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Zoo News Archive

Brown pelican sitting on nest in the Chesapeake Bay.
Apr. 20, 2018
Brown pelicans are a favorite of visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s American Trail exhibit. Yet, many zoogoers may not realize that these marine birds call the Chesapeake Bay home. Last...
Takin at the Motithang Takin Preserve in Thimpu, Bhutan.
Apr. 20, 2018
As a wildlife veterinarian for the SCBI’s Global Health Program, Dr. Marc Valitutto was asked to visit and evaluate the Royal Takin Preserve in Thimpu, Bhutan, to help build their veterinary capacity...
Cheetah cub Nandi.
Apr. 20, 2018
Over the last year, a record 91 cheetah cubs have been born at institutions affiliated with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Cheetah Species Survival Plan (SSP). In this Q&A, Smithsonian...
An Asian elephant wearing a GPS satellite collar in a forest in Myanmar
Apr. 19, 2018
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Clemson University scientists have found that poaching is an emerging crisis in Myanmar for Asian elephants.
Western lowland gorilla infant Moke rests on the chest of his mother Calaya
Apr. 17, 2018
On Sunday, April 15, western lowland gorilla Calaya gave birth! Calaya and her newborn son, Moke, are resting and bonding in the Great Ape House.
Western lowland gorilla Moke rests on the chest of his mother Calaya, who is laying on her back
Apr. 16, 2018
For the first time in nine years, primate staff at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are celebrating the birth of a male western lowland gorilla. 
Apr. 12, 2018
SMBC Director Pete Marra is the recipient of the American Ornithological Society’s prestigious Elliott Coues Award in recognition of his outstanding and innovative ornithological research.
fennec foxes
Apr. 12, 2018
Get the answers to some of the most-searched questions about the desert dwelling, big-eared fennec fox!
Western lowland gorilla Calaya in the yard.
Apr. 06, 2018
The Great Ape House is awaiting the arrival of its newest resident! Keepers have been watching western lowland gorilla Calaya’s sleep patterns, appetite and socialization, as any changes in her...
A Rwandan mountain gorilla holding a stick and eating
Apr. 06, 2018
In December 2017, Global Health Program wildlife veterinarian Dawn Zimmerman traveled to Rwanda and worked with the Gorilla Doctors for three weeks.
Sloth bear Niko on exhibit at Asia Trail.
Apr. 06, 2018
Get the scoop on the Zoo’s new 3-year-old sloth bear, Niko, from animal keeper Mindy Babitz.
Keeper Nikki Maticic conducts a training session with goat Mortimer.
Apr. 05, 2018
Painting with alpacas, training miniature donkeys and hosting hands-on animal encounters. It’s all in a day’s work for animal keepers Nikki Maticic and John Taylor! Follow their story for a behind-...
Parrot
Mar. 30, 2018
On Saturday, April 14, FONZ members can bring the family to “Amazing Adaptations: A Live Animal Program with The Maryland Zoo,” held at the Smithsonian's National Zoo’s Visitor Center Auditorium. The...
Western lowland gorilla Calaya participates in an ultrasound with animal keeper Melba Brown.
Mar. 30, 2018
As western lowland gorilla Calaya nears the end of her pregnancy, keepers at the Great Ape House are keeping a close watch on her, monitoring for any indication that she is in labor. Calaya is due to...
Asian elephant Spike in the Elephant Barn.
Mar. 29, 2018
This update was written by elephant keeper Kayleigh Sullivan.  It has been almost a week since Asian elephant Spike arrived at the Elephant Trails habitat. Since then, he has made himself right at...
colorful illustration of an alpaca and a maypole with the words may is for members
Mar. 28, 2018
May is for Members at the Zoo, which means that every single day of the month will bring a special offer or discount—just for FONZ members. And whether you're a member or not, you'll get a big...
A recently burned forest at the base of a mountain. The forest is burnt in the foreground and gets progressively greener in the background toward the mountain.
Mar. 27, 2018
Smithsonian scientists and partners have developed a mathematical model to help understand why certain landscapes are especially vulnerable to losing their forests and the species that rely on them,...
Western lowland gorilla Calaya eating her vegetable diet.
Mar. 23, 2018
Primate keeper Melba Brown discusses nutrition for pregnant western lowland gorilla, Calaya, and the significant role of milk for her infant.
A large male Asian elephant with white tusks stands in a brightly lit barn at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Mar. 23, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo community is celebrating the arrival of a 36-year-old male Asian elephant named Spike.
Gray Wolf
Mar. 22, 2018
Get the answers to your most internet-searched questions about gray wolves, such as "Why do gray wolves howl at the moon?" Hint: they don't!
Giant panda
Mar. 19, 2018
The beginning of March was a whirlwind at the Giant Panda Habitat. Mei Xiang finally went into peak estrus March 1 after the panda team had been monitoring her and Tian Tian 24-hours-a-day for nearly...
A dark gray bird with red eyes and an orange and black beak, called a snail kite, wearing a GPS satellite tracker on its back
Mar. 14, 2018
In November 2017, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center postdoctoral fellow Alex Jahn traveled to southern Brazil to study the migration of snail kites with Brazilian colleagues at Taim Ecological...
Head closeup showing black mask, nose and small ears
Mar. 14, 2018
Senior Scientist and Head of the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute David Wildt has been chosen to receive the 2017 Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Award...
An Asian elephant wearing a GPS satellite collar in a forest in Myanmar
Mar. 13, 2018
Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute have found that poaching is an emerging crisis for Asian elephants in Myanmar. They published their findings March 13 in PLOS ONE.
Prehensile-tailed porcupine
Mar. 08, 2018
A well-known prehensile-tailed porcupine named Clark died March 7 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Clark had developed intermittent wheezing and a suspected upper-respiratory tract infection...