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Zoo News Archive

Giant panda Mei Xiang sleeping on a rock inside the panda house.
Aug. 07, 2019
Scientists, veterinarians and keepers have been monitoring Mei Xiang closely for the past several months to determine if she is pregnant or experiencing a pseudopregnancy. 
An endangered purple fringeless orchid.
Aug. 06, 2019
Local citizen scientists working with the Changing Landscapes Initiative and Virginia Working Landscapes, both programs of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), discovered a rare...
Home's Hinge-Back Tortoise at the Reptile Discovery Center
Aug. 02, 2019
Three new Home’s hinge-back tortoises recently made their debut at the Reptile Discovery Center! Get the scoop on these totally awesome tortoises from animal keeper Sara Hasenstab.
Titi monkeys Henderson (left) and Kingston (right) sit on a branch in the Amazonia rainforest habitat.
Aug. 02, 2019
Meet Henderson and Kingston—two white-eared titi monkeys that live in Amazonia’s rainforest habitat! Get to know them in this Q&A with animal keeper Donna Stockton.  
A bird called a long-billed curlew flies across a blue sky. Its wings are outstretched and its long, thin, curved bill is open.
Jul. 31, 2019
All seasons on the prairie are special. But spring is just a little more special than the rest, as every day birds return for summer breeding season.
A Kirtland's warbler perched on a branch.
Jul. 31, 2019
For the past 40 years, brown-headed cowbirds have been trapped and killed in Michigan to prevent them from laying eggs in endangered Kirtland’s warbler nests—causing warbler parents to care for...
Five female Persian onagers in a field.
Jul. 29, 2019
Persian onagers are an amazing species! And even though they are not one of the iconic species that you may know, as someone who gets to care for them and spend time with them every day, let me tell...
A female Abyssinian ground hornbill perched on a branch over a male Abyssinian ground hornbill standing in the grass. Both birds are large with dark, black feathers and long, curved beaks
Jul. 26, 2019
This summer, Abyssinian ground hornbill Karl got a new roommate — a hornbill named Karoline! The pair met in June, but their story really began two years ago when keepers decided to build Karl a new...
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Jul. 19, 2019
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.
Virginia Working Landscapes program director Amy Johnson holds an eastern meadowlark.
Jul. 19, 2019
At first glance, Virginia’s farmlands seem quite peaceful. But beneath the swaying fields of hay lies a bustling ecosystem for the birds that call the grasslands home. One such avian animal—the...
Persian onager calf born in 2015.
Jul. 19, 2019
Excitement is in the air at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, where hoofstock keepers are eagerly anticipating the births of three Persian onagers! Get to know...
Kristina Anderson-Teixeria
Jul. 18, 2019
Kristina Anderson-Teixeira—a forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) Conservation Ecology Center and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Center for...
Giant panda Bei Bei sitting in his outdoor hammock.
Jul. 17, 2019
During the past several weeks, Bei Bei has been experiencing some gastrointestinal discomfort which has caused him to pass several mucous stools and loose stools. 
A camera trap photo of a jaguar with spotted fur stalking across a leaf-covered forest floor toward the camera
Jul. 16, 2019
Wild animals are very elusive, so how do scientists learn about their behavior and life history? Find out how Smithsonian scientists use camera traps and acoustic recorders to covertly monitor...
A newborn scimitar-horned oryx calf with tan skin and large ears stands in the grass near its mother, an oryx named Chari, and another adult oryx
Jul. 16, 2019
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's herd of scimitar-horned oryx is growing. Keepers welcomed five calves during the past few weeks.
Close-up of Asian elephant Maharani's face.
Jul. 12, 2019
Female Asian elephant Maharani is turning 29 years old Sunday, July 14, and we are celebrating with her favorite thing—food!
giant panda mei xiang in her yard
Jul. 12, 2019
Keepers are still waiting to find out if giant panda Mei Xiang is pregnant. She has not started exhibiting many behaviors associated with the secondary hormone rise of a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. 
A small green lizard, called an Asian water dragon, with scaly skin, a long, thin, striped tail, small spikes along its spine and short claws on its digits
Jul. 05, 2019
A 2-year-old female Asian water dragon who was the first documented birth by facultative parthenogenesis in her species died from blood cancer.
A lesser kudus with a long neck, large ears, and light brown skin with thin white stripes grazes in the grass
Jul. 05, 2019
As his name suggests, Zoo staff are “grateful” for 5-month-old male lesser kudu, Kushukuru! He was born Jan. 12, 2019, to 5-year-old first time mother Rogue and 8-year-old father Garrett.
A scientist takes a biological sample from a tapir that is fitted with a GPS collar
Jul. 05, 2019
Why is this mountain tapir wearing a collar? His movements and behaviors are being tracked via satellite by Smithsonian scientists!
Infant western lowland gorilla Moke stands on all fours in the grass near a plant in his outdoor yard at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Jul. 05, 2019
Western lowland gorilla infant Moke is becoming bolder, and with his growing confidence, we are beginning to see traces of his mom’s personality, says assistant curator Becky Malinsky. 
A male African lion laying on the ground with greenery in the background
Jul. 01, 2019
Lion cubs grow up fast, and even faster in zoos. In a long-term study, scientists at SCBI found that male African lions living in human care hit puberty a full year earlier than their counterparts in...
A group of guests pose for a photo at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's ZooFari event
Jun. 28, 2019
Make the most of your time out of the office with a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo!
A sea lion pup born June 23, 2019, at the Smithsonian's National Zoo falls asleep while nursing with its mother
Jun. 28, 2019
A new set of flippers splashed down at Smithsonian’s National Zoo, where American Trail keepers are celebrating the arrival of a California sea lion pup. Animal care staff are closely monitoring the...
Red panda cub being weighed.
Jun. 25, 2019
Moonlight, a 4-year-old red panda, gave birth to a cub overnight June 12 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Moonlight and the cub appear to be doing well and...