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Zoo News Archive

Aug. 21, 2020
A new genomic study ranks the potential of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to bind to the ACE2 receptor site in 410 vertebrate animals. Old World primates and great apes, which have identical amino...
A 41-day-old female Guam kingfisher chick perched on a branch. She is small with a wide, flattened beak, orange and blue feathers, and a "mask" of dark feathers around her eyes
Aug. 21, 2020
Breeding season is the most demanding time of year for the bird team at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, but it can also be the most rewarding.
State-of-the-art tracking technology reveals previously unknown long-distance movements of Kirtland’s warblers during the mating season that have important conservation implications for North American birds.
Aug. 20, 2020
State-of-the-art tracking technology reveals previously unknown long-distance movements of Kirtland’s warblers during the mating season that have important conservation implications for North...
As a reward for standing still during their weigh-ins, the cheetah cubs receive beef blood from a squeeze bottle.
Aug. 15, 2020
It is hard to believe that cheetah cubs Amabala, Jabari, Hasani and Erindi are already four months old! As the cubs grow, we want to ensure that they have a strong relationship with us. 
An image of an ultrasound showing a giant panda fetus
Aug. 14, 2020
Veterinarians at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo detected tissue consistent with fetal development during Mei Xiang’s ultrasound this morning, Aug. 14.
Digital illustrations of a cheetah, snowy owl and lemur surround the Zoo Guardians mobile game logo and the Smithsonian logo with "National Zoo" written below it. A line of icons in the background with plants, snowflakes, etc. represent different biomes.
Aug. 14, 2020
The furry, feathered and scaly world of zoos, animal care and conservation comes to life in “Zoo Guardians,” a new mobile game launched today. Players are invited to build their own zoos, care for...
Cheetah cub at SCBI July 24, 2020
Jul. 31, 2020
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute carnivore keeper Adri Kopp and intern Shannon Richard share the latest news on Echo's cheetah cubs, from weigh-ins to water play. 
For the first time in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) history, ungulate keepers celebrated the birth of a male Hartmann’s mountain zebra at the Front Royal, Virginia, facility. The colt was born overnight July 2, 2020.
Jul. 31, 2020
What’s black, white and adorable all over? Our new Hartmann’s mountain zebra colt! Born July 2 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, he already is melting our ungulate team’s hearts with...
Three-month-old cheetah cub at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute plays with an enrichment toy.
Jul. 31, 2020
Grab a delicious snack with prehensile-tailed porcupine Quilliam, have a ball watching our cheetah cubs play and behold beaver Aspen as he fells a tree. July brought about many exciting moments, not...
Flamingo chicks hatched at the Bird House in July 2020
Jul. 31, 2020
Behind the scenes at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, the sweet tweets of chirping chicks are music to the Bird House team’s ears. While their homestead exhibit is under renovation, the team has been...
Amur tiger Nikita makes her debut at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Great Cats Exhibit Feb. 26, 2019.
Jul. 29, 2020
Just how big are tigers? How far can they jump? And what does tiger poop look like? July 29 is International Tiger Day, so sink your teeth into these fun facts about big cats.
a photo of a green frog in water next to a rock
Jul. 24, 2020
For frogs dying of the invasive chytridiomycosis disease, the leading cause of amphibian deaths worldwide, the genes responsible for protecting them may actually be leading to their demise, according...
Lion statue at Zoo's entrance with face covering.
Jul. 21, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo opens to the public on July 24. There will be two media opportunities. All media must register to attend. Parking is limited and television crews will be prioritized.
Giant panda Mei Xiang at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat.
Jul. 20, 2020
Summer is in full swing at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. Read the latest update on Mei Xiang and Tian Tian from Laurie Thompson, assistant curator of giant pandas. 
The entrance gate at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Jul. 20, 2020
The Smithsonian will reopen two of its facilities to the public Friday, July 24: the National Zoo in Northwest Washington, D.C., and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in...
A juvenile bison walks across green grass
Jul. 16, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has welcomed “Lucy” and “Gally,” two juvenile female American bison.
Three-month-old cheetah cub at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute plays with an enrichment toy.
Jul. 16, 2020
SCBI carnivore keeper intern Shannon Richard shows how keepers are enriching the lives of our 3-month-old cheetah cubs. 
For the first time in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) history, ungulate keepers celebrated the birth of a male Hartmann’s mountain zebra at the Front Royal, Virginia, facility. The colt was born overnight July 2, 2020.
Jul. 03, 2020
For the first time in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) history, ungulate keepers celebrated the birth of a male Hartmann’s mountain zebra at the Front Royal, Virginia, facility...
A black-footed ferret mom and her six kits rest together in a small den on a bed of chipped paper
Jul. 02, 2020
Celebrate the Fourth of July with one of America's most precious national treasures: the black-footed ferret! SCBI carnivore keeper Vicki Lake shares the story of mom Potpie and her six kits as they...
Cheetah cub laying in the grass.
Jul. 02, 2020
Romping through grassy pathways, taking a taste of meat and exploring exciting new places to play made June a jolly good month for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s cheetah family. 
Giant panda Mei Xiang eats a "rainbow" cake in honor of Pride 2020 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Asia Trail habitat.
Jul. 02, 2020
A family meal among prairie dogs, the soothing sounds of a cheetah’s purr and a Pride cake fit for a giant panda. As summer kicks off at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology...
A black-tailed prairie dog stands on its hind legs in short grasses on the plains of Montana
Jul. 02, 2020
At their field site in north-central Montana, ecologist Andy Boyce and intern Andrew Dreelin are learning more about how black-tailed prairie dogs change the landscape and support the many species...
Jun. 29, 2020
We couldn't be more excited to bring our Friends of the National Zoo members back to the Zoo! Here are some important changes and information.
Asian elephant Shanthi at the Elephant Trails exhibit.
Jun. 27, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute community is mourning the loss of Shanthi, beloved member of its Asian elephant herd and ambassador for her species. After decades of...
A camera trap photo of an adult tamandua carrying a baby on its back as it crosses a branch high in the rainforest canopy at night.
Jun. 22, 2020
The rainforest canopy is a challenging place to study. It’s hard to observe from the ground and difficult for researchers to access, so conservation biologist Tremie Gregory learned to climb trees.