The Maryland Zoo of Baltimore, previously known as the Baltimore Zoo, was built in 1876; the 135-acre park is the third-oldest zoo in the United States after the zoos in Cincinnati and Philadelphia. The Maryland Zoo is located in Druid Hill Park, a historic urban park that is also one of the oldest landscaped public parks in the United States.
The then-Baltimore Zoo opened to the public 16 years after the city purchased and opened the historic Druid Hill Park to the public. The zoo officially changed its name in 2004 after an extensive renovation and modernization project by the state.
Maryland Zoo is home to more than 1,500 birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. African Journey, the largest area in the zoo, houses a wide range of animals indigenous to Africa, including crocodiles, African cheetahs, giraffes, elephants and leopards. The area is also home to cranes, gazelles, white rhinoceros and white stork. The zoo also features polar bears, penguins, bald eagles and snowy owls.
A small-model diesel train circulates around the zoo, weather permitting. The 10-minute train ride travels on a 1-mile track behind the African Journey area and provides a tour of the scenery and parts of the new and old zoo.