National Zoo Prepares for Giant Panda Breeding Season with the Arrival of Frozen Semen from China
April 21, 2015
Caitlin Burrell, research scientist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, returned from China last night April 20, with frozen giant panda semen that had been stored at the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base’s cryopreservation bank. The sperm may be used for an artificial insemination on the Zoo’s female giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) when she goes into estrus this spring. This is the first time frozen semen has been transported from China to the National Zoo for breeding.
Photo Release: New Western Lowland Gorilla on Exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
April 9, 2015
Calaya, a western lowland gorilla, is now on exhibit at the National Zoo. Keepers describe the 12-year-old female as confident and socially-savvy. She arrived at the National Zoo from the Woodland Park Zoo on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ western lowland gorilla Species Survival Plan. After arriving at the Zoo Feb. 25, Calaya spent 30 days in quarantine per standard procedure. For the past few days, keepers have been slowly introducing her to 22-year-old silverback male Baraka and females 32-year-old Mandara and 6-year-old Kibibi. Zoo visitors can see Calaya at the Great Ape House.
New Rescue Lab for Endangered Amphibians Opens in Panama
April 8, 2015
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) scientists working together as part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project (PARC) opened a new safe haven for endangered amphibians today, April 8. The state-of-the-art, $1.2 million amphibian center at STRI’s Gamboa field station is the largest amphibian conservation facility of its kind in the world.
Golden Frogs with Unique Skin Microbes Survive Exposure to Frog-Killing Fungus
March 18, 2015
A new study published this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society by scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) found unique communities of skin bacteria on Panamanian golden frogs that survived chytridiomycosis (ki-TRID-io-MY-co-sis) infections. Chytridiomycosis is an amphibian fungal disease that has wiped out populations of many frog species around the world.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo Asks Public to Name Andean Bear Cub Brothers
March 16, 2015
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo, in collaboration with Univision’s ¡Despierta America!, is inviting the public to name two rambunctious and charismatic 18-week-old male Andean bear cubs. Starting today, March 16, fans can vote on the Zoo’s website for their favorite among names.
Giant Anteater Update
February 12, 2015
Giant anteater Maripi gave birth to a female pup the night of January 24. Keepers monitored both Maripi and her pup via a closed circuit camera. Within 48 hours keepers became concerned that the pup was not thriving.
New Timor Python Hatchlings
November 14, 2014
The Reptile Discovery Center has welcomed new timor python hatchlings. The babies are not yet on diplay but vistors can view their parents at the Zoo.