After the zoo nearly lost its accreditation two years ago, its staff had worked to make improvements and put the facility on firm financial footing. But the costs of storm- related repairs, employee overtime and lost revenue pose a new challenge.
"This is a big, big setback," said the zoo's president, Donald Hutchinson, a former Baltimore County executive hired to revitalize the facility in 2008. "We're hoping that everyone who loves the zoo will help us bounce back."
Two aviaries - homes to gangly African spoonbills, wedge-headed mergansers and other birds - are in tatters. A huge limb has fallen from the leopard's preferred perch. And a long-eared owl is on the lam, circling the Druid Hill Park area in search of furry snacks.