The National Zoo is home to 1,800 individual animals of 300 different species. Our best known residents are our giant pandas, but great apes, big cats, Asian elephants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, aquatic animals, small mammals, and many others can be found at the Zoo.
You can take a virtual visit to the Zoo any day of the week by tuning into our live web cams, which feature many of the Zoo's animals.
Watch our three new elephants—Kamala, Swarna, and Maharani—while they are in quarantine on our new elephant cam! You can see them here, real-time, 24 hours a day, before they go on exhibit. Read more about the new elephants.
(Note: the elephant cam is stationary, and the elephants can choose to move to areas that are off camera.)
Watching Asian small-clawed otters: A family of otters, parents and offspring, live on Asia Trail. Small-clawed otters, the smallest of the world's 13 otter species, live in family groups and play often.
Watching clouded leopards at the Zoo: Clouded leopards live at Asia Trail. You may see them leaping from limb to limb and napping on sturdy branches. Relative to body size, clouded leopards' long canines are the largest of all living cats.
Watching clouded leopards at the Zoo's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia: The cam features a male and female that were paired at a young age to create a bonded pair for future breeding.
Watching fishing cats: Fishing cats live at Asia Trail. These short-tailed cats are about twice the size of the average housecat. They attract fish by lighting tapping the water's surface with a paw, mimicking insect movements. Then, they dive into the water to catch the fish.
Watching lions: The Zoo is home to male and female lions. Tigers are lions' closest relatives. Without their coats, lion and tiger bodies are so similar that only experts can tell them apart.
Naked mole-what? Despite the fact that they burrow underground like moles, and have rat-like tails, naked mole-rats are more closely related to porcupines, chinchillas, and guinea pigs than to moles or rats.
Watching apes: Several orangutans live at the Zoo. They can travel between the Great Ape House and Think Tank along the Orangutan Transport System (O Line), a series of towers and cables, 35 to 40 feet above ground. You may see them swinging on the ropes and making nests of hay to rest on.
Watching giant pandas: The Zoo is home to an adult female panda and an adult male. The panda cams follow the pandas in their indoor and outdoor exhibits at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat.