National Zoo’s African Lion Gives Birth to Four Cubs
March 4, 2014
March came in like a lion—four lions, to be exact— 9-year-old African lion Shera gave birth to a litter at the Great Cats exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Their delivery March 2 spanned a seven-hour period, from 8:27 a.m. to 3:17 p.m. These cubs are the second litter for Shera and the fifth for 8-year-old father, Luke. Recently, Luke also sired 10-year-old Nababiep’s two female cubs born Jan. 24.
Celebrate American Bison and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo at 125 Years: Summer 2014
February 28, 2014
On March 2, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill passed by both Houses that officially established the National Zoo and allocated funds for the purchase of land. To celebrate its 125th Anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is proud to bring back the animal that sparked the conservation movement and the founding of the Zoo—the great American bison. The bison exhibit is set to open in July/August of 2014.
National Zoo’s Elderly Giant Pacific Octopus Dies
February 12, 2014
Pandora, the female giant Pacific octopus at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, died yesterday. Animal care staff estimate that Pandora was about 5 years old. The median lifespan for giant Pacific octopuses is about 3 to 5 years. Pandora came to the Zoo in November 2011 when she was about 1.5 years old. She lived at the Zoo’s Invertebrate Exhibit for 27 months—longer than any of her predecessors.
Keepers Hand Feeding Gray Seal Pup at Smithsonian’s National Zoo
January 31, 2014
Animal keepers at the National Zoo have been hand feeding a female gray seal pup, born Jan. 21 at 10:21 p.m., in the holding area of the seal exhibit on American Trail. Zoo keepers, veterinarians and nutritionists have been closely monitoring the pup and her mother, Kara. Within 48 hours of her birth, the animal care team began preparations to hand feed the pup as she was not gaining weight while nursing from her mother.
DC Snowy Owl Treated by National Zoo Veterinarians
January 30, 2014
The snowy owl that has been spotted recently in the Washington D.C. area was brought to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for care early this morning after reportedly being hit by a bus in the 15th and I St. area of the District.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo Euthanized Male Cheetah
January 29, 2014
The National Zoo is mourning the loss of an 8-year-old adult male cheetah, Draco, who was humanely euthanized earlier this morning. A final pathology report will provide more information. Typically, male cheetahs in human care have a median lifespan of 10 years.
Smithsonian's National Zoo Welcomes Lion Cubs
January 27, 2014
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Great Cats team celebrated the arrival of its first litter of African lion cubs in four years. On Jan. 24, the Zoo’s 10-year-old lion Nababiep gave birth to three cubs—two surviving—in an eight-hour period. These cubs are the third litter for Nababiep and the fourth for 8-year-old father, Luke.
Micronesian Kingfisher Chick Hatches: Total of 129 Birds in Existence
January 24, 2014
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute rung in 2014 with the hatching of the most endangered species in its collection—a Micronesian kingfisher—Jan. 1. The chick, whose sex is unknown, is the first offspring for its 8-year-old father and 2-year-old mother. This boost brings the total population of Micronesian kingfishers to 129 birds. Micronesian kingfishers are extinct in the wild.
Extended Hours at National Zoo's Giant Panda Habitat This Weekend
January 15, 2014
Giant panda cub Bao Bao will step out from behind the panda cams and meet the public this weekend at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Visitors to the Zoo will have the opportunity to see Bao Bao starting Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 a.m. The panda house at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will open its doors to the general public (members of Friends of the National Zoo are receiving a preview from Jan. 11 to Jan. 17) for the first time since the Zoo’s panda team began a pregnancy watch for Bao Bao’s mother, Mei Xiang (may-SHONG), in July 2013.