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× EFFECTIVE MONDAY, NOV. 23: As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums will temporarily close. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our websites and social media.
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Zoo News Archive

a giant panda cub named Xiao Qi Ji lies sleepily on a white table
Nov. 25, 2020
In their latest update, giant panda keepers Marty Dearie and Mariel Lally reflect on the “little miracle” that is Xiao Qi JI and share details about a recent field trip where the cub spotted his dad...
Nov. 24, 2020
To our members: Thank you again for your sustained support. It means more now than ever before.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo's 3-month-old giant panda cub (Nov. 18, 2020).
Nov. 23, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s 3-month-old giant panda cub received his name today. After five days of voting and just under 135,000 votes, the winning name is...
A small, flightless bird called a Guam rail with long legs and toes, and brown and silver fur walks through a mulchy habitat at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Nov. 20, 2020
We care for many rare and endangered species here at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, including a little brown bird named Tasi. Tasi is a 4-year-old Guam rail...
The Zoo's 3-month-old giant panda cub during a vet exam Nov. 18, 2020.
Nov. 20, 2020
Big milestones are on the horizon for our giant panda cub. Tomorrow he turns 3 months old, and on Monday he’ll receive his name! (Did we mention tips the scale in double digits?) Get the update from...
Nov. 20, 2020
A note from the Zoo's Director, Steve Monfort, on the closing of the Zoo.
Nov. 19, 2020
Due to rising regional and national cases related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, all Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo, will temporarily close to the public starting Monday,...
two poisonous crested rats touch nose-to-nose
Nov. 19, 2020
The African crested rat (Lophiomys imhausi) is hardly the continent’s most fearsome-looking creature—the rabbit-sized rodent resembles a gray puffball crossed with a skunk—yet its fur is packed with...
Giant panda cub
Nov. 16, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is asking the public to help name the male giant panda cub, now 9.2 pounds of adorable, at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda...
Giant panda cub on Nov. 9, 2020 during a keeper exam.
Nov. 12, 2020
Adventure time for our giant panda cub! Over the weekend, Mei Xiang brought him into their indoor habitat to practice his crawling skills while she ate bamboo. Get the update from keeper Nicole...
ZooLights Express flatbed truck with holiday sparkle
Nov. 10, 2020
ZooLights Express—powered by Pepco—will bring the colorful glow of Washington, D.C.’s beloved Smithsonian’s National Zoo holiday tradition into the community beginning Nov. 27. Festively decorated...
American bison on the American Prairie Reserve in Montana.
Nov. 09, 2020
Spending your days with a herd of bison is an idyllic way to pass a summer. I would know, because most of my days from May to August were spent observing the behaviors of a herd of about 300 bison in...
A 6.5-month-old cheetah cub enjoys a horse knuckle bone for the first time!
Nov. 09, 2020
Echo’s 6.5-month-old cheetah cubs’ world is growing, just as they are all growing stronger and larger too. Catch the full cubdate from biologist Adrienne Crosier.
Giant panda cub at 10 weeks old.
Nov. 06, 2020
October was an exciting month for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s giant panda cub! His eyes and ears opened, mother Mei Xiang took him on “field trips” to explore the world outside their den and he...
Sea lion Charger and North American beaver Poppy at the American Trail exhibit.
Nov. 06, 2020
There are two new (adorable) kids on the block at American Trail! The team welcomed California sea lion pup Charger and North American beaver Poplar to their new homes at Smithsonian’s National Zoo...
Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko hatchling
Nov. 06, 2020
At the Reptile Discovery Center, keepers play matchmaker to true masters of disguise: Henkel’s leaf-tailed geckos! 
American bison Lucy
Nov. 06, 2020
They’re bossy, playful and always in the mood for food—meet Lucy and Gally, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s new American Bison! 
Giant panda cub at 10 weeks old.
Nov. 05, 2020
It’s hard to believe our giant panda cub will be 11 weeks old tomorrow! Yesterday, the panda team took quickly checked our growing cub’s weight and measurements.
The Zoo's 10-week-old giant panda cub received a pumpkin as enrichment for Halloween.
Nov. 02, 2020
On Saturday, our giant panda family got into the Halloween spirit, thanks to the talented team in our Department of Nutrition Sciences. They whipped up some not-so-spooky “snack-o-lantern” treats for...
A giant panda cub with black-and-white fur, small claws and round ears. Text on the photo reads "Xiao Qi Ji" (the cub's name) in English and Mandarin Chinese
Nov. 02, 2020
Find comprehensive resources for media on the giant panda cub.
Keeper Marty Dearie measures the Zoo's 9-week-old giant panda cub.
Oct. 30, 2020
The afternoon of Oct. 28, giant panda mother Mei Xiang went outside to eat, per her new routine. The giant panda team took the opportunity to briefly weigh and measure our cub.
Primate keeper, Emily, feeds orangutan, Bonnie
Oct. 29, 2020
Swing along with primate keeper Emily Bricker as she shares her stories about caring for orangutans, Zoo Guardians’ November Animal of the Month.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo's 2-month-old giant panda cub receives his second veterinary exam Oct. 19, 2020.
Oct. 26, 2020
If you’ve caught a glimpse of our cub on the Giant Panda Cam lately, you may have noticed that he likes to sleep on his back. It’s very cute to watch! 
A shorebird, called a Peruvian tern, with white feathers and a black "mask" of feathers. The bird stands camouflaged among the desert landscape of Peru's Paracas National Reserve.
Oct. 23, 2020
On Peru’s pacific coastline, where desert meets sea, lives one of the least studied and most at-risk birds: the Peruvian tern. This bird's desert camouflage makes it almost impossible to track, but...