National Zoo News

Critter Cupids

Say It With Pandas

Bleat, roar, or squeak your affections this Valentine's Day with a Critter Cupid video valentine! It's a sure way to tell your loved ones, friends, and family that life without them would be unBEARable. Send a wild valentine

February 2013

Orangutans Go High Tech

Apps For Apes Orangutan Outreach

Bonnie bangs on the drums. Kyle prefers the piano. And Iris enjoys watching koi splash in a virtual pond. Through Orangutan Outreach's Apps for Apes program, primates are getting their hands on iPads and having a blast! This enrichment does more than engage the Zoo's 6 orangutans' sight, hearing, and touch; it's also helping efforts to conserve habitat and save their wild cousins. Apps for Apes | Learn more about Orangutan Outreach

Something to Squeak About

Kathy Brader

Congratulations to animal keeper Kathy Brader, who was made an honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit by Prime Minister John Key! The National Zoo is a global leader in brown kiwi conservation largely because of Brader's efforts. Under her care and instruction, the Zoo successfully hatched and raised six kiwi—three males and three females. Learn how Kathy's saving kiwi

Protecting Predators

Time is running out for conservationists to save tigers and leopards in India's forest corridors. Habitat fragmentation can divide populations of species into isolated groups. That's why Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists are using genetic analysis to show that these corridors help ensure healthy and diverse populations. Learn more about their research

Amour of the Tiger

Sumatran Tiger

Young love is budding for our Sumatran tigers Kavi and Damai! Over the course of a couple of weeks, there was a gradual easing of tension. By the time Damai started to cycle again she was much more confident and relaxed with Kavi. This patience paid off —and they've bred! Keepers will continue to closely monitor introductions and hope for cubs in future. Read the latest update

Ready, Set, Grow!

Andean Bear Cub

The keepers got their first good look at one of Billie Jean's cubs! While we don't usually know why she leaves the den, or why she brings the cubs with her, this time it was clear to the keepers that she was on a mission to acquire fresh hay, which she uses for bedding. The cubs may have their first vet exam in the coming weeks if Billie Jean permits! Follow Andean Bear cub news

A Marvelous Mom (and a New Webcam)

Sloth Bear Cub

Sloth bear Hana and her cub continue to do well! Keepers are seeing the cub sit up more but it still hasn't tried to climb onto mom's back. Hana leaves the den to eat small snacks on a daily basis. However, she still spends most of her time with the cub and is very attentive to the cub's needs. Now you can watch them on our new webcam, too. Watch the sloth bear cub cam

What's Up

Woo at the Zoo

Want to learn how to mate? Discover some of the animal kingdom's wildest moves for mating, dating, and reproduction at Woo at the Zoo!


On Feb. 9, come to the Visitor Center auditorium for fun presentations by reproductive scientist Pierre Comizzoli and animal keeper Malia Somerville. Enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a drink in a commemorative Woo at the Zoo glass, and sweet treats. There will be three presentations at 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., or 8:30 p.m.


FONZ Members: $20. Nonmembers: $30.

Buy tickets


New at the Zoo

Bringing Up Baby


The Small Mammal House now has an adorable new edition: a baby black howler monkey!


Born Dec. 15, the baby is just over 6 weeks old and is already very inquisitive and curious. During a recent exam, animal care staff determined that the baby is a BOY and in excellent health!


We hope you'll be able to come to the Zoo and see our howler family on exhibit.


Check out what's on view at the Zoo


Adopt a Species


For Your One "Zoo" Love

Take a cue from our furry, feathered, and frisky friends: Give your love bug an Adopt A Species package!


It comes complete with a cute animal plush, photo, factsheet, and something sweet to show your affection. Choose from 15 different species! Place your order by February 7th to guarantee delivery by Valentine's Day.


Adopt a Species

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