Beginning Jan. 18, 2022, the Zoo is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. All visitors ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces at the Zoo, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to wear a mask in outdoor areas. Select animal buildings remain closed.

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Kelly Helmick, D.V.M., D.A.C.Z.M.

Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer
B.S., Texas Christian University; M.S., University of Florida; D.V.M, Texas A&M University; Board-certified diplomate, American College of Zoological Medicine (DACZM)

As the Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer, Dr. Kelly Helmick oversees the veterinary health program for the Smithsonian Conservation and Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia. Dr. Helmick is responsible for daily hospital operations, supervises veterinary staff and works closely with the veterinary, curatorial, keeper, research, nutrition and pathology staff at both the National Zoological Park and SCBI.

A diplomat of the American College of Zoological Medicine, Dr. Helmick also serves as an accreditation inspector for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a reviewer for the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine and served on the Executive Board of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Dr. Helmick has worked as a clinical veterinarian at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, El Paso Zoo, Seattle Aquarium and Woodland Park Zoo.
Dr. Helmick received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University before completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri-Columbia, followed by an aquatic animal internship at the Mystic Aquarium. She completed the zoo and wildlife residency at the University of Florida with a concurrent Master of Science degree focusing on antibiotic pharmacology in reptiles.
Recent Publications: 

Helmick, K.E. and V. E. Milne. 2012. Iron deficiency anemia in captive Malayan tapir calves (Tapirius indicus). J. Zoo. Wildl. Med. 43(4): 875-883.

Helmick, K.E., E.L. Kendrick, E.S. Dierenfeld. 2011. Diet manipulation as treatment for elevated serum iron parameters in captive Raggiana Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea raggiana). J. Zoo Wildl. Med. 42(3): 460-467.

Garner, M.M., K. Helmick, J. Ochsenreiter, L.K. Richman, E. Latimer, A.G. Wise, R.K. Maes, M. Kiupel, R.W. Nordhausen, J.C. Zong and G.S. Hayward. 2009. Clinico-pathologic features of fatal disease attributed to new variants of endotheliotropic herpesviruses in two Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Vet. Pathol. 6(1):97-104.