Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Asia Trail Map and Habitats

Asia Trail is home to 7 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. Explore the map to learn more about these animals.

David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat clouded leopard clouded leopard red panda fishing cat sloth bear Asian small-clawed otter red panda fishing cat Asian small-clawed otter Japanese giant salamanderJapanese giant salamander

As visitors travel along the winding path of the new Asia Trail and spend time at the animal habitats, they can learn lots about these fascinating animals by watching the animals, reading the exhibit graphics, and discovering how the animals are Built to Survive—pulling on the tabs of large illustrations will reveal each species' vital adaptations, such as how otters' webbed paws help grab food or what sloth bears' long claws can do. Find out about the habitat features:

Sloth Bears

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. Tubes leading from the visitor area into the rock are stuffed with food, and the bears will suck the food out, similar to how they consume termites from mounds in the wild. Each yard also has rushing water and warm rocks to keep the bears comfortable in all types of weather.

Clouded Leopards

Clouded leopards, which hadn't been exhibited at the Zoo in decades, 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.

Fishing Cats

Two yards offer cut-away views of pools and overhanging branches and tree roots, which encourage the cats to display their natural fishing abilities.


Asian Small-clawed Otters

A yard for six 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, as well as at the Otter Training Station, where Zoo scientists and keepers work with otters to present their feet, open their mouths, and remain still for vet exams.

Red Pandas

A yard for two 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.

Japanese Giant Salamander

Japanese giant salamander

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.

Giant Pandas

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 habitat