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Beginning Jan. 18, 2022, the Zoo is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. All visitors ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces at the Zoo, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to wear a mask in outdoor areas. Select animal buildings remain closed.

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Great Cats News Archive

Nov. 12, 2021
Each spring, the Northern Great Plains erupts with life as migratory birds return to build nests and raise their young. Smithsonian researchers are studying these grassland birds that nets in areas... read more
Oct. 08, 2021
The lions and tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo who tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 the week of Sept. 13 are behaving and eating normally.
Oct. 01, 2021
The lions and tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo continue to be treated for COVID-19. All tigers and lions, including the three lions noted of concern in the Sept. 24 update, are improving and... read more
Sep. 24, 2021
The lions and tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo continue to be treated for COVID-19. All tigers and three lions are eating normally and improving. Three lions are of greater concern.
Jul. 02, 2021
The new guy in town is calm, curious and cautious. In other words, he’s one cool cat. Meet Metis, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s new 5-year-old Amur tiger! 
Apr. 29, 2021
How do animal keepers take a blood sample from an elephant or examine a big cat's teeth? Find out how training helps keepers care for animals that they can't share a physical space with in this... read more
Amahle, the Zoo's 6-year-old female lion, lays with one of the enrichment balls in an indoor enclosure.
Jan. 08, 2021
Lions, tigers, cheetahs and bobcats – let’s play! Keepers Katy Juliano, Adri Kopp and Amber Dedrick know how to get the big cats they work with pouncing, roaring and purring for enrichment.
Aug. 21, 2020
A new genomic study ranks the potential of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to bind to the ACE2 receptor site in 410 vertebrate animals. Old World primates and great apes, which have identical amino... read more
Jul. 29, 2020
Just how big are tigers? How far can they jump? And what does tiger poop look like? July 29 is International Tiger Day, so sink your teeth into these fun facts about big cats.
Jul. 02, 2020
A family meal among prairie dogs, the soothing sounds of a cheetah’s purr and a Pride cake fit for a giant panda. As summer kicks off at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology... read more