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Animal News

Gray seal Birdie explores her habitat on American Trail
Sep. 01, 2017
The youngest members of American Trail’s pinniped family have made quite the splash this summer. In June, sea lion Catalina celebrated her first birthday. Meanwhile, 7-month-old gray seal Birdie is...
Meller's chameleon
Sep. 01, 2017
What animal has the ability to see in two directions at once, changes colors depending on its mood and can catch its prey with a flick of the tongue? Reptile Discovery Center keepers welcomed a brand...
Aug. 28, 2017
Since Aug. 2, Great Cats keepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have been supplemental feeding the 6-week-old male Sumatran tiger cub.
Mei Xiang
Aug. 25, 2017
Mei Xiang has started exhibiting more behaviors consistent with the secondary hormone phase of a pregnancy or a pseudopregnancy. That means that she has been spending the majority of her time...
Mei Xiang
Aug. 18, 2017
Beginning Aug. 18, the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will be partially closed to keep a quiet area around panda Mei Xiang’s den. Although we are not able to confirm if she is...
a giant panda walks along rocks
Aug. 18, 2017
The Giant Panda Habitat will be partially closed to keep a quiet area around female giant panda Mei Xiang’s den. Although keepers are not able to confirm if she is pregnant, Mei Xiang is exhibiting...
Mei Xiang receives an ultrasound
Aug. 11, 2017
Veterinarians are giving Mei Xiang weekly ultrasounds to track changes in her uterus. Though it's too early to see a possible cub on an ultrasound, SCBI scientists detected a rise in hormones,...
Aug. 07, 2017
An endangered brown kiwi chick kicked her way out of her egg at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, between Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30.
Two Asian elephants wading in a pool, surrounded by sand, grass and trees. One elephant sprays water from its trunk.
Aug. 04, 2017
For Asian elephant keepers, working among the giants of the animal kingdom entails training, enriching and caring for the Zoo's multi-generational herd, as well as contributing to research and...
Mei Xiang
Aug. 04, 2017
Behavior can tell the giant panda team quite a bit about the pandas, but the behaviors they exhibit are only half the story. When it comes to predicting when Mei Xiang will give birth, or when she is...
Asian elephant Kamala explores her habitat.
Aug. 04, 2017
Ever since 42-year-old Asian elephant Kamala arrived at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in May 2014, keeper Amanda Bobyack has helped her settle into her habitat. Part of that adjustment included...
Jul. 27, 2017
As the world prepares to celebrate Global Tiger Day this Saturday, July 29, Great Cats keepers have some big news to share about the 2-week-old Sumatran tiger cub in their care: it appears to be a...
North Island Brown Kiwi on a table
Jul. 27, 2017
See the beginning of a kiwi egg hatching in this behind-the-scenes Facebook Live at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute!
Bei Bei eating a frozen fruitsicle
Jul. 21, 2017
Activity at the giant panda habitat has slowed since the flurry of breeding season in May. Keepers, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists and veterinarians were monitoring Mei Xiang...
Batang holding Redd at Think Tank.
Jun. 30, 2017
Bornean orangutan infant Redd is 9 months old! Although he still sticks close to mom, Batang, and she keeps a watchful eye on him, he is very active and seems to enjoy exploring his surroundings.
Bourret's Box Turtle Hatchlings
Jun. 30, 2017
Shell-ebration is in order for the Reptile Discovery Center, where two critically endangered Bourret’s box turtles hatched for the first time in the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s history. This...
Red Panda
Jun. 30, 2017
Training sloth bears, making an otter puzzle feeder and researching red pandas by studying their poop is all in a day's work for an Asia Trail keeper. 
Cuban crocodile nesting
Jun. 16, 2017
It's nesting season. In April, the Reptile Discovery Center's Cuban crocodile Blanche built up a large mound nest. She constructed the nest by kicking up the mulch in the exhibit into a central...
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Jun. 14, 2017
With temperatures soaring, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo continues to take good care of its creatures — human and non-human alike! Find out what keepers do for animals in this heat.
Warthog in South Africa
Jun. 02, 2017
In April, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s chief veterinarian joined colleagues in South Africa to investigate an ancient disease that has the potential to collapse the entire ecosystem: bovine...
A Day in the Life of a Reptile Discovery Center Keeper
Jun. 02, 2017
Venture into the Reptile Discovery Center and find more than 70 species, including crocodilians, snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs and salamanders. Follow keepers Kyle Miller and Matt Neff as they...
Rebecca Sturniolo and Gunther
Jun. 02, 2017
How do keepers ensure a gray seal’s teeth are healthy? American Trail animal keeper Diana Vogel is training the Zoo’s 26-year-old male gray seal, Gunther, to voluntarily participate in dental...
May. 26, 2017
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s team of reproductive scientists, veterinarians and panda keepers performed two artificial inseminations on female giant panda Mei...
Giant panda Mei Xiang walking in the grass. There is a large rock to the right in the foreground.
May. 23, 2017
Mei Xiang, the Zoo’s 18-year-old female giant panda, is showing behavioral and physical signs of estrus.
Bei Bei
May. 18, 2017
Bei Bei is a bit of a daredevil. Although eating and sleeping are still his favorite pastimes, the giant panda cub also loves to climb trees. Lately, he has been climbing trees in his yard and...