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Animal News

Tian Tian during a full veterinary exam.
Nov. 15, 2017
Tian Tian had a preventative health exam yesterday. He was taken to the veterinary hospital, which allowed our veterinarians to get an up-close and in-depth look at him while he was under anesthesia.
Nov. 03, 2017
Picture an intelligent mammal. One whose smarts are not only key to their survival but also, in certain situations, to that of humans. The Norway rat may not come first to mind, but its ability to...
Nov. 03, 2017
Some of the Zoo’s most marvelous mammals are also the smallest—from alluring armadillos to endearing naked mole-rats. More than 35 species are on the move at the Small Mammal House, and it takes a...
Female kiwi chick
Nov. 01, 2017
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, and the Embassy of New Zealand in the United States are asking animal lovers to help name an endangered female brown kiwi...
A male sloth bear with his front legs resting on an enrichment toy
Oct. 17, 2017
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo recently welcomed a new sloth bear into its zoological family. Niko, a 2-year-old male, arrived Oct. 6 from NaturZoo Rheine in Germany and joins 3-year-old female sloth...
Oct. 06, 2017
A stroll down American Trail brings visitors face-to-face with swimming sea lions, busy beavers and resourceful ravens. What visitors may not see are the dedicated keepers working hard behind the...
Oct. 06, 2017
Visitors seeking to inject a jolt of fun into their trip to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo need look no further than Amazonia’s Electric Fishes Demonstration Lab!
An electric eel in the new Electric Fishes Demonstration Lab in the Amazonia Exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
Oct. 05, 2017
The Amazonia Exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is buzzing with a current from a brand-new Electric Fishes Demonstration Lab, opening Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. The multisensory lab is home to a 5-foot...
Giant panda Mei Xiang walking in the grass. There is a large rock to the right in the foreground.
Sep. 14, 2017
The giant panda team at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has determined that Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) will not give birth this year.
a tiger cub stand on a log
Sep. 11, 2017
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo transported its 9-week-old male Sumatran tiger cub to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where he will live and thrive with another young male tiger cub. 
Giant panda Mei Xiang eating
Sep. 08, 2017
The panda team is still waiting to find out if Mei Xiang will give birth or if she is experiencing a pseudopregnancy. Giant pandas’ hormones and behavior mimic a pregnancy even if they are...
Mei Xiang sleeping
Sep. 01, 2017
The panda house is closed to the public beginning today, Sept. 1 to provide quiet for Mei Xiang as she enters the final stages of a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. 
Sep. 01, 2017
Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute enrich the lives of animals by presenting them with toys, training and novel food items.
Gray seal Birdie explores her habitat on American Trail
Sep. 01, 2017
The youngest members of American Trail’s pinniped family have made quite the splash this summer. In June, sea lion Catalina celebrated her first birthday. Meanwhile, 7-month-old gray seal Birdie is...
Sep. 01, 2017
What animal has the ability to see in two directions at once, changes colors depending on its mood and can catch its prey with a flick of the tongue? Reptile Discovery Center keepers welcomed a brand...
A Great Cats keeper supplemental feeds the Sumatran tiger cub born July 11, 2017.
Aug. 28, 2017
Since Aug. 2, Great Cats keepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have been supplemental feeding the 6-week-old male Sumatran tiger cub.
Mei Xiang sleeping
Aug. 25, 2017
Mei Xiang has started exhibiting more behaviors consistent with the secondary hormone phase of a pregnancy or a pseudopregnancy. That means that she has been spending the majority of her time...
Mei Xiang
Aug. 18, 2017
Beginning Aug. 18, the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will be partially closed to keep a quiet area around panda Mei Xiang’s den. Although we are not able to confirm if she is...
a giant panda walks along rocks
Aug. 18, 2017
The Giant Panda Habitat will be partially closed to keep a quiet area around female giant panda Mei Xiang’s den. Although keepers are not able to confirm if she is pregnant, Mei Xiang is exhibiting...
Mei Xiang receives an ultrasound
Aug. 11, 2017
Veterinarians are giving Mei Xiang weekly ultrasounds to track changes in her uterus. Though it's too early to see a possible cub on an ultrasound, SCBI scientists detected a rise in hormones,...
A female brown kiwi chick sitting on a gray carpet
Aug. 07, 2017
An endangered brown kiwi chick kicked her way out of her egg at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, between Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30.
Close-up of the tip of an elephant's trunk.
Aug. 04, 2017
For Asian elephant keepers, working among the giants of the animal kingdom entails training, enriching and caring for the Zoo's multi-generational herd, as well as contributing to research and...
Mei Xiang eating bamboo.
Aug. 04, 2017
Behavior can tell the giant panda team quite a bit about the pandas, but the behaviors they exhibit are only half the story. When it comes to predicting when Mei Xiang will give birth, or when she is...
Asian elephant Kamala explores her habitat.
Aug. 04, 2017
Ever since 42-year-old Asian elephant Kamala arrived at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in May 2014, keeper Amanda Bobyack has helped her settle into her habitat. Part of that adjustment included...
Sumatran tiger cub born July 11
Jul. 27, 2017
As the world prepares to celebrate Global Tiger Day this Saturday, July 29, Great Cats keepers have some big news to share about the 2-week-old Sumatran tiger cub in their care: it appears to be a...