National Zoo News

 
Elephant Community Center

One Giant Step

The National Zoo's pachyderms stepped into the new Elephant Community Center for the first time last week. Now you can get an elephant's eye view of the beautiful and spacious exhibit, opening March 23, with this photo tour.

March 2013

A Fit and Feisty Duo

Andean Bear Cubs

The Andean bear cubs have had their first exam, and they both received a clean bill of health from the Zoo's veterinarians! A team of 14 animal care staff performed a complete physical exam on each cub. Although it is difficult to determine the sex at such a young age when genitalia have not fully developed, the cubs appear to be male and female! See photos | Watch the cub cam

Raising Babies By Hand

Clouded Leopard Cubs

On February 5, 2 clouded leopard cubs were born at SCBI Front Royal in the early morning to mother Sita and father Ta Moon. Keepers are bottle-feeding the cubs and report that they're eating well—which for clouded leopards means they're eating seven times a day! The cubs are very particular about who's taking care of them. But through the handrearing process, keepers have an easier time managing and breeding the cats. Why hand-raise cubs?

Must See CCTV

Sloth Bear Cub

It's clear from watching the Sloth Bear Cam that this little cub has a lot of personality—just like Hana! It's not unusual to see the two playing: she will roll on her back and hug the cub, paw at him/her, and exhibit a "play face" (her mouth is open and her lower lip is loose rather than taut). It's clear the cub is ready to be on the move; it's been trying to climb aboard mom's back. Sloth bear moms are the only bear species that carry their cubs in this way. Tune in to the cub cam

A Good Egg

Kiwi Chick

Doesn't this kiwi chick look like it's trying to imitate the clouded leopard cubs with their newly-opened eyes? Even though kiwi are nocturnal (and a bit sleepy during the day), keepers at SCBI Front Royal report that this chick—which hatched Feb. 6—is very active, patrolling its territory and probing the soil with its bill for food. The chick is growing and gaining weight every day. Follow baby animal updates

Dating the Firefox Way

Red Panda

Giant pandas have taught scientists quite a bit about their biology. Now, red panda health is sharing the spotlight! Last November, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute launched the largest red panda health and reproduction study ever. Scientists are looking at a large population in the care of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Panda Base) in China. Learn more

Romance is in the Air

Sumatran Tiger

The bad news: Damai was not pregnant as a result of the single breeding during her last heat. With only one breeding, the odds were not in our favor for a pregnancy. The good news: Over the past few weeks, Kavi and Damai have really improved their skills when it comes to breeding! Each intro lasted about an hour, and keepers are optimistic that Damai may have cubs in three months or so. Get the scoop

What's Up

Secrets of the Animal Keepers

What's the secret to catering to the daily needs of 400 diverse species? Find out at Secrets of the Animal Keepers, a seminar at the Ripley Center March 19. SCBI Senior Curator Paul Marinari shares the art that goes into keeping Zoo animals happy, healthy, and thriving.

 

Buy tickets

 

Enrichment Day

How do we keep our animals interested and mentally stimulated? By giving them enrichment! Food, toys, scents, music, and puzzles are just some examples of enrichment tools.

 

See animal demonstrations, build your own enrichment, and chat with keepers at Enrichment Day on March 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Join us for this FREE event

 

New at the Zoo

Sound Off!

 

Attention elementary school students: We want to know what tips you have for Ambika, Shanthi, and Kandula as transition to their new home in the Elephant Community Center. Or, let us know how kids can make a difference to save Asian elephants in the wild. Washingtonian will post a selection of the most thoughtful and creative letters on its website beginning March 4.

 

Three letter-writers will get a sneak peek at the new exhibit!

 

Write to our elephants

Support

Adopt a Species

 

Bring an Elephant Home


How do you cuddle an Asian elephant? Adopt one!

 

The Adopt a Species package comes complete with a 12-inch elephant plush, a beautiful photo, an animal fact sheet, and more. Added bonus: this elephant won't make a mess!

 

Adopt an elephant

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