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Visitors: The Zoo will close early Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 18-20) in preparation for Boo at the Zoo. See the hours page for details.
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Zoo News Archive

A black-and-white photo from 1899 of a group of schoolchildren looking at an American bison at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Mar. 01, 2019
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo opened its doors in 1891. To celebrate its 130th anniversary, look back at how the Zoo has evolved through the years.
Center for Conservation and Sustainability team with a drone in Peru
Mar. 01, 2019
What’s that in Peru’s sky? It’s a conservation drone! The new super hero of Peru has just arrived, and it is here to fight deforestation, safeguard ecosystem restoration and protect nature along with...
Asian elephant Swarna at the Elephant Trails exhibit.
Mar. 01, 2019
When Asian elephant Swarna needed her teeth examined, animal keepers tried something that had never been done at the Zoo before. Over two months, they trained the 44-year-old elephant to voluntarily...
Orangutans Batang and Redd at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Think tank exhibit.
Mar. 01, 2019
Let’s play a game…for science! With a tap of the touch-screen computer, orangutans at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo try their memories at matching pictures. These games help scientists study the...
Amur tiger Nikita makes her debut at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Great Cats exhibit on Feb. 26, 2019.
Mar. 01, 2019
A sassy new resident made her debut at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo this week! Animal care staff recently welcomed Amur tiger Nikita to the Great Cats exhibit. Get to know her in this Q&A.
Cheetah Amani with one of her cubs in 2011 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Feb. 27, 2019
Amani (Ah-MON-ee), an elderly cheetah living at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, was humanely euthanized Feb. 19. 
Moke, the Zoo's 9-month-old western lowland gorilla at the Great Ape House.
Feb. 26, 2019
With each passing day, western lowland gorilla infant Moke places more weight on his injured leg. His gait and movement have improved over the past month. 
Giant panda Bei Bei sits in a hammock eating a special ice cake treat during the Panda House Warming Celebration at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Feb. 23, 2019
On Feb. 23, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China hosted a housewarming party, sponsored by Airbnb, to celebrate the new...
San Joaquin Kit Foxes
Feb. 22, 2019
Without ever laying eyes on a San Joaquin kit fox, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation Genomics know how many of the cute creatures live in...
Giant panda Bei Bei in the snow.
Feb. 20, 2019
Snow in Washington, D.C. today, Feb. 20, brought out the playful side of the giant pandas at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. 
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Feb. 14, 2019
This Valentine’s Day (or any day!) celebrate with your beloved and 2,700 of your closest animal friends at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
Giant panda Tian Tian plays in the snow.
Feb. 14, 2019
You’re invited to a housewarming celebration! The new visitor interpretive exhibit in the panda house is finished and we would love for everyone to come visit and see it.
Giant panda Tian Tian plays in the snow.
Feb. 14, 2019
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China will host a housewarming, sponsored by Airbnb, to celebrate the new exhibit for visitors inside the panda house. 
Two bison -- large mammals with thick fur coats, rounded sharp horns, big heads and large shoulder humps -- walk through tall grass at sunset
Feb. 13, 2019
Smithsonian scientists are collaborating with the American Prairie Reserve in Montana to help understand, restore and preserve this wild landscape. Follow ecologists into the field as they attempt to...
Grasslands of the American Prairie Reserve in Montana under a bright blue sky with a few whispy clouds on a sunny day
Feb. 08, 2019
Conservation ecologist Andy Boyce lives on the American Prairie Reserve in Phillips County, Montana. It's rugged, it's wild and it's one of the only places left on Earth where scientists have the...
American bison graze on the American Prairie Reserve in Montana.
Feb. 08, 2019
Ecologist Bill McShea shares how the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s collaboration with American Prairie Reserve will help scientists better understand how changes to the grasslands...
Gorilla infant Moke plays with an enrichment chair and some browse at the Great Ape House.
Feb. 08, 2019
The holiday season and new year were an exciting time for the Zoo's 9-month-old western lowland gorilla, Moke! Read the latest keeper update.
Three versions of the Bird Friendly Coffee logo arranged from oldest on the left to newest on the right with arrows pointing from left to right
Feb. 06, 2019
The Smithsonian Bird Friendly® certification seal has evolved twice since the program began 20 years ago. The latest logo is a bold rectangle that features shady habitat, soaring songbirds and the...
Adult naked mole-rats and pups sleeping together in a pile.
Feb. 01, 2019
We’re happy to welcome you back from our unscheduled break in naked mole-rat viewing! Life in our naked mole-rat colony has bustled on during the past three-and-a-half weeks. 
Matt Evans holding a turtle at a facility in Myanmar.
Feb. 01, 2019
In Myanmar, reptiles are rapidly disappearing. The good news: all hope is not lost for critically endangered turtles. Rescue facilities across the country, supported by the Turtle Survival Alliance,...
Sloth bear Remi explores her habitat on Asia Trail.
Feb. 01, 2019
Is she or isn’t she? Excitement is in the air at Asia Trail, where the Zoo’s 5-year-old female sloth bear, Remi, may be expecting a cub! To monitor her for potential cub development, keepers are...
Prehensile-tailed porcupine Quillbur at the Small Mammal House.
Feb. 01, 2019
Don’t let his prickly appearance deter you – Quillbur is a very friendly porcupine! Get to know our new prehensile-tailed porcupine in this Q&A with Small Mammal House keepers.
Western lowland gorilla infant Moke at 9 months old.
Feb. 01, 2019
The Zoo's rambunctious 9-month-old gorilla has a fractured femur. Moke is resting and recovering with his parents, Calaya and Baraka, under the close watch of the animal care team.
A hoofed animal, called a Grevy's zebra, with black and white stripes, slender legs, large ears, a thick mane and a long tail stands on grass-covered rocks in the sun
Jan. 31, 2019
Celebrate International Zebra Day by learning all about the largest of these striped equids: the Grevy’s zebra!
Giant panda sitting in the snow
Jan. 30, 2019
The shutdown didn’t shutdown giant panda playtime! During the past three-and-a-half weeks Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Bei Bei have carried on with their daily routines.