NATIVE SPECIES GET NEW DIGS AT THE MARYLAND ZOO

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is pleased to announce the opening of the newly renovated Meadow habitat in the Maryland Wilderness area.

Courtesy Photo

            Home to a dozen Eastern box turtles and an Eastern milksnake the area now features new native Maryland species: broad-head skink, American toads, and the critically endangered bog turtle.

            “Being able to highlight more of our native species is great for the Zoo and our guests, and gives us the opportunity to talk about the collaborative work we do with Maryland Department of Natural Resources,” said Kevin Barrett, reptile & amphibian collection & conservation manager at the Zoo.

            The Meadow habitat is located between the Tree Slide and the Farmyard. Visitors can view Eastern box turtles from both above and below ground. An underground passageway leads visitors to pop-up viewing bubbles that offer a unique perspective of box turtles from the ground level. In the tunnel, the two original exhibits have expanded to three brand new habitats, currently exhibiting four Maryland native species. Guests will be able to see the Eastern milksnake, broad-head skink, American toads, and bog turtles, one of the 25 most endangered turtle species in the world.

The tunnel itself has dirt-like walls with fossil and root system details to add to the feeling of being in the burrows of the native species.  In addition to the new habitats, the work has also significantly improved the guest signage and lighting in the area.

             The Meadow renovation was funded by the State of Maryland and cost approximately $300,000. The work was completed by Total Habitat, an exhibit and design fabrication firm from Kansas City, Kansas. Total Habitat previously worked with the Zoo on renovations to both the Marsh and African Aviaries.

            For updates on animals in the Meadow, please visit www.marylandzoo.org and www.facebook.com/marylandzoo.

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