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American Trail News Archive

Oct. 13, 2017
For the first time ever, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center has teamed up with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to track the migration of brown... read more
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... read more
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... read more
Two brown pelicans. One sits on a nest and the second spreads its wings.
Jul. 19, 2017
On July 11, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientist Autumn-Lynn Harrison set out to deploy GPS tags on the Chesapeake Bay’s brown pelicans to track their migrations and better understand the ... read more
Rebecca Sturniolo and Gunther
Jun. 02, 2017
How do keepers ensure a gray seal’s teeth are healthy? American Trail animal keeper Diana Vogel is training the Zoo’s 26-year-old male gray seal, Gunther, to voluntarily participate in dental... read more
close up of Squeegee the harbor seal's face and whiskers
Feb. 03, 2017
The Zoo’s 31-year-old male harbor seal, Squeegee, died shortly after a diagnostic medical exam Feb. 1. American Trail keepers had been monitoring Squeegee closely for several weeks after he presented... read more
Gray Seal Pup
Feb. 02, 2017
In the early morning hours Jan. 21, American Trail keepers welcomed a fifth seal to the colony! For the past two weeks, the female pup has been bonding with mom, Kara, in an off-exhibit area and... read more
Female gray seal pup
Jan. 25, 2017
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s American Trail team is celebrating the arrival of a female gray seal pup, born Jan. 21 at 12:43 a.m. to mother Kara. 
Gray Seal Selkie
Nov. 10, 2016
The Smithsonian's National Zoo’s senior female gray seal, Selkie, died today. At 43 years old, Selkie was the oldest gray seal living in human care. The lifespan of a wild gray seal is usually 25 or... read more
California Sea Lion Pup
Aug. 26, 2016
Visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo can view 2-month-old female sea lion Catalina making a splash on American Trail. Born June 26, Catalina is the first sea lion pup born at the Zoo in 32... read more