Getting to the Zoo
Plan Your Visit
Download the Zoo App
Connect on Social Media
The National Zoo at 125
Special Events and Celebrations
Host Your Event
Elephant Barn Tours
Live Animal Cams
Animals A to Z
Great Apes and Other Primates
Reptiles and Amphibians
Join Friends of the National Zoo
Join or Renew Today
Donor Membership Levels
Member Services & Information
Replacement Membership Card
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Club
FONZ Photo Club
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI)
Front Royal Headquarters
Rock Creek Campus
In the Field
Animal Care Sciences
Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics
Conservation Education and Sustainability
Migratory Bird Center
Programs and Events
Family Programs and Children's Workshops
Summer Safari Day Camp
Snow Safari Day Camp
FONZ Nature Camp
Snore and Roar
Conservation Campouts in Front Royal, VA
Lesson Plans/Online Resources
SCBI Outreach near Front Royal, VA
Bridging the Americas
Undergraduate and Continuing Education
Lectures and Symposia
Support the Zoo
Help Build a Red Panda Retreat
Enrichment Giving Tree
Giant Panda Conservation Fund
Tiger Conservation Fund
Champions of Conservation
Join the Smithsonian Campaign
Ways to Help
Join Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ)
Adopt a Species
Great Apes & Primates
Reptiles & Amphibians
American Trail Photo Gallery
California sea lions live on the rocky and sandy shores of islands surrounding the California coast, as well as on the coast of the mainland.
Sea lions were hunted for their skin and oil or killed by fisherman. Some populations have rebounded thanks to the protection of international laws.
Sea lions are the fastest pinniped swimmers and can reach speeds up to 25 miles per hour in the water.
Gray seals hunt, sleep, and even breed in water. This species can dive to depths of up to 475 feet and hold their breath for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Gray seals rely on their sensitive whiskers to navigate. Their claws provide traction when maneuvering on ice and their rear flippers help with swimming.
Harbor seals have the widest distribution of any seal and can be found in both the North Atlantic and Northern Pacific oceans.
During the winter months, the thick layer of insulating blubber on harbor seals can account for up to 30 percent of it's body mass, providing thermoregulation.
Bald eagles live across North America, but are always found close to a body of water.
Gray wolves are the largest members of the canine family and is among the most social of carnivores.
Depending on habitat location, the coloration of gray wolves can range from white to black with the majority exhibiting light brown or gray coloration.
Ravens are highly intelligent, using their beaks to rip objects open.
Beavers are the largest rodents in North America and the second-largest rodents in the world. Their teeth never stop growing.
Beavers fell trees to build dams and lodges. They will repair breaks and holes in their dwellings.
The North American river otter is native to the United States and Canada, living in both the water and on land.
North American river otters can dive as deep as 60 feet and hold their breath for up to 8 minutes.
The brown pelican is the only species of pelican that lives mostly in a marine habitat.
Brown pelicans were once severely endangered in the United States, primarily due to pesticide poisoning.
→ More about American Trail
Careers & Internships