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Animal News

Asian water dragon mother (top) and parthenogenic offspring (bottom).
Jun. 07, 2019
For four years, the Reptile Discovery Center’s Asian water dragon female lived alone. Then, while examining eggs as part of a study, animal keepers made a shocking discovery—one was fertile! How...
North American river otter pup Potomac explores his habitat at American Trail.
May. 31, 2019
The Zoo's 4-month-old North American river otter pups are gaining confidence and exploring their habitat on American Trail, says animal keeper Jackie Spicer. 
A small bear cub sitting on a shag rug looks up at a poster of Smokey Bear with the text "Remember - Only you can prevent forest fires!"
May. 28, 2019
Smokey Bear has been preventing wildfires for 75 years. In celebration, we’ve collaborated with the Forest Service to bring Zoo visitors a new exhibit highlighting the story of this famous bear.
Mei Xiang eating a fruitsicle.
May. 20, 2019
Roughly a month and a half after Mei Xiang’s artificial insemination, things at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat are settling into their regular routine. 
Asian elephant Shanthi (foreground) at the Elephant Trails Exhibit. In the background are Ambika (L) and Bozie (R).
May. 17, 2019
Like many aging animals, Asian elephant Shanthi has osteoarthritis. She was first diagnosed with the chronic condition when she was in her teens. Zoo keepers and veterinarians have spent decades...
A giant panda takes a bite of a rainbow-themed ice treat for International Family Equality Day at the Zoo
May. 06, 2019
On May 5, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute welcomed thousands of visitors to celebrate community and diversity in recognition of International Family Equality Day.
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May. 03, 2019
Happy salamander Saturday! This annual holiday honoring these amazing amphibians takes place on the first Saturday in May. To celebrate, we’re counting down animal keeper Matt Neff’s top six favorite...
Bornean orangutan Redd presents his ear to primate keeper Erin Stromberg during husbandry training sessions.
May. 03, 2019
Over the winter, Bornean orangutan Redd learned some new husbandry behaviors! Read the latest #OrangutanStory from primate keeper Erin Stromberg. 
Allen's swamp monkey Nub Armstrong.
May. 03, 2019
Two peanuts sit on a tray. One is beneath the curve of a tool; the other is beside a different tool, out of reach. Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Allen’s swamp monkey Nub Armstrong is eyeing both. Will...
Western lowland gorillas Moke and Kibibi wrestle at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Great Ape House.
Apr. 12, 2019
It is hard to believe that an entire year has passed since the day that Moke, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo's infant western lowland gorilla, was born. In the blink of an eye, he has grown from a...
A beaver with thick, brown, wet fur, small paws and orange teeth
Apr. 05, 2019
April 7 is International Beaver Day, so sink your (orange) teeth into these fun beaver facts!
Two ring-tailed lemurs with thick fur, yellow eyes, and ringed tails sit close together on a small wooden deck
Apr. 05, 2019
Lemurs like to do more than move it, move it. At the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, these primates party! Every April, animal keepers throw a big birthday bash for the Zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs, black-...
North American River Otter Pups Coquille (female), Potomac (male) and Nash (male).
Apr. 05, 2019
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is otterly delighted to introduce Coquille, Potomac and Nash — American Trail’s adorable North American river otter pups! Get the latest news in this PUPdate.
An adult female fishing cat named Elektra nursing her two kittens in a den covered with soft hay at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in 2012.
Apr. 01, 2019
Fishing cats are vulnerable in the wild across South and Southeast Asia, and sightings by scientists are few and far between. Not many of these small spotted cats live in zoos either, which could...
Mar. 29, 2019
A team of reproductive scientists, veterinarians and panda keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute performed an artificial insemination on giant panda Mei Xiang (...
Moke, Calaya and Baraka explore the outdoor yard at the Great Ape House.
Mar. 22, 2019
Get the scoop on the reunion between western lowland gorilla infant Moke and his troop from Becky Malinsky, assistant curator of Primates. 
giant panda mei xiang in her yard
Mar. 21, 2019
On March 15, Mei Xiang started exhibiting behavioral signs that breeding season is approaching!
Mar. 20, 2019
A wallaby popped its head out of its mother’s pouch last week at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. 
A naked mole-rat eating a piece of lettuce.
Mar. 06, 2019
There seems to be a favorite in the naked mole-rat colony. 
A black-and-white photo from 1899 of a group of schoolchildren looking at an American bison at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Mar. 01, 2019
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo opened its doors in 1891. To celebrate its 130th anniversary, look back at how the Zoo has evolved through the years.
Asian elephant Swarna at the Elephant Trails exhibit.
Mar. 01, 2019
When Asian elephant Swarna needed her teeth examined, animal keepers tried something that had never been done at the Zoo before. Over two months, they trained the 44-year-old elephant to voluntarily...
Orangutans Batang and Redd at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Think tank exhibit.
Mar. 01, 2019
Let’s play a game…for science! With a tap of the touch-screen computer, orangutans at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo try their memories at matching pictures. These games help scientists study the...
Amur tiger Nikita makes her debut at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Great Cats exhibit on Feb. 26, 2019.
Mar. 01, 2019
A sassy new resident made her debut at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo this week! Animal care staff recently welcomed Amur tiger Nikita to the Great Cats exhibit. Get to know her in this Q&A.
Moke, the Zoo's 9-month-old western lowland gorilla at the Great Ape House.
Feb. 26, 2019
With each passing day, western lowland gorilla infant Moke places more weight on his injured leg. His gait and movement have improved over the past month. 
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Feb. 14, 2019
This Valentine’s Day (or any day!) celebrate with your beloved and 2,700 of your closest animal friends at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.