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Animal News

fennec foxes
Apr. 12, 2018
Get the answers to some of the most-searched questions about the desert dwelling, big-eared fennec fox!
Western lowland gorilla Calaya in the yard.
Apr. 06, 2018
The Great Ape House is awaiting the arrival of its newest resident! Keepers have been watching western lowland gorilla Calaya’s sleep patterns, appetite and socialization, as any changes in her...
Sloth bear Niko on exhibit at Asia Trail.
Apr. 06, 2018
Get the scoop on the Zoo’s new 3-year-old sloth bear, Niko, from animal keeper Mindy Babitz.
Keeper Nikki Maticic conducts a training session with goat Mortimer.
Apr. 05, 2018
Painting with alpacas, training miniature donkeys and hosting hands-on animal encounters. It’s all in a day’s work for animal keepers Nikki Maticic and John Taylor! Follow their story for a behind-...
Western lowland gorilla Calaya participates in an ultrasound with animal keeper Melba Brown.
Mar. 30, 2018
As western lowland gorilla Calaya nears the end of her pregnancy, keepers at the Great Ape House are keeping a close watch on her, monitoring for any indication that she is in labor. Calaya is due to...
Asian elephant Spike in the Elephant Barn.
Mar. 29, 2018
This update was written by elephant keeper Kayleigh Sullivan.  It has been almost a week since Asian elephant Spike arrived at the Elephant Trails habitat. Since then, he has made himself right at...
Western lowland gorilla Calaya eating her vegetable diet.
Mar. 23, 2018
Primate keeper Melba Brown discusses nutrition for pregnant western lowland gorilla, Calaya, and the significant role of milk for her infant.
Mar. 23, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo community is celebrating the arrival of a 36-year-old male Asian elephant named Spike.
Gray Wolf
Mar. 22, 2018
Get the answers to your most internet-searched questions about gray wolves, such as "Why do gray wolves howl at the moon?" Hint: they don't!
Giant panda
Mar. 19, 2018
The beginning of March was a whirlwind at the Giant Panda Habitat. Mei Xiang finally went into peak estrus March 1 after the panda team had been monitoring her and Tian Tian 24-hours-a-day for nearly...
Bornean orangutan Redd at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Mar. 05, 2018
Get the answers to your most internet-searched questions about orangutans.
Pacu vet procedure at Amazonia
Mar. 02, 2018
Dive into the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Amazonia exhibit and discover fish that zap their prey using high-voltage electricity, a titi monkey and birds roaming freely through the flooded forest,...
Western lowland gorillas Mandara and Calaya in their yard
Mar. 02, 2018
Expectant animal mothers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo often undergo maternal training to ensure that they are successful parents to their new offspring. In addition to training the mothers-to-be...
Tentacled snake baby
Mar. 02, 2018
Tentacled snakes are masters of hiding in plain sight. This species is so stealthy that Reptile Discovery Center staff were surprised to discover three babies in their exhibit last December. What...
Mar. 01, 2018
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.
A male African lion laying on the ground with greenery in the background
Mar. 01, 2018
Visitors may have noticed that 12-year-old African lion Luke has had an on-again, off-again limp. As part of his treatment, the veterinary team is performing deep-tissue laser therapy,...
Western lowland gorilla Calaya is in her third trimester.
Feb. 23, 2018
Family dynamics and relationships can be complicated, even among gorillas. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Great Ape House is home to two groups—called troops—of western lowland gorillas.
Giant panda Mei Xiang stands in the grass next to a log in her habitat at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Feb. 21, 2018
Keepers have noticed some dramatic changes in Mei Xiang and Tian Tian’s behavior during the past several days. On Saturday, Feb. 17, Mei Xiang started showing behavioral changes that indicate she may...
giant panda bei bei eating bamboo
Feb. 16, 2018
Giant panda Bei Bei celebrated the Lunar New Year with some special Year of the Dog enrichment! 
Animal keepers Melba Brown (foreground) and Amanda Bania (background) train western lowland gorilla Calaya for ultrasounds.
Feb. 16, 2018
Primate keeper Melba Brown trained the Zoo’s pregnant western lowland gorilla, Calaya, to participate in ultrasounds. 
panda in snow
Feb. 09, 2018
Congrats and best wishes from our wild and furry team to Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea!
Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya
Feb. 09, 2018
When it comes to caring for babies at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, it takes a village. For western lowland gorilla Calaya, her village of support is the great ape animal care team and her primary...
Red pandas
Feb. 02, 2018
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, two animals that are red and white and beloved by everyone made their debut on Asia Trail! Meet Nutmeg and her son, Jackie, who came to the Zoo from the Smithsonian...
Batang and Redd on the O-Line
Feb. 01, 2018
At 16 months old, Bornean orangutan infant Redd is growing stronger and more independent every day. Read all about Redd’s progress and favorite activities in the latest Q&A with animal keeper...
Calaya gathers Timothy hay and wood wool for her nest.
Jan. 26, 2018
Everyone likes to have a cozy place to sleep. Western lowland gorillas, however, rarely sleep in the same bed twice.