Asia Trail is home to seven species: giant pandas, red pandas, Asian small-clawed otters, clouded leopards, fishing cats, a Japanese giant salamander, and sloth bears. This new series of wonderful habitats is located near the Connecticut Avenue entrance to the Zoo.
As visitors travel along the winding path of the new Asia Trail, they can learn about these fascinating animals by watching the animals and reading the exhibit graphics. Find out about the habitat features.
In keeping with the Zoo's mission of conservation of the natural environment, several sustainable design strategies were implemented in the design and construction of Asia Trail. Learn more
Two outdoor yards are home to the Zoo's two sloth bears. Visitors can get nose to nose with a sloth bear at several glass viewing areas, including a demonstration amphitheatre where the bears demonstrate their natural feeding techniques in artificial termite mounds. Each yard also has rushing water and warm rocks to keep the bears comfortable in all types of weather.
Clouded leopards have made their home in a yard complete with a mechanically heated artificial tree to keep the cats warm and in view of the public.
Two yards offer cut-away views of pools and overhanging branches and tree roots, which encourage the cats to display their natural fishing abilities.
A yard for Asian small-clawed otters provides these playful creatures with a simulated flooded forest, complete with banks of a stream, a waterfall, and a glass-fronted pool with heated rocks. Visitors can see the otters from above and underwater.
A yard for red pandas simulates the animals' rocky, lush mountain habitat of northern China. Zoo scientists have been studying and breeding red pandas for more than 30 years. Note: Our red pandas, Shama and Rusty, have moved to SCBI Front Royal to increase their changes of breeding. We hope to have more red pandas on exhibit at the Zoo soon!
A large glass aquarium set into the rocks provides a home for a Japanese giant salamander. Several others are in an off-exhibit breeding center at the Reptile Discovery Center.
Two new panda yards, designed to mimic the pandas' natural habitat of rocky, lush terrain in China, have several enriching features: a water-cooled grotto, a fog grove, pools and streams, rocks and fallen trees, and more. Additions to the indoor exhibit include a new room with a rocky outcrop and waterfall, and another den. More about the Giant Panda habitat