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VISITORS: Please note that despite the government shutdown, the Zoo is scheduled to remain open on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21. Please check back for updates.
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Animal News

Feb. 22, 2017
Early this morning, wild, migratory black-crowned night herons were seen for the first time this year returning to their nesting colony near the Zoo's Bird House—their only rookery in Washington, D.C.
Feb. 21, 2017
VIDEO: Here's a look back at what Bao Bao means to all of us.
Feb. 21, 2017
Bao Bao began her journey to China this morning. She departed the Smithsonian’s National Zoo at 10:35 for Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia where she will board a FedEx 777F plane...
Bao Bao's birth
Feb. 16, 2017
As keepers prepared to say bye-bye to Bao Bao, they shared some of their favorite memories of the playful and inquisitive cub who made history.
Feb. 16, 2017
Relive some of giant panda Bao Bao's best moments in this video!
Bao Bao eats bamboo at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
Feb. 16, 2017
At the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, giant pandas sit in their habitat munching contentedly on bamboo shoots. But, consider that giant pandas—native to China—were once on the brink of extinction. And,...
Giant panda Bao Bao climbs over a tree branch
Feb. 06, 2017
Giant panda Bao Bao will depart the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for China Feb. 21.
Amazon milk frog
Feb. 03, 2017
Did you know: the Amazon milk frog has special toe pads on its feet to help them climb plants. They're so strong they can hold up to 14 times the animal's body weight! Check out even more fun facts...
close up of Squeegee the harbor seal's face and whiskers
Feb. 03, 2017
The Zoo’s 31-year-old male harbor seal, Squeegee, died shortly after a diagnostic medical exam Feb. 1. American Trail keepers had been monitoring Squeegee closely for several weeks after he presented...
Gray Seal Pup
Feb. 02, 2017
In the early morning hours Jan. 21, American Trail keepers welcomed a fifth seal to the colony! For the past two weeks, the female pup has been bonding with mom, Kara, in an off-exhibit area and...
Sparky
Feb. 02, 2017
Love is in the air for the Zoo’s Sumatran tigers, Sparky and Damai! Their relationship, says keeper Dell Guglielmo, has been blossoming ever since the pair was introduced last September.
Female bobcat
Jan. 30, 2017
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo reports that a female bobcat, Ollie, has escaped her enclosure. There is no imminent danger to Zoo guests or general public. Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to...
Female gray seal pup
Jan. 25, 2017
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s American Trail team is celebrating the arrival of a female gray seal pup, born Jan. 21 at 12:43 a.m. to mother Kara. 
Bao Bao munching on bamboo in the snow
Jan. 18, 2017
Join the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for “Bye Bye, Bao Bao,” a series of online and on-site celebratory events to bid a fond farewell to giant panda Bao Bao (BOW-BOW) before she departs for China.
giant panda bei bei in his habitat
Jan. 10, 2017
Bei Bei is continuing to recover well from his major surgery, and he started eating small amounts of bamboo again a few weeks ago. He now gets several meals of leaf eater biscuits, sweet potatoes and...
MICA students in the Elephant Community Center
Jan. 06, 2017
How big does a “weeble-wobble” have to be to withstand the strength of six female Asian elephants? Over the fall 2016 semester, students at MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art, sought to...
Calaya
Jan. 06, 2017
Calaya is not like the Zoo’s other western lowland gorillas. For months, keepers tried to encourage Calaya to train and participate in enrichment activities to no avail. Then came an “AHA!” moment: ...
Bei Bei
Dec. 16, 2016
As Bei Bei recovers from surgery, his diet is slowly returning to normal but he still needs to wait until he can eat bamboo. However, he continues to gain weight, and has crossed the 100-pound (45...
Batang and Redd (infant)
Nov. 30, 2016
What has the Zoo’s 10-week-old Bornean orangutan, Redd, been up to? His social circle is expanding, says keeper Erin Stromberg, and his personality and curiosity are starting to develop! Get the...
Anne Gilewski, registered veterinary technician, checks giant panda cub Bei Bei's vital prior to surgery.
Nov. 25, 2016
Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s giant panda cub Bei Bei is stable and recovering following an emergency bowel obstruction surgery to remove a dense, masticated lemon-sized mass of bamboo.
Redd
Nov. 23, 2016
Happy Orangutan Caring Week! We’re celebrating the Zoo’s seven orangutans by sharing their stories.
Bei Bei
Nov. 21, 2016
Bei Bei is becoming more and more independent from his mother Mei Xiang every day. It is hard to believe, but the time is rapidly approaching when he will live separately from her.
Agouti baby
Nov. 04, 2016
The Smithsonian National Zoo's new agouti needs a name and we need your help!  
Andean Bear Cisco at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Oct. 24, 2016
A 23-year-old male Andean bear named Cisco died at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Oct. 24 during an emergency veterinary exam. In the past week, Cisco became less active and began breathing more...
Bao Bao in her yard eating bamboo
Oct. 20, 2016
Giant panda Bao Bao will depart the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for China in late winter, within the first few months of 2017.