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Animal News

Animal keeper Warren Lynch and veterinary technician Lisa Ware conduct a final exam on the Guam rails prior to shipment.
Mar. 23, 2017
After a ten-year hiatus, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) repatriated three female Guam rails to their native Guam. The birds, referred to as ko’ko’ locally, departed Virginia on...
aerial view of scbi campus
Mar. 23, 2017
The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, a partnership between George Mason University and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), is excited to be offering its popular course: ...
Tian Tian Eating Bamboo
Mar. 23, 2017
Tian Tian is ready for breeding season. He is in full rut, which means that he frequently scent marks and can be very restless. Those are normal behaviors for a male panda readying himself for...
Sea otter floats on its back in the water and uses rock to open clam
Mar. 22, 2017
Tool use by sea otters to break open well-armored food is not necessarily a family matter, according to a new study published this week by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and...
cheetah cubs running in grass
Mar. 21, 2017
Friends of the National Zoo has updated its online experience for members and customers. If you're a FONZ member or have made a transaction with FONZ in the past, you already have an account — you...
Adult scimitar-horned oryx and calf in the wild in Chad
Mar. 17, 2017
A second scimitar-horned oryx calf has been born in the wild. The species has been extinct in the wild since the 1980s, but reintroductions led by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and the Government of...
Eastern red-backed salamander
Mar. 16, 2017
A recent paper by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists with the Center for Species Survival found that salamanders were larger in warmer parts of their range. The scientists also...
Giant panda Bei Bei rests and eats bamboo on a rock in his indoor habitat
Mar. 15, 2017
The Smithsonian's National Zoo has received good questions about the giant panda weaning process and recent behaviors exhibited by Bei Bei and Mei Xiang. The giant panda science and animal care team...
Elephant in water
Mar. 14, 2017
With a FONZ Conservation Grant, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute scientists are able to understand the family trees of elephants at zoos around the country, as well as...
Mar. 10, 2017
The Smithsonian's National Zoo is celebrating Easter Monday: A Washington Family Tradition (April 17), Earth Optimism Summit (April 21 - 23), Earth Optimism Day (April 22) and International Migratory...
Mar. 09, 2017
The Smithsonian will convene the first Earth Optimism Summit, a three-day event featuring more than 150 scientists, thought leaders, philanthropists, conservationists and civic leaders, which will...
Giant panda Bao Bao eating bamboo in China at the Dujiangyan panda base
Mar. 09, 2017
Bao Bao is settling into her new home in China. Upon arriving at the Dujiangyan panda base, Bao Bao entered her new habitat without hesitation and immediately started exploring. True to character,...
Bei Bei
Mar. 04, 2017
People who have been watching the panda cams have seen some big changes over the last few weeks. Bei Bei is weaning from Mei Xiang. We have heard from many worried panda fans as Mei Xiang and Bei Bei...
Redd climbs the wall of his enclosure.
Mar. 03, 2017
Five-month-old Bornean orangutan Redd has sprouted four teeth! Get the latest scoop on the growing primate infant from animal keeper Elliott Rosenthal.
Porcupette
Mar. 03, 2017
We’re celebrating the newest member of the Small Mammal House, a baby prehensile tailed porcupine, by taking a closer look at one of the species' defining characteristics—quills!
Grand Cayman Blue Iguana
Mar. 03, 2017
What does it mean when a Cayman Island blue iguana bobs his head? It could mean “stay away from my territory” or “let’s mate!” Check out the photo slideshow for some of keeper Kyle Miller’s favorite...
a clouded leopard cub rests in the gloved hands of a veterinarian
Mar. 02, 2017
On March 1, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and the Nashville Zoo announced the birth of a male clouded leopard from an artificial insemination procedure using...
kirtland's warbler sitting on a branch
Mar. 02, 2017
Using new and minute technology, Smithsonian scientists have, for the first time ever, tracked one of North America’s rarest birds―the Kirtland’s warbler―throughout its full annual cycle, revealing...
pale green snake coiled on a branch
Mar. 01, 2017
We HERD you loud and clear! You want additional opportunities for exclusive access to the Zoo animals you love. That’s why we are excited to announce our new benefit just for FONZ members: the Early...
cheetah cub
Feb. 28, 2017
Join world-renowned scientists for in-depth discussions about how new technology is impacting conservation management of endangered species.
Amani and Barafu
Feb. 27, 2017
At the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), our cheetah breeding program has been very successful since its beginnings eight years ago. The cheetah breeding facility is nine acres and...
a baby prehensile-tailed porcupine lounges on a tree branch
Feb. 24, 2017
The Small Mammal House recently welcomed a baby prehensile-tailed porcupine! Baby porcupines are known, adorably, as porcupettes. 
Cuban crocodiles at the Reptile Discovery Center lifting their snouts out of the water.
Feb. 23, 2017
The Reptile Discovery Center’s research on Cuban crocodiles continues! Currently, the team is listening for and recording vocalizations.
Giant panda Bao Bao sits and eats bamboo
Feb. 22, 2017
Bao Bao, her keeper Marty Dearie and Dr. Katharine Hope landed at China’s Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport around 6:59 p.m. CST after a 16-hour direct flight aboard the “FedEx Panda Express,”...
Giant panda Bao Bao looks out of travel crate at keeper Marty Dearie shortly after arriving in China
Feb. 22, 2017
Giant panda Bao Bao and Zoo staff landed at China’s Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport around 6:59 p.m.