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Zoo News Archive

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji stands on his climbing structure, looking straight at the viewer.
Dec. 21, 2021
On Dec. 17, Xiao Qi Ji took his first “panda paddle” in the pool! Get the latest #PandaStory update from assistant curator Laurie Thompson.
A parasitic Jaeger
Dec. 21, 2021
As the Arctic and the oceans warm due to climate change, understanding how a rapidly changing environment may affect birds making annual journeys between the Arctic and the high seas is vital to...
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji upside-down in an outdoor hammock made of wood and recycled fire-hose
Dec. 20, 2021
We rounded up the animal antics and species conservation stories that made us laugh, smile and cheer in 2021. Take a look back at some of our favorite moments caught on video.
Male two-toed sloth, Vlad, hangs by all four feet from the top of his exhibit. His head is tilted toward keeper, Ann, who is standing below and to the right of Vlad. Ann has a piece of food in her right hand, which is raised up toward Vlad.
Dec. 03, 2021
From smart shrews to clever coatis, every animal in Small Mammal House receives enrichment. Learn how the animal care team puts together puzzle feeders, sprinkles spices and comes up with creative...
A 7-week-old cheetah cub is held by a keeper wearing a light gray sweatshirt and neon yellow work gloves. A vet stands to the right of the cub and is listening to the cub's breathing with a stethoscope.
Dec. 03, 2021
Listen up! Rosalie's now 7-week-old cubs are feisty, playful and healthy. Keepers even captured a video of one cub up-close to the fence, chirping. Read on to learn to speak cheetah and get the...
perched sparrow with a stubby, conical bill and mostly white breast with subtle hues of brown and gray on its face and back
Dec. 03, 2021
Meet our nearly 16-year-old male and female swamp sparrows, who keepers liken to an old married couple. They squabble and jockey for food. They take frequent naps. And, as with people, they have...
Two scimitar-horned oryx calves.
Dec. 03, 2021
Have you herd . . . our Persian onager filly and scimitar-horned oryx calves are exploring their surroundings! Get the latest update on their adventures from Tara Buk, Smithsonian Conservation...
Close-up of red panda Chris-Anne's face.
Dec. 03, 2021
Get to know our red pandas’ personalities and insider tips on the best times to spot them from Asia Trail keeper Mariel Lally.  
A young man in a hat and plaid shirt examines a large white skull of an elephant
Dec. 01, 2021
Dr. James Hassell, wildlife veterinarian, epidemiologist and Keller Family Skorton Scholar for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program was selected as the runner up on...
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji snacks on an apple in his indoor habitat.
Nov. 29, 2021
Winter came a little early for giant pandas Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji. Our Department of Nutrition Science team provided all three pandas with a pallet of ice to play in!
Animal balancing on a branch
Nov. 29, 2021
Nov. 29 is World Anteater Day. Celebrate by getting to know one of the remarkable members of the anteater family: the tamandua!
a female veterinarian holds a stethoscope to a cheetah cub while an animal keeper holds the cub
Nov. 24, 2021
It’s been another busy week for Rosalie and her five cubs, from their first taste of meat to their first veterinary exam.
Black and white photo. Adult, female cheetah lays in a den with her five cubs nursing. The cubs are so large, you can't see all five, as they are piled on top of one another. The den has hay on the ground.
Nov. 19, 2021
The cheetah cubs are back on the Cheetah Cub Cam! Check out this adorable video and tune into the Cheetah Cub Cam in the evenings for a chance to catch the cubs live.
Horned lark chicks with tufts of soft feathers and open mouths in their nest on the ground, surrounded by grasses, dirt and rocks
Nov. 12, 2021
Each spring, the Northern Great Plains erupts with life as migratory birds return to build nests and raise their young. Smithsonian researchers are studying these grassland birds that nets in areas...
Four almost-1 month old cubs huddle together inside a den enclosure. In the foreground are some clear plastic flaps, which were pulled aside to see the cubs. There's a fifth cub laying in the back of then. All five cubs are looking toward the camera.
Nov. 12, 2021
Cheetah mom Rosalie and her five cubs continue to do well and live between the den without a webcam and the tall grasses in their yard.
A close-up of a Kirtland's warbler songbird
Nov. 10, 2021
In these excerpts from his field journal, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center intern Haley Haradon transports you to Michigan’s young jack pine forests as he searches for Kirtland’s warbler nests.
Brandie Smith, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Nov. 09, 2021
Brandie Smith has been named the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, effective Nov. 9. Smith previously served as acting director of...
Geoffroy's marmosets Edwin (left) and Lilo (right) sitting on a branch in their exhibit.
Nov. 08, 2021
On Nov. 3, Small Mammal House keepers said goodbye to our last Geoffroy’s marmoset, Lilo. At 12 years old, she was considered geriatric for her species; typically, Geoffroy’s marmosets in human care...
Four cheetah cubs lay curled up next to each other in a blue plastic tub. A fifth cub sits up on top of one of its siblings, with its mouth open. The other cubs are all looking toward this fifth cub. There is hay coating the bottom of the tub.
Nov. 08, 2021
On Saturday, Nov. 6, cheetah mom Rosalie moved her cubs out of the webcam dens and back to the tall grasses in her yard, creating her own natural den. Read on for the full account of the cubs'...
Panamanian golden frog among leaves, ferns and logs.
Nov. 05, 2021
For decades, scientists have wondered whether the key to saving frogs from the deadly chytrid fungus lies in their skin. Could they genetically modify bacteria found in the frogs’ mucus layer and...
Black furry ape with long arms on a rope ladder
Nov. 05, 2021
They’re goofy, sweet and superstars at training — meet Ronnie and Bradley, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s siamangs! These apes may be small in stature, but their endearing personalities (and...
Loggerhead Shrike
Nov. 05, 2021
Meet the loggerhead shrike—a beautiful songbird with a gruesome reputation for impaling its prey on thorns and barbs. More frightening than the “butcher bird’s” hunting habit is the reality that...
Zoo nutritionist, Erin, holds screaming hairy armadillo, Sherman. Erin is wearing a black mask, navy jacket and light blue latex gloves. Sherman's front paws rest on Erin's left hand as he too looks at the camera.
Nov. 04, 2021
Food for thought: Nutrition forms the foundation to living a healthy life. Get a taste of the challenges real-life Zoo Guardian and Clinical Animal Nutritionist, Erin Kendrick, faces as she...
A Guam rail (bird) stands on a small scale to be weighed
Nov. 04, 2021
Keepers can learn a lot about an animal’s needs just by monitoring its weight. But how do you weigh a wiggly ferret or get a full-grown elephant onto a scale? Find out in this update from primate...
Five cheetah cubs lay on hay inside a small building with white walls which act as a den. The left cub has its mouth open, showing a few teeth on top. Two other cubs also have their mouths open. The middle cub is laying down facing away from the camera.
Nov. 04, 2021
Rosalie’s five 3-week-old cubs have us smiling! Over the weekend, keepers did a quick visual check on the cubs and noticed at least one had some teeth. Read on for the full update and watch a sweet...