Lots of family fun at the Maryland Zoo this spring

Spring is a great time to take the kids to visit the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore with the prairie dog pups popping up, lemurs are back on Lemur Lane, camel rides and the chance to get wet at the new Penguin Coast.

The zoo now opens at 9:30 a.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer. The Zoo is also open late, until 7 p.m., the second Saturday of each month through September for "After Hours with the Animals." On those Saturdays, there is discounted admission of $10 per person after 4 p.m.

Things not to miss at the zoo this spring include:ZooprairiedogpupsW

  • Prairie dog pups — Zoo staff closely watch Prairie Dog Town in early May for the first signs of prairie dog pups. Black-tailed prairie dog moms give birth in underground nurseries and the young remain underground for about the first 6 weeks of life. Recently, the first of the pups were spotted venturing above ground.
  • Camel rides — The summer resident camels have arrived and they are ready for zoo visitors to take a ride. Through Labor Day, zoo guests can ride one of the visiting Dromedary camels, Rose and Bo, while visiting the zoo. Rose gave birth on March 26 to a male calf, who stays close to Mom and will be here with her all summer long. Camel rides are offered at the zoo daily, from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., for $7 per person.
  • The lemurs are outside — Warmer overnight temperatures have allowed the zoo's ring-tailed lemurs, red ruffed lemurs and Coquerel's sifaka to move back outside for the summer. Lemur Lane is located between the Giraffe House and the Chimpanzee Forest.
  • Goat kids — Don't forget to visit the Farmyard and see the littlest goat kids Chloe and Clark. The kids were born on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, to the zoo's African pygmy goat pair Lex and Lois and have quickly become zoo favorites.
  • Feed the giraffes — There is a lot of activity at the Giraffe Feeding Station where zoo visitors can get eye-to-eye with these gentle giants of the Savannah. The Giraffe Feeding Station features a gated feeding area where you can purchase browse and feed the giraffe, as well as a separate deck for viewing and photography.
  • Sitatunga calf — A male sitatunga calf was born on April 27 to Lela and Hurley, the zoo's sitatunga breeding pair. "The baby is nursing very well, and Lela is a very attentive, experienced mother," says Carey Ricciardone, mammal collection and conservation manager at the zoo. "He is full of energy, a true sitatunga male, although he is sticking close to her mother for now and bonding behind the scenes." Zoo visitors should able to see Lela and her calf exploring outdoors for short periods of time.
  • Penguin Coast — Don't miss the new penguin exhibit that opened last fall with a spot to view the penguins swimming under water and even the chance to get wet!

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is located in Druid Hill Park. Admission is $13-18. For additional information on hours and events, visit the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore website.

Photo courtesy of the Mayrland Zoo in Baltimore

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