Community stepped up to help the zoo

March 05, 2010

As the past chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, I would like to thank the community for reacting so quickly with donations and other offers of assistance to the news about the downed aviaries and other blizzard damage sustained at the zoo. The storms certainly wreaked havoc on all of our lives, but with 160 acres, 55 buildings and 1,500 animals in our care, the zoo faces a challenge of a different scale when it comes to staying accessible to our staff and, soon, to visitors once again.

In the years I have been involved with the zoo I have seen tremendous positive changes. The landscaping varies with the seasons, the animals continue to amaze me, and I truly enjoy talking to the staff and volunteers as I make my way around the zoo on each visit.

A full assessment of the damage and expenses is underway. Our staff, whose dedication and professionalism never ceases to impress me, worked tirelessly through the storm. Many of our keepers lived on the grounds through the storms to care for our animals. We cannot praise them enough. Since then, the entire team has worked tirelessly to clean up the campus and prepare the grounds for opening on Saturday, March 13.

I am sure everyone in the region is looking forward to spring like I am. I hope people who have the urge to get out and take a walk will come to the zoo. Walk the grounds, visit with the staff and volunteers and see our animals. Even in the face of all this damage, the zoo is as fascinating as ever.

Christopher Pope, Baltimore

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