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Animal News

A whooping crane chick receives a mealworm from its mother.
Jun. 17, 2022
For the first time, a whooping crane—one of the most endangered species of crane in the world —hatched May 26 and is thriving at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal,...
Jun. 03, 2022
The ocean has many unusual inhabitants, but few are as strange and ancient as the horseshoe crab.
A binturong peeks its head out from behind a trunk of a tree. It's standing on a wooden box of sorts and there are leaves behind it.
Jun. 03, 2022
Put your senses to the test at the Claws and Paws Pathway! Follow your nose to the binturongs, who smell like buttered popcorn, and keep your eyes peeled for petite Pallas’s cats hiding in plain...
Jun. 03, 2022
In March and April, keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, celebrated the arrival of two male kiwi chicks! Get to know them in this update from the bird...
Jun. 01, 2022
Slow down for a minute and meet the Zoo’s turtle-y awesome Asian box turtles! Read on to find out what it takes to care for Bourret’s box turtles and other species.
The binturong exhibit on the Claws and Paws Pathway. The pathway is circular, with the binturong exhibit in the center. The area is surrounded by a low black fence and the exhibit is covered in black mesh. Inside there are wooden climbing structures.
May. 27, 2022
Prowl the new Claws & Paws Pathway exhibit opening to the public Friday, May 27. Visitors will encounter a North American porcupine, bobcats and the Zoo’s newest residents — binturongs and Pallas...
May. 23, 2022
Wood turtles are one of the most endangered freshwater turtles in North America. To ensure a future for these reptiles, scientists first need to understand where wood turtles remain and how many are...
Harbor Seal Rabbit
May. 18, 2022
We are sad to share that our male harbor seal, Rabbit, died May 13. He was 15 years old. 
A flock of flamingos stands on sandy ground next to a pool of water. Their enclosure is seen behind them with mesh fencing.
May. 03, 2022
Staff at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are devastated and mourning the loss of 25 American flamingos and one Northern pintail duck killed by a fox yesterday in the...
Vietnamese mossy frog sitting on a branch
Apr. 28, 2022
Meet the cutest clump of “moss” you ever did see: the Vietnamese mossy frog! In spring, the Reptile Discovery Center team celebrated the arrival of 50 hatchlings. Learn what it takes to set the mood...
Apr. 28, 2022
Snot otter, devil dog, or hellbender? Whatever name you call them, they are largest salamander in the Americas. Check out how animal keeper Matt Neff cares for and studies these unique salamanders!
A zebra runs through a field
Apr. 28, 2022
Young animals learn what it means to be an animal—what to eat, how to behave and more—from their parents. For Yipes, our 1-year-old male Hartmann’s mountain zebra, those lessons most recently came...
Gorillas Moke and Mandara sit atop a boulder in their outdoor habitat.
Apr. 28, 2022
April, or Ape-ril, is a great time to recognize our apes because many of them celebrate their birthdays this month! 
Lemur frog on a coconut shell
Apr. 28, 2022
'Hoppy' Amphibian Awareness Week! All week long, the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute will be sharing stories about amazing amphibians and the scientists working to save...
Two lesser kudu calves laying next to one another in a bed of wood shavings.
Apr. 27, 2022
Cheetah Conservation Station keepers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are rejoicing in the birth of two lesser kudu calves. For the second time in 6 months, Small...
Apr. 26, 2022
The 6-month-old cheetah cubs are growing well and are ready to play! Plus, their individual personalities are starting to shine through. Get the latest update on Rosalie's cubs from cheetah biologist...
Apr. 26, 2022
In April, the commissary team was busy creating colorful ice cakes for giant pandas Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Xiao Qi Ji in celebration of the 50th anniversary of giant pandas at the Zoo.
Apr. 20, 2022
When female Asian elephant Swarna joined our herd in May 2014, her routine tooth exams showed an unusual shape and wear pattern on her teeth. Elephant dentistry specialists joined the Zoo’s team to...
A man and woman stand in on a rocky ledge behind a large ice cake with the number 50 on it
Apr. 16, 2022
To commemorate 50 years of unprecedented achievement in the care, conservation, breeding and study of giant pandas, the Smithsonian's National Zoo’s in-residence giant panda family—Tian Tian, Mei...
A cheetah and her five cubs resting together on a pile of hay in a grassy yard
Apr. 13, 2022
Did you know that all animals have trillions of microscopic bacteria living inside them? These communities of microbes, known as microbiomes, play an important role in keeping animals healthy.
Apr. 11, 2022
Presentation of panda-friendly fruitsicle cakes to giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, his mother Mei Xiang and father Tian Tian. 
Apr. 11, 2022
On April 5, the D.C. Council passed a Ceremonial Resolution declaring April 2022, “Giant Panda Month” in recognition and celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and...
Apr. 01, 2022
To celebrate 50 years of giant panda care, collaboration and conservation, we’ve curated a collection of cute Giant Panda Cam moments from the past decade that connected viewers with nature, sparked...
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji hanging upside down from his outdoor play structure.
Mar. 31, 2022
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SNZCBI) and National Head Start Association (NHSA) have announced today, March 31, a yearlong partnership to provide free nature-...
Giant panda Xiao Qi Ji looking up at the viewer.
Mar. 31, 2022
On April 16, the giant panda team will celebrate an enormous milestone—the 50th anniversary of our giant panda program! For giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, another important milestone is approaching:...