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Latest News

Director of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park Dennis Kelly Now Vice Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Board of Directors

September 16, 2014

The membership of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has elected Dennis Kelly, Director of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, to the position of Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.

Recent News

“State of the Birds” Report Assesses the Health of the Nation’s Birds

September 9, 2014

One hundred years after the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups have come together to publish The State of the Birds 2014—the most comprehensive review of long-term trend data for U.S. birds ever conducted. The authors call the results unsettling. The report finds bird populations declining across several key habitats, and it includes a “watch list” of bird species in need of immediate conservation help. The report also reveals, however, that in areas where a strong conservation investment has been made, bird populations are recovering.

National Zoo Opens American Bison Exhibit in Honor of 125th Anniversary

August 27, 2014

In honor of its 125th anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is once again home to American bison, the animal that began the Zoo’s living collection in 1889 and sparked the conservation movement. The American Bison exhibit, sponsored by Continental Building Products, opens to the public Saturday, Aug. 30.

Media Advisory: National Zoo to Announce Names of American Bison

August 25, 2014

Media preview and name reveal of the National Zoo’s two female American bison. The American Bison Exhibit opens to the public Aug. 30 .

Smithsonian's National Zoo Celebrates Giant Panda Bao Bao's First Birthday

August 23, 2014

The National Zoo and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China celebrated giant panda cub Bao Bao’s first birthday this morning with a Zhuazhou (dra-JO) ceremony.

Red Panda Dies at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

August 18, 2014

A female red panda, Shama, was euthanized at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., Saturday, Aug. 16. A necropsy performed later that evening revealed severe cerebral edema (swelling of the brain). Based on preliminary cytology, the swelling is attributed to encephalitis associated with a microscopic parasite.

Smithsonian & SVF Biodiversity Preservation Project Launched

July 24, 2014

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the SVF Foundation announced July 23 the launch of the "Smithsonian & SVF Biodiversity Preservation Project" to strengthen rare and endangered livestock breed conservation through the preservation and study of frozen germplasm (semen and embryos), cell lines and other biomaterials from rare heritage breeds of food and fiber livestock.

National Zoo Humanely Euthanizes Elderly Macaque

July 17, 2014

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo humanely euthanized its last Sulawesi macaque, a 27-year-old male named Spock, this morning. The median lifespan for this species is about 18 years.

Four Litters of Red Panda Cubs Born at SCBI

July 2, 2014

All four red panda pairs at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., successfully bred and had cubs this year. Of the 10 cubs, more born at SCBI than any other year, seven have survived.