Behold a brunch between a sloth and a golden lion tamarin, catch a close-up of newborn black-footed ferret kits and get a glimpse of giant pandas gorging themselves on bamboo shoots. All of these events (and more) made for a memorable May at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Although the Zoo remains temporarily closed to the public, our team continues to provide the best care to every one of our residents. Take a peek behind the scenes at some adorable animal antics!
Giant Panda | Asia Trail
A tale of two Tian Tians: the calm and the storm. Whether he’s quietly enjoying an afternoon fruitsicle or going toe-to-toe with a towel scented with non-toxic bubble bath, there’s no denying he’s one adorable giant panda.
When Tian Tian is in rut, he is very interested in playing with different textiles, especially if keepers add a unique scent to them. In this video, Asia Trail keepers dabbled some of his favorite bubble bath solution on a towel. Tian Tian is scent-anointing—or, as keepers call it, “washing” his ears and cheeks! For a treat, he also receives a fruitsicle—a frozen block of diluted apple, grape or pineapple juice sprinkled with chunks of apples or pears.
Two-Toed Sloth and Golden Lion Tamarin | Small Mammal House
Saturday brunch with Vlad and Izzy, and beets are on the menu! Our 33-year-old two-toed sloth and 7-year-old golden lion tamarin often dine on veggies together. Beets are a favorite food of Vlad’s. He doesn’t seem to mind as Izzy plops down on top of him, noshing on her beet. Vlad is no stranger to these precocious monkeys. Past tamarins would often jump on him while he cruised the exhibit, going for a sloth ride! Sometimes, they take his food, but keepers say he seems to enjoy the attention.