Animal Care

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The Smithsonian National Zoo's Center for Animal Care Sciences provides science-based husbandry, medical care and population management for the health and well-being of all animals at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, as well as for animals at other zoos and in the wild. Center for Animal Care Sciences veterinarians, curators, researchers and animal care staff lead and participate in initiatives focusing on population sustainability, wildlife health and emerging diseases, nutrition, animal behavior and cognition, animal management, and exhibitry through enhanced enrichment and training programs. 

Animal Nutrition Science

aldabra tortoise eating grass

Ever wonder what zoo animals eat and why? Learn the science behind zoo diets.

Veterinary Care

veterinarian examining the eyes of a cheetah cub

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

Elephant Dentistry

When female Asian elephant Swarna joined our herd in May 2014, her routine tooth exams showed an unusual shape and wear pattern on her teeth. Elephant dentistry specialists joined the Zoo’s team to remove the culprit tooth.

Animal Enrichment

Three-month-old cheetah cub at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute plays with an enrichment toy.

The enrichment program provides physically and mentally stimulating toys, activities and environments for all the Zoo’s animals.