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Zoo News Archive

Calaya gathers Timothy hay and wood wool for her nest.
Jan. 26, 2018
Everyone likes to have a cozy place to sleep. Western lowland gorillas, however, rarely sleep in the same bed twice.
a giant panda eats bamboo
Jan. 22, 2018
Find out what happens at the Smithsonian's National Zoo during a government shutdown.
Variable Harlequin Frogs Return to the Wild
Jan. 19, 2018
Through years of research and breeding, Smithsonian scientists have created a thriving variable harlequin frog colony in human care and released approximately 500 healthy frogs in Panama’s Colon...
One of the frog species, the fantastic reed frog (Hyperolius phantasticus), collected in a national park in Gabon.
Jan. 18, 2018
Put a barcode on it! Untangling the complex web of Gabon's frogs, many of which look different but belong to the same species, required DNA barcoding. SCBI's Jessica Deichmann shares how this...
Domestic cat oocyte (egg)
Jan. 18, 2018
An egg-citing new finding from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute could help bolster the success of assisted reproduction for some of the most endangered species—with implications for...
A small orange variable harlequin frog, Atelopus varius, sitting on a rock
Jan. 18, 2018
Once common along highland streams in western Costa Rica and Panama, the variable harlequin frog, Atelopus varius, is endangered throughout its range, decimated by a disease caused by the amphibian...
McInerney and Parker visit Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve on Lebanese Independence Day to collect scat samples with Magda and her st
Jan. 18, 2018
Which mammals live in Lebanon’s legendary cedar forests? Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute staff traveled to Beirut and trained students to identify animals using advanced DNA tools.
African lion Luke rubs his head against a tree with scent enrichment
Jan. 05, 2018
Enriching toys, environments, foods and experiences abound at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Learn how animal care staff encourage the Zoo’s residents to use their natural behaviors.
Two-toed sloth Ms Chips
Jan. 05, 2018
Ms. Chips, a two-toed sloth and longtime resident of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, died overnight Jan. 2. She was 46 years old. The median life expectancy for female two-toed sloths in human care...
Amur tiger
Jan. 05, 2018
There’s a new tiger in town! Meet Pavel, a 10-year-old Amur tiger who lives at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Great Cats habitat. He made his debut this week and is the first of his endangered...
Keeper Erica Royer holding a Guam rail
Jan. 05, 2018
Guam rails are classified as extinct in the wild, but staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and partners are working to change their fate.  Last September, they repatriated two...
A keeper holding a red ball with hay for enrichment and a maned wolf
Jan. 05, 2018
Get a glimpse at a day in the life of Cheetah Conservation Station keepers who work with dama gazelles, cheetahs and maned wolves.
An Amur tiger in the snow
Jan. 04, 2018
For the first time since 1948, the Great Cats habitat at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is once again home to an Amur tiger, a 10-year-old male named Pavel.
Two zebras standing in the sun with their heads together
Jan. 04, 2018
Hoofstock keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are mourning the loss of Yvonne, a 15-year-old female Hartmann’s mountain zebra who was humanely euthanized Dec. 31, 2017. The...
Two cheetahs standing between tall grasses
Dec. 22, 2017
There is a brand new band of brothers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. A coalition of two male cheetahs made their debut at the Cheetah Conservation Station yesterday, Dec. 21.
An illegally trafficked common African pangolin
Dec. 21, 2017
A new study from the Smithsonian and partners presents the most comprehensive evolutionary family tree for the eight known species of pangolins—one of Earth's most evolutionarily unique animals and...
Mei Xiang in the snow.
Dec. 19, 2017
As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, the pandas are spending more time in their yards.  Panda keepers sometimes get asked by the visitors why we place the bamboo and enrichment items...
Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya
Dec. 18, 2017
Western lowland gorilla Calaya recently entered her second trimester of pregnancy. Just like other members of the great ape family—including humans—gorillas experience weight gain, and some...
A cheetah cub and mother laying in the grass
Dec. 13, 2017
A new study from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is helping to make headway in an area of animal management that has historically proven challenging: the breeding of cheetahs under...
Animal pillows
Dec. 06, 2017
ZooLights visitors will have the opportunity to attend GRUMP, a European-style outdoor market, Dec. 15, 16 and 17 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Day in the Life of a Bird House Keeper
Dec. 01, 2017
Caring for many species—from the itty bitty indigo bunting to the giant greater rhea—is all in a day’s work for keepers behind the scenes at the Zoo's Bird House.
Quito at the Zoo Duisburg in Germany
Dec. 01, 2017
Next week, 4-year-old male Andean bear Quito will make his debut at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo! Get the scoop on the new guy in town from animal keeper Sara Colandrea and assistant curator Leigh...
Western Lowland Gorilla Calaya
Dec. 01, 2017
When western lowland gorilla Calaya first arrived at the Zoo, she was unfamiliar with many husbandry behaviors. Then, one Day, animal keeper Melba Brown had an 'aha' moment. She noticed that Calaya...
Two Guam rail chicks and an adult Guam rail standing on the ground just behind a tray of food
Nov. 30, 2017
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute hatched two Guam rail chicks earlier this month. The hatchings are a boon for the species, which is currently classified as “extinct in the wild” by the...
Bei Bei
Nov. 29, 2017
Bei Bei started showing signs of abdominal discomfort overnight Saturday, Nov. 25. As a result, the panda team began monitoring him closely. He passed a mucous stool on Sunday, Nov. 26, and began...