National Zoo News

western lowland gorilla

A Study Close to the Heart

Want to monitor a 260-pound gorilla’s heart? There’s an app for that! Kwame and Kojo received Implantable Loop Recorders that will help Zoo veterinarians better detect and treat heart disease in gorillas. Learn more about the study

April 2012

Naturally Delicious  

Sodexo wins food service contract with FONZ

Attention all herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores: a new food vendor is now at the Zoo! Starting this month, foodservice provider Sodexo will tickle visitors' taste buds with authentic ethnic cuisines and healthier versions of traditional favorites. What's more, ingredients will be local, seasonal and sustainable. Plan your visit

Spring at the Small Mammal House

giant elephant shrew at the Small Mammal House

The Easter Bunny came early to the animals in the small mammal house. Keepers gave several critters with colorful baskets, plastic eggs, and paper flowers to celebrate the holiday as part of the animals' enrichment activities. See photos

Celebrate Kids' Farm throughout April

Kids' Farm Month

Join the Zoo in commemorating State Farm's® donation! Enjoy special animal encounters, keeper talks, and demonstrations. On April 17, don't miss professionals shear the alpacas of their wooly winter coats in preparation for spring. Visit on the weekends and receive an exclusive Farm giveaway from State Farm® (while supplies last). Join the celebration

Masterful Monikers for Maned Wolf Pups

maned wolf pups

Last week, Facebook users named two of the four maned wolf pups at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Through a poll on the Zoo’s Facebook page, voters chose to name the female Bela (Portuguese for "beautiful,") and the male Rocko (in honor of a maned wolf researcher’s father). Read about the pups

Baby Boom at the Bird House

wattled crane chic

As Washington, D.C.'s unseasonably warm winter turns into spring, a baby boom is underway at the Zoo. Three rheas, two Guam rails, a wattled crane chick, and a second kiwi chick all hatched at the Bird House in March. Come meet them (and more feathered friends) during your next visit! See photos of the cutest chicks at the Zoo

Sayonara, Guntur!

Sumatran Tiger

On March 29, the Zoo’s five-year-old Sumatran tiger touched down in Japan and arrived safely at his new home, Zoorasia. Love is in the air—he’ll soon be paired with a female! Meanwhile, Damai awaits her new mate from Zoo Atlanta. Read more about Guntur’s travels and the Zoo’s tiger breeding plans in Keeper Marie Magnusen's latest update

Wine and Dine for Wildlife


Fine dining at the Zoo is an advanced science, from frosty meatsicles to nutritious alfalfa. However, this gastronomic gala celebrates a more sophisticated, human palate. The lineup for 2012 will feature more than 100 of the area's finest restaurants. Mix in animal demonstrations, live entertainment, a wonderful silent auction, and dancing under the stars, and you have the recipe for a delicious evening. Buy tickets

What's Up

Snore & Roar Registration Begins

Snore & Roar is no ordinary camping trip! It's the best way to see the Zoo's animals after hours, including a keeper-led tour of an exhibit area, a family-friendly scavenger hunt, and a continental breakfast after your night on Lion/Tiger Hill. Snore & Roar takes place between June and September. Register now


Party for the Planet

Celebrate Earth Day at the Zoo! On April 22, meet our Green Team experts, participate in "green" themed crafts, and learn simple daily actions that help you enjoy a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. State Farm® will host a special children's area at the Kids' Farm where children can make their own plant pots with recycled newspapers, as well as a garden journal. Join the party

New at the Zoo

Safari in Washington, D.C.


After a short journey from Virginia, two scimitar-horned oryx calves are now on exhibit at the Cheetah Conservation Station. Sweeney and Omar were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute-Front Royal last year.


These desert antelope have horns which are several feet long and resemble a long, curved scimitar—a type of Arabian sword. What other African species live at the Zoo?




Take a Spin

A fun new carousel is coming to the Zoo in November 2012! Featuring beloved endangered species including giant pandas, komodo dragons, and red-necked ostriches, the attraction will welcome visitors of all ages to Lion/Tiger Hill with delightful animal figures and colorful scenery. When you donate, the Zoo will install a commemorative plaque beneath your figure.


Learn more

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