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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

Western lowland gorilla Moke sits atop a log in the Great Ape House outdoor yard.
Sep. 24, 2021
Playing, foraging, training and snoozing—it’s all in a day in the life of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s western lowland gorilla troop! 
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji stands on his climbing structure, looking straight at the viewer.
Sep. 24, 2021
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji may have found a new favorite pastime. While keepers were cleaning the outdoor patio Sept. 16, our curious cub jumped in the hose spray and had a splashing good time!
A one-week-old cheetah cub props himself up on a light pink towel. Behind and to the right of him, there is a large, brown plush dog. Further behind and to the left is a plush cheetah.
Sep. 24, 2021
Get an inside look at the one-week-old cheetah cub animal care staff at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are currently hand-raising in this #Cubdate Q&A with biologist Adrienne Crosier.
A bobcat walking through an area with tall shrubs and grasses on a sunny day
Sep. 20, 2021
Find out how Smithsonian researchers are using camera traps to study bobcats on the Northern Great Plains.
Male cheetah cub being bottle-fed formula.
Sep. 20, 2021
Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) are hand-raising a male cheetah cub for several weeks before placing the cub with a foster cheetah mother at another zoo....
Male adult African lion
Sep. 17, 2021
Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers have tested presumptive positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Last weekend, animal keepers observed decreased appetites, coughing,...
Zoo entrance with icon banners.
Sep. 16, 2021
Members of the Zoo Neighborhood Council received this correspondence Sept. 16, 2021. 
A black-and-white ruffed lemur holds onto a tree branch with one paw and a juice feeder made of a pvc cap with juice-filled tubes with the other
Sep. 13, 2021
If you have visited the Zoo during the summer, then you know it can get hot, muggy and buggy here in Washington, D.C.! Find out how keepers use enrichment to help animals stay cool in the heat.
A swift fox wearing a GPS tracking collar walks through grasses in the open prairie of North-central Montana
Sep. 10, 2021
Sometimes, science stinks — literally! In Montana, researchers are setting up “scat traps" to attract swift foxes, so they can learn from the droppings the foxes leave behind.
Bornean orangutan Redd traverses the O-Line.
Sep. 10, 2021
Our youngest Bornean orangutan, Redd, celebrated his fifth birthday Sept. 12! Primate keeper Erin Stromberg looks back at some of her favorite moments from the past year in her latest #OrangutanStory...
A long-billed curlew bird in flight in a clear blue sky
Sep. 08, 2021
Modern technology is helping unravel the mystery of how migratory birds achieve their amazing flights. Researchers are already finding that many birds fly farther, faster and higher than they thought.
Endangered Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) in the ocean.
Sep. 07, 2021
Scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and partners have become the first to use cryopreserved (frozen) coral sperm to support gene migration of Caribbean coral populations...
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Sep. 07, 2021
From the first bird-tracking study to technology 100 years later, scientists finally know where black-crowned night herons travel.
Collared lemur brothers Beemer (left) and Bentley (right).
Sep. 03, 2021
During your next visit to Smithsonian’s National Zoo, be on the lookout for two friendly new faces at Lemur Island! Three-year-old collared lemur brothers Bentley and Beemer made their debut at the...
A Persian onager filly and her mother at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Sep. 03, 2021
Ungulate keepers recently welcomed a female Persian onager foal to the herd! Get the update from Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ungulate keeper Tara Buk.
Snakehead fish exhibit panels, tank and model
Sep. 03, 2021
With an aggressive attitude, an eager appetite for fish and the ability to “walk” on land, the northern snakehead fish is a powerful predator. Recently, Asia Trail keepers welcomed four snakeheads—...
Animal keeper, Vicki Lake, sits on her knees inside a black-footed ferret enclosure. There is a blue storage bin on the left with a black-footed ferret poking it's head out of a make-shift hole, and a green bin on the right with another ferret looking out
Sep. 03, 2021
September 26 marks 40 years since black-footed ferrets were re-discovered in the wild, kick-starting today’s breeding and reintroduction program. Find out what it takes to care for Zoo Guardians'...
Male lesser kudu, Kushu, stands to the left of a large rock covered in large branches and hay. A vulture sits on top of the right side of the rock. They are outside, a wooden fence is in the background.
Aug. 30, 2021
Some new hooves joined the lesser kudu family this year, and two calves have grown up and moved to a new habitat at the Cheetah Conservation Station! Get the full update in this Q&A with animal...
A small hawk, called a kestrel, held in a researchers hand and wearing a small GPS tracker on its back. Its wings and tail feathers are spread out
Aug. 27, 2021
Not all heroes wear capes, some wear GPS-enabled backpacks and have feathers. Wildlife ecologist Joe Kolowski is studying the breeding ranges of kestrels by fitting them with tiny tracking backpacks...
Giant pandas Mei Xiang (left) and Xiao Qi Ji (right) enjoy a fruitsicle cake in honor of Xiao Qi Ji's first birthday.
Aug. 27, 2021
Last Saturday, Aug. 21, was a big day for our “little miracle.” Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji celebrated his first birthday and shared not one but two delicious fruitsicle cakes with his mother, Mei...
A purple martin bird perched on the edge of a bird house with its mouth open in a call
Aug. 27, 2021
In the eastern part of North America, purple martins nest in groups of plastic gourds hung by bird enthusiasts. Each year, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's bird team prepares nest...
Meerkat Dogo rests in the sand in his habitat at the Small Mammal House.
Aug. 26, 2021
We are sad to share that Dogo, the last meerkat at the Small Mammal House, was humanely euthanized Aug. 23. At 14 years old, he lived four years beyond the median life expectancy for meerkats.
A three-month-old, male black-footed ferret kit sticks his head, neck and front two paws out of a grey storage bin that acts as a den for the ferrets
Aug. 25, 2021
Each August, the Black-footed Ferret Species Survival Plan assesses the entire black-footed ferret population in human care and determines where the ferrets should go next: to the wild or a breeding...
Giant pandas Xiao Qi Ji (foreground) and Mei Xiang (background) celebrate Xiao Qi Ji's birthday with a panda-friendly fuitsicle cake.
Aug. 21, 2021
This morning, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute celebrated giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji’s (SHIAU-chi-ji) first birthday with a specially tailored fruitsicle cake.
Giant pandas Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji eat mom's 23rd birthday cake together.
Aug. 16, 2021
Media are invited to a presentation of panda-friendly fruitsicle cakes to giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, his mother Mei Xiang and father Tian Tian. RSVP required, not open to the public.