National Zoological Park
The National Zoo is a beautiful urban park offering family
fun and excitement, stimulating education programs, and a peaceful place to enjoy nature. There is something new
to discover on every visit.
- We are an extraordinarily dedicated and talented staff,
internationally recognized for our expertise as zoo professionals
and for our collaborative work in global conservation.
- The National Zoo works with other zoos, conservation organizations,
universities, governments, and other partners all over the
- Members of the National Zoo staff work in multiple places:
the exhibits and behind-the-scenes at the Zoo, at the Smithsonian Conservation and Biology Institute in Virginia, and in field sites
around the world.
- We are fortunate to have a strong private partner in
Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), a membership-based organization
with a dynamic and highly capable staff.
The National Zoo has a long history of innovation and leadership
in the care and exhibition of wild animals. Today, our exhibits
are more than just places within the Zoo, they include educational
and scientific programs both on-site and around the world.
- Our collection is diverse and includes animals from ants
to elephants, representing habitats from tropical rainforest
to local woodlands.
- Our exhibits promote the natural behavior and well-being
- Education and scientific research are integral parts
of our exhibits.
- Our exhibits let people get close to animals and to
keepers and volunteers, who enhance the visitors’ experience.
The National Zoo has a long history and strong commitment
to the scientific study and conservation of animals and their
habitats throughout the world.
- The National Zoo was one of the first to support scientific
research involving the species represented in its exhibits,
as well as their relatives and other species of concern.
- Zoo scientists work collaboratively with scientists from
other zoos, conservation organizations, universities, governments,
and non-governmental agencies all over the world.
- The strength of our scientific research is in reproductive
biology, veterinary medicine, behavior, conservation ecology
and nutrition, population management, biodiversity monitoring,
and professional training in these disciplines.
- The health care we provide for our animals incorporates
the most sophisticated advances in veterinary medicine.
- We train future zoo and conservation professionals in
veterinary medicine, wildlife management, and other disciplines,
and we share our expertise with other zoos and conservation
organizations in the United States and abroad.
Friends of the National Zoo
Educate and inspire Zoo visitors
- Help fund new exhibits and improvements to old exhibits.
- Provide volunteers to serve as Zoo Guides and roving interpreters,
and to staff special events and public programs at the Bird
House, Cheetah Conservation Station, the Reptile Discovery
Center, and other exhibits.
- Offer special classes on topics from primates to veterinary
Educate the public
- Develop and distribute a variety of curriculum-support
materials for teachers, which can be used alone in the classroom
or as part of preparation for a trip to the Zoo.
- Produce Smithsonian Zoogoer, our informative and beautifully illustrated magazine.
Support the Zoo's scientific staff
- Provide grants to Zoo scientific staff for research at
the Zoo or in far flung field stations.
- Provide grants to support Zoo training programs for wildlife
biologists and Zoo managers from developing countries.
- Support the training of interns, graduate and postdoctoral
- Run concession services for the Zoo.
- Provide parking, food, and gift concession services at
- Run seasonal off-site stores to raise money, to boost
the Zoo's visibility, and to increase opportunities to provide
educational and conservation oriented materials to the public.
- All proceeds are used to support Zoo education and research
FONZ also supports the Zoo by obtaining outside grants, and
through corporate partnerships and underwriting.
To learn more about our goals and accomplishments, please
read the FONZ Annual Report.