VISITORS: Please note that the Zoo will close early to pedestrians and vehicular traffic on Oct. 20, 21 and 22 in preparation for Boo at the Zoo. Please visit the hours page for full details.

Animal Care

We Save Species
Share this page:

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. 

North American Porcupine Q&A

Eight-year-old North American male porcupine Quillby has had some difficulty moving around his exhibit lately. How do we determine what's ailing him? Teamwork! Zoo veterinarian Jessica Siegal-Willott and biologist Leigh Pitsko collaborated with colleagues at the Friendship Hospital for Animals to get to the bottom of Quillby's imbalance. Learn how teamwork helped solved the mystery in this Zoo vet Q & A.

  • elephant

    National EEHV Laboratory


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

Animal Nutrition Science

aldabra tortoise munching on grass

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

Animal Enrichment

a tiger pulls on a rope connected to a large rubber ball

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