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Zoo News Archive

A red panda rests on a tree limb with its arms, legs and tail dangling over the sides
Jun. 21, 2019
Visitors to Washington, D.C., can expect warm weather and humidity this season. But not to worry — we’ve rounded up a few of the best ways to beat the heat at the Zoo this summer.
bioanalyzer
Jun. 21, 2019
The study, which is among the first genomic studies on otters, found that both the sea otter and giant otter have lost a considerable number of genes related to the sense of smell — a faculty that is...
A hooded crane chick in the grass.
Jun. 19, 2019
A small beak broke through one of the hooded crane eggs at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, June 12.
A meme with a lion cub biting its father's head and the text "#Parenting"
Jun. 13, 2019
Treat dad like the king (of the jungle) he is at the Smithsonian's National Zoo!
An Asian elephant with large tusks walks near huts in Myanmar
Jun. 12, 2019
Large animals, like the Asian elephants, have evolved to grow and mature at a different rate than many smaller species monitored by organizations like the International Union for the Conservation of...
North American beaver Birch snacks on his favorite food, corn, at the American Trail exhibit.
Jun. 12, 2019
We are sad to share that 4-year-old North American beaver Birch died suddenly June 3.
Jun. 10, 2019
Read a copy of the testimony the director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute gave before House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on June 4, 2019.
Western lowland gorilla Moke at the Great Ape House.
Jun. 07, 2019
With two youngsters, Moke and Redd, growing up at the Great Ape House, primate staff are taking the rare opportunity to study the gestures and spatial proximity between gorilla and orangutan mother-...
Asian water dragon mother (top) and parthenogenic offspring (bottom).
Jun. 07, 2019
For four years, the Reptile Discovery Center’s Asian water dragon female lived alone. Then, while examining eggs as part of a study, animal keepers made a shocking discovery—one was fertile! How...
June Member Celebration
Jun. 06, 2019
At the June Member Celebration on June 29, members get exclusive access to Research Hill, which is normally closed to the public.
Asian water dragon mother (top) and parthenogenic offspring (bottom).
Jun. 05, 2019
Life found a way at Smithsonian’s National Zoo, where a female Asian water dragon at the Reptile Discovery Center underwent facultative parthenogenesis—that is, she reproduced and contributed a...
Community members in Laikipia, Kenya, examine exhibit panels from the mobile Outbreak DIY exhibit
Jun. 04, 2019
Education is often touted as the answer to large-scale issues like health security. But what does this actually look like on the ground? In late March, Global Health Program staff traveled to...
Global Health Program wildlife veterinarian Maureen Wanjiku Kamau with a young rhinocerous
Jun. 03, 2019
Smithsonian veterinary research fellow Dr. Maureen Wanjiku Kamau is leading a study on wild eastern black rhinos in Kenya. Find out how her team is using poop to learn more about rhino reproduction.
North American river otter pup Potomac explores his habitat at American Trail.
May. 31, 2019
The Zoo's 4-month-old North American river otter pups are gaining confidence and exploring their habitat on American Trail, says animal keeper Jackie Spicer. 
A black rhino with thick skin, large ears, a stocky body and a long horn protruding from the end of its snout
May. 29, 2019
A new study from SCBI and partners compares the bacterial communities (microbiome) in the gut of wild rhinos to that of those in human care, resulting in a recommendation for a health-boosting rhino...
A small bear cub sitting on a shag rug looks up at a poster of Smokey Bear with the text "Remember - Only you can prevent forest fires!"
May. 28, 2019
Smokey Bear has been preventing wildfires for 75 years. In celebration, we’ve collaborated with the Forest Service to bring Zoo visitors a new exhibit highlighting the story of this famous bear.
FMBC field researcher Emma Cox holds a small bird, called a black-and-white warbler, in her hand and prepares to release it after banding it.
May. 23, 2019
In April, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center spent two weeks in Texas for the second season of “Ecology of Urban Birds,” a program that brings middle school students into the field with...
Following remarks, Smokey Bear; Steven Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute; Jim Hubbard, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and P
May. 23, 2019
A new Smokey Bear outdoor exhibit opened May 23 inviting visitors to look back in time to the mid-20th century, when a black bear cub was rescued from a forest fire and placed under the Zoo’s care....
May. 21, 2019
A new Smokey Bear outdoor exhibit will open at Smithsonian’s National Zoo Thursday, May 23, inviting visitors to look back at the legacy of one of the most famous residents in the Zoo’s 130-year...
Mei Xiang eating a fruitsicle.
May. 20, 2019
Roughly a month and a half after Mei Xiang’s artificial insemination, things at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat are settling into their regular routine. 
Asian elephant Shanthi (foreground) at the Elephant Trails Exhibit. In the background are Ambika (L) and Bozie (R).
May. 17, 2019
Like many aging animals, Asian elephant Shanthi has osteoarthritis. She was first diagnosed with the chronic condition when she was in her teens. Zoo keepers and veterinarians have spent decades...
Three sable antelope standing in a field.
May. 17, 2019
DNA is the ultimate library, and scientists at SCBI’s Center for Species Survival and Center for Conservation Genomics are cataloging it as diligently as any librarians. 
A life-sized animatronic T. Rex.
May. 14, 2019
Listed below are events being held June through August as part of the “Dino Summer” experience at Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
A herd of bison running through grasslands in Montana. One of the bison is wearing a GPS tracking collar around its neck.
May. 08, 2019
Landscape ecologist Hila Shamoon spent the first two weeks of April working with American Prairie Reserve to place GPS collars on plains bison.
A giant panda takes a bite of a rainbow-themed ice treat for International Family Equality Day at the Zoo
May. 06, 2019
On May 5, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute welcomed thousands of visitors to celebrate community and diversity in recognition of International Family Equality Day.