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The Zoo is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. Plan your visit.

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Zoo News Archive

Giant panda with enrichment painted with D.C. flag and Smithsonian sunburst logo.
Apr. 11, 2022
On April 5, the D.C. Council passed a Ceremonial Resolution declaring April 2022, “Giant Panda Month” in recognition and celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and...
Bei Bei in the Sun
Apr. 01, 2022
To celebrate 50 years of giant panda care, collaboration and conservation, we’ve curated a collection of cute Giant Panda Cam moments from the past decade that connected viewers with nature, sparked...
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji hanging upside down from his outdoor play structure.
Mar. 31, 2022
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (SNZCBI) and National Head Start Association (NHSA) have announced today, March 31, a yearlong partnership to provide free nature-...
Giant panda Xiao Qi Ji looking up at the viewer.
Mar. 31, 2022
On April 16, the giant panda team will celebrate an enormous milestone—the 50th anniversary of our giant panda program! For giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, another important milestone is approaching:...
Giant panda cub Mei Xiang licks her cub's head as he stands on a log
Mar. 16, 2022
Find comprehensive resources for media on the 50th anniversary of the Giant Panda Program at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
panda 50th desktop version
Mar. 16, 2022
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute will celebrate 50 years of unprecedented achievement in the care, conservation, breeding and study of giant pandas April 16. Today is...
Bao Bao
Mar. 15, 2022
Enjoy these 50 facts about giant pandas in honor of the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Giant Panda 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Green tree python
Mar. 04, 2022
Do snakes have ears? How well can they see? How do scales help them slither? Get the scoop on your friend, the snake, from Reptile Discovery Center keeper Robin Saunders!
Prehensile-tailed porcupette Fofo rests on a branch.
Mar. 04, 2022
Don’t be put off by Fofo’s prickly appearance! As his name implies, our prehensile-tailed porcupette is as “cute” as can be! Get to know Fofo in this Q+A with Small Mammal House keepers.
A close-up portrait of female siamang Adi.
Mar. 04, 2022
The cool new couple at Gibbon Ridge are smart, sweet and specialize in singing duets — meet siamangs Adi and Guntur!
Harbor seal, Rabbit lays on his side on the right side of the photo. He is looking at a white "cake" made of ice with orange and blue beach shapes and fish on it. He is outside on hard, slippery-looking ground.
Mar. 03, 2022
With a seal of passion for pinnipeds, American Trail keeper and real-life Zoo Guardian Diana Vogel dives into how she cares for harbor seals!
A close-up of an ostrich's head in profile. It has wispy feathers, a large, round eye and a large beak
Mar. 03, 2022
We’ve answered some of the most-searched questions about ostriches to get you better acquainted with these big, flightless birds.
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji hanging upside down from his outdoor play structure.
Feb. 25, 2022
Earlier this week, giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji went treasure hunting in a tree for some fun puzzle feeder enrichment! Get the latest #PandaStory update from assistant curator Laurie Thompson. 
Female cheetah Rosalie lays on her side with her legs away from the camera but her head turned toward it. Her five cubs lay next to (behind) her. They are laying on grass, which is mostly light brown with some areas of green.
Feb. 23, 2022
Say hello to our newly named cheetah cubs and don't miss an adorable video of Rosalie and the cubs purring and cleaning each other! Read on to find out what our cheetah family has been up to in this...
Blue crane Alice explores her exhibit at the Bird House.
Feb. 09, 2022
Bird House keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are mourning the loss of Alice, a female Stanley crane who died Jan. 28 during surgery to correct a limb deformity she had developed. She was 7...
American flamingo Betty explores her outdoor habitat.
Feb. 04, 2022
We are sad to share that Betty, our “matriarch” flamingo, was found deceased in her habitat Jan. 25. At 67 years old, she was the oldest Caribbean flamingo in the North American population. 
A baby Australian snake-necked turtle that is dark gray with white spots on its underside and around the edge of its shell climbs out of the water onto a green leaf
Feb. 04, 2022
Snake-necked turtles look like creatures from fantasy—they’re a little weird and a little whimsical, but they’re beautiful, too. Last October, our Reptile Discovery Center team welcomed four snake-...
A male Guam kingfisher wears a replica transmitter while sitting on a keeper's hand.
Feb. 04, 2022
The countdown to the Guam kingfisher’s reintroduction to the wild has begun. Before these birds, also called siheks, can soar over the Palmyra Atoll, scientists need to determine which harness...
Ostrich Linda behind-the-scenes at the Cheetah Conservation Station.
Feb. 04, 2022
At around 8 feet tall, the newest resident at the Cheetah Conservation Station towers over her cheetah, red river hog and sitatunga neighbors. Meet Linda, a 4-year-old ostrich who arrived at...
Zoo entrance with icon banners.
Feb. 02, 2022
On Jan. 26, 2022, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo held a meeting with new Zoo Director Brandie Smith and the Zoo Neighborhood Council (ZNC). Detailed minutes of the meeting follow below.
American bison grazing on prairie.
Jan. 31, 2022
A study published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution found that widespread restoration of bison to Tribal lands throughout the Northern Great Plains can help restore the prairie ecosystem while...
Animal keeper Dell Guglielmo trains Amur tiger Pavel.
Jan. 28, 2022
Use your tiger eyes to see what it takes to care for the largest cat in the world and 2022’s Lunar New Year animal: the tiger! Get a peek inside the world of animal keeper and real-life Zoo Guardian...
Giant pandas Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji eat sugar cane in their outdoor habitat.
Jan. 28, 2022
Snowfall fun and sugar cane snacks made January an eventful month for giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji! Get the latest #PandaStory update from assistant curator Laurie Thompson. 
Cheetah Rosalie walks through the snow with a cub trailing behind.
Jan. 25, 2022
The verdict is in on our 14-week-old cheetah cubs’ first snow experience! Plus, get the latest dish on Rosalie's cubs' newest enrichment and husbandry training experiences. Read on for a full cubdate...
Prehensile-tailed porcupine Beatrix and her porcupette rest on a branch in their habitat.
Jan. 24, 2022
Lookin’ sharp, kid! Prehensile-tailed porcupines Beatrix and Quillbur recently welcomed their second offspring.