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Zoo News Archive

Bei Bei resting on a limb of a tree.
Aug. 20, 2019
By the end of August Bei Bei will be another year older! He will receive a panda-friendly frozen cake specially made by the Zoo’s Department of Nutrition Science to celebrate during the morning of...
A sea lion pup behind-the-scenes at American Trail.
Aug. 19, 2019
Our sea lion pup is making a splash behind the scenes at American Trail! Get the latest 'pupdate' from animal keeper Sam Milne. 
American alligator in the grass
Aug. 16, 2019
What’s better than a dad joke? An animal joke! August 16 is National Tell a Joke Day. So get your laugh tracks ready, because we’ve got a few toadally awesome animal jokes that are sure to leave kids...
Juvenile dama gazelle
Aug. 15, 2019
The Smithsonian's National Zoo is mourning the loss of an 11-month-old male dama gazelle named Gustav who died Aug. 7.
Hereford calf Willow at the Kids' Farm.
Aug. 15, 2019
Kids’ Farm keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed a new member to the cattle herd—a 10-month-old female Hereford calf named Willow. Her arrival bumps the number of cattle at the Kids’...
A camera trap photo of a hoofed animal (called a pronghorn) with thick fur, big ears and large, flattened antlers walking across the wide-open grasslands of the American prairie
Aug. 12, 2019
How can you begin to study something as vast and diverse as the American prairie? Find out in the latest blog from landscape ecologist Hila Shamon who is stationed at American Prairie Reserve in...
A female onager with the rest of her herd grazing behind her.
Aug. 08, 2019
Even though Persian onagers are a herd species and prefer to live in groups, they don’t have a “hive” mind, they each have distinct personalities! 
Red-fronted Lemur Flare at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Lemur Island habitat.
Aug. 07, 2019
Primate keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are mourning the loss of Flare, an elderly red-fronted lemur who was humanely euthanized Aug. 6. At 33 years old, she was one of the oldest red-...
Giant panda Mei Xiang sleeping on a rock inside the panda house.
Aug. 07, 2019
Scientists, veterinarians and keepers have been monitoring Mei Xiang closely for the past several months to determine if she is pregnant or experiencing a pseudopregnancy. 
An endangered purple fringeless orchid.
Aug. 06, 2019
Local citizen scientists working with the Changing Landscapes Initiative and Virginia Working Landscapes, both programs of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), discovered a rare...
Home's Hinge-Back Tortoise at the Reptile Discovery Center
Aug. 02, 2019
Three new Home’s hinge-back tortoises recently made their debut at the Reptile Discovery Center! Get the scoop on these totally awesome tortoises from animal keeper Sara Hasenstab.
Titi monkeys Henderson (left) and Kingston (right) sit on a branch in the Amazonia rainforest habitat.
Aug. 02, 2019
Meet Henderson and Kingston—two white-eared titi monkeys that live in Amazonia’s rainforest habitat! Get to know them in this Q&A with animal keeper Donna Stockton.  
A bird called a long-billed curlew flies across a blue sky. Its wings are outstretched and its long, thin, curved bill is open.
Jul. 31, 2019
All seasons on the prairie are special. But spring is just a little more special than the rest, as every day birds return for summer breeding season.
A Kirtland's warbler perched on a branch.
Jul. 31, 2019
For the past 40 years, brown-headed cowbirds have been trapped and killed in Michigan to prevent them from laying eggs in endangered Kirtland’s warbler nests—causing warbler parents to care for...
Five female Persian onagers in a field.
Jul. 29, 2019
Persian onagers are an amazing species! And even though they are not one of the iconic species that you may know, as someone who gets to care for them and spend time with them every day, let me tell...
A female Abyssinian ground hornbill perched on a branch over a male Abyssinian ground hornbill standing in the grass. Both birds are large with dark, black feathers and long, curved beaks
Jul. 26, 2019
This summer, Abyssinian ground hornbill Karl got a new roommate — a hornbill named Karoline! The pair met in June, but their story really began two years ago when keepers decided to build Karl a new...
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Jul. 19, 2019
With temperatures soaring, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo continues to take good care of its creatures — human and non-human alike! Find out what keepers do for animals in this heat.
Virginia Working Landscapes program director Amy Johnson holds an eastern meadowlark.
Jul. 19, 2019
At first glance, Virginia’s farmlands seem quite peaceful. But beneath the swaying fields of hay lies a bustling ecosystem for the birds that call the grasslands home. One such avian animal—the...
Persian onager calf born in 2015.
Jul. 19, 2019
Excitement is in the air at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, where hoofstock keepers are eagerly anticipating the births of three Persian onagers! Get to know...
Kristina Anderson-Teixeria
Jul. 18, 2019
Kristina Anderson-Teixeira—a forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) Conservation Ecology Center and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Center for...
Giant panda Bei Bei sitting in his outdoor hammock.
Jul. 17, 2019
During the past several weeks, Bei Bei has been experiencing some gastrointestinal discomfort which has caused him to pass several mucous stools and loose stools. 
A camera trap photo of a jaguar with spotted fur stalking across a leaf-covered forest floor toward the camera
Jul. 16, 2019
Wild animals are very elusive, so how do scientists learn about their behavior and life history? Find out how Smithsonian scientists use camera traps and acoustic recorders to covertly monitor...
A newborn scimitar-horned oryx calf with tan skin and large ears stands in the grass near its mother, an oryx named Chari, and another adult oryx
Jul. 16, 2019
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's herd of scimitar-horned oryx is growing. Keepers welcomed five calves during the past few weeks.
Close-up of Asian elephant Maharani's face.
Jul. 12, 2019
Female Asian elephant Maharani is turning 29 years old Sunday, July 14, and we are celebrating with her favorite thing—food!
giant panda mei xiang in her yard
Jul. 12, 2019
Keepers are still waiting to find out if giant panda Mei Xiang is pregnant. She has not started exhibiting many behaviors associated with the secondary hormone rise of a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy.