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Great Cats

National Zoo's

The Great Cats exhibit on Lion/Tiger Hill features Sumatran tigers and African lions—living, breathing, roaring great cats. They are ambassadors for their wild relatives, and for the Zoo's conservation and science initiatives for tigers, lions, and many other cats, which, even if not great in size, are still great!

Lions and tigers are on exhibit between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., daily (weather permitting).


Endangered Song

On Earth Day 2014, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute launched the “Endangered Song Project,” an analog-meets-digital outreach campaign that asked 400 participants to help raise awareness about the fact that there are only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild. Read more.

Portugal. The Man Endangered Song Concert T-Shirts

Limited edition t-shirts are still available for purchase. Call 202.633.0126 to place your order.

Lion Update: May 27, 2015

What does it take to keep up with a sextuplet of juvenile African lions? In the latest Keeper Q & A, Rebecca Stites and Kristen Clark dish on the cats' quirky personalities, training triumphs, and big changes to come. Read more.

Tiger Update: December 17

Sumatran tiger cubs Bandar and Sukacita are growing up fast and undergoing some big changes at the Great Cats exhibit! At 16 months old, these cubs won't be fully-grown adults for another year or two, but they're already showing maturity and independence. Keepers Marie Magnuson and Dell Guglielmo, along with curator Craig Saffoe, talk about training, separating from mom Damai, and the possibility of new cubs in the latest Q & A.

Read more.

Lots of Cats

There are cats all over the Zoo! Tigers and lions live at Great Cats, with caracals right next door. Cheetahs live at the Zoo's Cheetah Conservation Station. Fishing cats and clouded leopards live on Asia Trail. A sand cat lives in the Small Mammal House. → Learn about cats at the Zoo.

Cat Conservation

Clouded leopards at the National Zoo

Large or small, cats are graceful, specialized, and powerful animals. Yet, they are among the most endangered. Zoo conservation biologists are working with colleagues on lions' home ground in Africa, and tigers' in Asia, to develop the scientific understanding necessary for effective conservation. Zoo scientists are studying the ecology, behavior, and reproductive biology of tigers, lions, and many other cat species, including cheetahs, clouded leopards, and fishing cats.