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The zoo is open! All visitors will require free entry passes and be required to follow safety measures. Free timed-entry Asia Trail/Panda Passes are required for the giant panda viewing.

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Animal News

Jun. 14, 2021
How do you create a menu that is pleasing to the palates of giant pandas, flamingos and fishing cats? With more than 2,700 mouths to feed among 390 species, the Department of Nutrition Science whips...
blue-hued chromoproteins in Hawaiian blue rice coral may make it more resilient to UV rays and climate change than corals that are brown in color
Jun. 09, 2021
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists are one step closer to understanding why some corals can weather climate change better than others, and the secret could be in a specific protein...
Jun. 07, 2021
From the deepest trenches to the shallowest shores and across five basins, water circulates in one interconnected system: the world ocean. This World Ocean Day, discover how seemingly different...
Jun. 04, 2021
Whooping cranes are graceful, expressive and curious creatures. Get acquainted with these big, beautiful birds in this Q+A with Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute keeper Chris Crowe.
Jun. 04, 2021
Slow down with Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s three southern two-toed sloths. Keeper Kara Ingraham works with Athena and Vlad in the Small Mammal House, and keeper Denny Charlton tends to Howie in...
Jun. 03, 2021
The spring and summer months are a chorus of songbird calls and songs at SCBI. As the breeding season begins, staff prepare artificial nest boxes for birds that will find mates, compete for real...
Jun. 01, 2021
Potpie's kits turned one week old and received their first exams on May 26! During their exam, keepers weighed the kits and were able to determine their sexes. 
May. 28, 2021
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji greeted his fans . . . then promptly fell asleep in his favorite tree. Get the latest news in assistant curator Laurie Thompson’s #PandaStory update.
Black-footed ferret mom Potpie and her newborn kit on the Black-footed Ferret Cam livestream
May. 19, 2021
Carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, are welcoming a litter of endangered black-footed ferret kits. Three-year-old female Potpie has birthed...
a 17-year Brood X cicada sits on a leaf
May. 18, 2021
Local songbirds will take advantage of the abundance of cicadas, something Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientists are eager to study.
Indian flying foxes roosting in a tree in Myanmar.
May. 18, 2021
In new study, Smithsonian scientists and partners provide a framework for a new approach to modeling infectious diseases. It adapts established methods developed to study the planet’s natural systems...
A sleepy giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji cradles a slice of apple in his paws.
May. 14, 2021
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji is branching out into new places to play!  Get the scoop in assistant curator Laurie Thompson’s latest #PandaStory update. 
Lion statue at Zoo's entrance with face covering.
May. 11, 2021
When visitors return to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute May 21, they will find both familiar and new faces as they explore the park.
May. 05, 2021
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has long championed the simple idea that birds matter. When we take care of birds, we take care of the interconnected natural systems that we all depend upon for...
Bornean Rajah scops owl roosting in a tree.
May. 03, 2021
The Bornean subspecies of Rajah scops owl (Otus brookii brookii), documented in the wild for the first time since 1892, may be its own unique species and deserving of a conservation designation....
May. 02, 2021
'Hoppy' Amphibian Awareness Week! All week long, the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute will be sharing stories about amazing amphibians and the scientists working to save...
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji sitting in the grass.
Apr. 30, 2021
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji is very engaged with his surroundings! Soon, he will start husbandry training, enabling him to participate in his own healthcare. See more videos in keeper Mariel Lally’s #...
Apr. 30, 2021
Crash into May with black rhinos, Zoo Guardians’ animal of the month! Dr. Francesca Vitali is a wildlife veterinarian and Morris Animal Foundation postdoctoral fellow with the Smithsonian...
Apr. 30, 2021
Standing eye-to-eye with a southern cassowary, it is easy to see how this giant bird is considered the dinosaurs’ closest living relative. In October 2020, we took two of these avian ambassadors...
Hartmann's mountain zebra Yipes stands in a pasture filled with tall trees.
Apr. 30, 2021
Spring’s arrival brought about some big changes in the life of our 9-month-old Hartmann’s mountain zebra colt, Yipes. 
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...
Brood X cicada nymph
Apr. 29, 2021
The 17-year Brood X cicadas are here and for some Zoo animals it's the beginning of a tasty bug buffet.
Lesser kudu calf laying down in the sand.
Apr. 29, 2021
Cheetah Conservation Station keepers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a male lesser kudu calf, who was born Mar. 29 to 7-year-old mother Rogue and 10-year-old father...
Lion statue wearing face mask.
Apr. 23, 2021
The Smithsonian announced today that the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, along with seven other museums, will reopen to the public soon. We are thrilled to welcome you...
Lion statue wearing face mask.
Apr. 23, 2021
The Smithsonian will reopen eight of its facilities to the public in May, starting with the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, Wednesday, May 5....