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The zoo is open! All visitors will require free entry passes and be required to follow safety measures. Free timed-entry Asia Trail/Panda Passes are required for the giant panda viewing.

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Press Releases

blue-hued chromoproteins in Hawaiian blue rice coral may make it more resilient to UV rays and climate change than corals that are brown in color
Jun. 09, 2021
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists are one step closer to understanding why some corals can weather climate change better than others, and the secret could be in a specific protein... read press release
Black-footed ferret mom Potpie and her newborn kit on the Black-footed Ferret Cam livestream
May. 19, 2021
Carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, are welcoming a litter of endangered black-footed ferret kits. Three-year-old female Potpie has birthed... read press release
Indian flying foxes roosting in a tree in Myanmar.
May. 18, 2021
In new study, Smithsonian scientists and partners provide a framework for a new approach to modeling infectious diseases. It adapts established methods developed to study the planet’s natural systems... read press release
Lion statue at Zoo's entrance with face covering.
May. 11, 2021
When visitors return to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute May 21, they will find both familiar and new faces as they explore the park.... read press release
Bornean Rajah scops owl roosting in a tree.
May. 03, 2021
The Bornean subspecies of Rajah scops owl (Otus brookii brookii), documented in the wild for the first time since 1892, may be its own unique species and deserving of a conservation designation.... read press release
Lesser kudu calf laying down in the sand.
Apr. 29, 2021
Cheetah Conservation Station keepers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a male lesser kudu calf, who was born Mar. 29 to 7-year-old mother Rogue and 10-year-old father... read press release
Lion statue wearing face mask.
Apr. 23, 2021
The Smithsonian will reopen eight of its facilities to the public in May, starting with the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, Wednesday, May 5.... read press release
 Smithsonian researcher covered in insects attracted to artificial light at night.
Mar. 17, 2021
Artificial light at night is a major factor in global insect decline. Smithsonian scientists and partners found that using amber-colored filters to remove the blue spectra of light from “warm white”... read press release
Cheetah Justin (nicknamed "Gat") lays in the grass at the Cheetah Conservation Station.
Mar. 08, 2021
Cheetah Conservation Station keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are mourning the loss of Justin (nicknamed “Gat”), a male cheetah who died unexpectedly following a brief illness. Gat was 8... read press release
Feb. 04, 2021
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZP/SCBI) and the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), an independent nonprofit organization, announce the dissolution of their... read press release
Common nighthawk fitted with GPS transmitter.
Feb. 03, 2021
A new study led by Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and University of Alberta biologists has created a comprehensive picture of the 10,000 kilometer migratory route of common nighthawks using GPS... read press release
A giant panda cub stands in an area covered in a light dusting of snow and some scattered bamboo leaves.
Feb. 01, 2021
As snow blanketed the Washington, D.C., region Jan. 31, 2021, the Smithsonian's National Zoo's animals woke up to a winter wonderland. read press... read press release
Dama gazelle Adara at the Cheetah Conservation Station.
Dec. 11, 2020
Cheetah Conservation Station keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are mourning the loss of Adara, a female dama gazelle who was humanely euthanized Dec. 7. She was 14 years old. ... read press release
Two giant pandas, a female named Mei Xiang and a male named Tian Tian, sit side by side in the snow eating bamboo
Dec. 07, 2020
Giant pandas, icons and ambassadors for the efforts to save the species in Washington, D.C., since 1972, will continue to live at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo through the end of 2023.... read press release
The Smithsonian's National Zoo's 3-month-old giant panda cub (Nov. 18, 2020).
Nov. 23, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s 3-month-old giant panda cub received his name today. After five days of voting and just under 135,000 votes, the winning name is... read press release
Nov. 20, 2020
A note from the Zoo's Director, Steve Monfort, on the closing of the Zoo. read press release
Nov. 19, 2020
Due to rising regional and national cases related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, all Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo, will temporarily close to the public starting Monday,... read press release
Pair of African crested rats
Nov. 19, 2020
The African crested rat's fur is packed with a poison so lethal it can fell an elephant, and just a few milligrams can kill a human. Researchers found that it's the only mammal known to sequester... read press release
Giant panda cub at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Nov. 16, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is asking the public to help name the male giant panda cub, now 9.2 pounds of adorable, at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda... read press release
ZooLights Express flatbed truck with holiday sparkle
Nov. 10, 2020
ZooLights Express—powered by Pepco—will bring the colorful glow of Washington, D.C.’s beloved Smithsonian’s National Zoo holiday tradition into the community beginning Nov. 27. Festively decorated... read press release