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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. (last admittance 2:30 p.m.). Select animal buildings remain closed. 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.

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Animal News

Nov. 05, 2021
Meet the loggerhead shrike—a beautiful songbird with a gruesome reputation for impaling its prey on thorns and barbs. More frightening than the “butcher bird’s” hunting habit is the reality that...
Nov. 04, 2021
Food for thought: Nutrition forms the foundation to living a healthy life. Get a taste of the challenges real-life Zoo Guardian and Clinical Animal Nutritionist, Erin Kendrick, faces as she...
Nov. 04, 2021
Keepers can learn a lot about an animal’s needs just by monitoring its weight. But how do you weigh a wiggly ferret or get a full-grown elephant onto a scale? Find out in this update from primate...
Nov. 04, 2021
Rosalie’s five 3-week-old cubs have us smiling! Over the weekend, keepers did a quick visual check on the cubs and noticed at least one had some teeth. Read on for the full update and watch a sweet...
Nov. 03, 2021
Earlier this month, our black-footed ferrets slated for breeding centers and wild release departed Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute. This included Black-footed Ferret Webcam stars Potpie...
Cardiac ultrasound performed on Guam rail.
Nov. 02, 2021
Guam rails are small, speedy ground birds who can only fly three to 10 feet at a time. They are also only the second bird in history – after the California condor – to recover from being extinct in...
Oct. 29, 2021
It was a busy week for Rosalie and her five cubs, as they moved back inside an artificial den and are back on the Cheetah Cub Cam. Animal care staff were finally able weigh each cub!
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji eating an apple.
Oct. 29, 2021
It seems that giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji inherited his mother Mei Xiang’s fondness for the scent of bubble bath. On an autumn day, keepers presented the pair with some suds to play in, and they went...
Ring-tailed lemur Southside Johnny sits next to a hibiscus flower.
Oct. 28, 2021
We’re leaping for joy and celebrating World Lemur Day at Smithsonian’s National Zoo! This special holiday—which takes place the last Friday in October—is the perfect occasion for learning all about...
Oct. 25, 2021
Cuddle puddles are back! Cheetah mom Rosalie moved her five cubs back into the den with a webcam!
Five cheetah cubs in a tall clump of grasses
Oct. 22, 2021
Animal care staff peeked in on Rosalie's five cheetah cubs in their new den of tall grasses.
A sunny field with green grass and tall grasses
Oct. 21, 2021
Cheetah mom Rosalie has picked a new "den" for her cubs. She moved them, one by one, to a large clump of tall grasses in her yard. The area is well-protected and it is not uncommon for cheetah moms...
Five cheetah cubs sleep together on a bed of straw
Oct. 19, 2021
Rosalie’s cubs are 1 week old today and there’s only good news to report: they’re adorable, fat and happy.
an adult golden-headed lion tamarin sits on a branch. two babies cling to her back.
Oct. 18, 2021
For the first time in 16 years, Smithsonian’s National Zoo is celebrating the birth of golden-headed lion tamarin twins.
Primate keeper administers vaccine to Bornean orangutan through safety mesh barrier
Oct. 15, 2021
The lions and tigers who tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 the week of Sept. 13 are recovering well. All are behaving, eating and drinking normally. Zoo animal care staff also administered the...
Cheetah mom Rosalie nurses five cubs on a bed of straw
Oct. 12, 2021
Carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, welcomed a litter of five cheetah cubs today.
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. 06, 2021
On Sunday, Oct. 3, a 2-week-old male cheetah cub was transferred to Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, and introduced to his foster cheetah family. Get the full story from cheetah reproductive...
SCBI biologist Adrienne Crosier transferred a 2-week-old male cheetah cub from Front Royal, Virginia, to Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.
Oct. 06, 2021
A 2-week-old male cheetah cub from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, was transferred to a new cheetah foster mother at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon,...
Oct. 01, 2021
Raise your trunks for the world’s largest land mammal: the elephant! Find out how animal keeper, Rebecca Riley, cares for Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Asian elephant herd.
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...
A hermit crab stands next to tall grass.
Oct. 01, 2021
"Shellebrate" land hermit crabs and take a behind-the-scenes look at how keepers built a habitat for these charismatic crustaceans. 
Oct. 01, 2021
Earlier this week, the 2-week-old cheetah cub we are temporarily hand-raising received a clean bill of health from the veterinary team! Get the full cubdate from biologist Adrienne Crosier.
Black-footed ferret released to the wild.
Sep. 24, 2021
Black-footed ferrets, North America’s only native ferret species, were thought to have gone extinct in 1979. On Sept. 26, 1981, a black-footed ferret was discovered on the Wyoming prairie. From that...
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.