Visitors: Please note that winter hours began on Oct. 1. Please see the hours page for updated opening and closing times.


Meet the residents of the Zoo
  • peacock with feathers spread
  • cheetah
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Founded in 1889, the Smithsonian's National Zoo sits on 163 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park and is home to more than 1,500 animals across 300 different species.

The Zoo’s commitment to conservation, research, and education also extends to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, located in nearby Front Royal, Virginia. SCBI scientists and animal care experts conduct veterinary and reproductive research to save wildlife and habitats for some of the world’s most endangered animals on the sprawling 3,200-acre campus.

Animal News

Oct 20, 2016
Giant panda Bao Bao will depart the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for China in late winter, within the... more
Oct 20, 2016
Why is Bao Bao leaving the Smithsonian’s National Zoo? As part of the cooperative breeding program... more
Oct 14, 2016
Our veterinary team visited the giant panda habitat last week for routine checkups on all of the... more

Today's Events

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Animal Enrichment

From painting primates to piano-playing otters, learn how enrichment activities keep the Zoo's animals physically and mentally stimulated.

Veterinary Care

Learn how keepers and veterinarians provide the best possible care for the Zoo's animals


The Zoo's three webcams are some of the most famous on the internet. Tune in to watch the Zoo's giant pandas, elephants, and lions!