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Beginning Jan. 18, 2022, the Zoo is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last admittance 2:30 p.m.). Select animal buildings remain closed. Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. All visitors ages 2 and older are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces at the Zoo, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to wear a mask in outdoor areas.

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Press Releases

Gray wolf Coby recently celebrated her 16th birthday at American Trail.
Oct. 13, 2020
American Trail keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are mourning the loss of Coby, a female gray wolf who was humanely euthanized Sept. 30. At 16 years old, Coby was considered geriatric for her... read press release
Sand cat Thor lived at the Small Mammal House.
Oct. 10, 2020
Small Mammal House keepers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo are mourning the loss of Thor, an elderly male sand cat who was humanely euthanized Sept. 29 due to a recent and irreversible decline in... read press release
Giant panda cub
Oct. 05, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s 6-week-old giant panda cub is a male, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists confirmed. During the cub’s first veterinary exam Sept. 19, Zoo... read press release
Reintroduced swift fox on grasslands of Montana
Sep. 23, 2020
After an absence of more than 50 years, the swift fox has returned to the grasslands of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana.... read press release
Aug. 21, 2020
Smithsonian’s National Zoo staff will be available to discuss the recent giant panda cub birth. read press... read press release
Giant Panda Mei Xiang rests with her tiny, newborn cub in her den at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Giant Panda House
Aug. 21, 2020
Giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) gave birth to a cub at Smithsonian’s National Zoo today, Aug. 21 at 6:35 p.m. read press release
Aug. 21, 2020
A new genomic study ranks the potential of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to bind to the ACE2 receptor site in 410 vertebrate animals. Old World primates and great apes, which have identical amino... read press release
State-of-the-art tracking technology reveals previously unknown long-distance movements of Kirtland’s warblers during the mating season that have important conservation implications for North American birds.
Aug. 20, 2020
State-of-the-art tracking technology reveals previously unknown long-distance movements of Kirtland’s warblers during the mating season that have important conservation implications for North... read press release
a black and white ultrasound image with arrow indicating the placement of a giant panda fetus in-utero
Aug. 14, 2020
Veterinarians at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo detected tissue consistent with fetal development during Mei Xiang’s ultrasound this morning, Aug. 14.... read press release
The furry, feathered and scaly world of zoos, animal care and conservation comes to life in “Zoo Guardians,” a new mobile game launched today by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in partnership with JumpStart Games.
Aug. 14, 2020
The furry, feathered and scaly world of zoos, animal care and conservation comes to life in “Zoo Guardians,” a new mobile game launched today. Players are invited to build their own zoos, care for... read press release
a green frog in water next to a rock
Jul. 24, 2020
For frogs dying of the invasive chytridiomycosis disease, the leading cause of amphibian deaths worldwide, the genes responsible for protecting them may actually be leading to their demise, according... read press release
Lion statue at Zoo's entrance with face covering.
Jul. 21, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo opens to the public on July 24. There will be two media opportunities. All media must register to attend. Parking is limited and television crews will be prioritized... read press release
The entrance gate at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Jul. 20, 2020
The Smithsonian will reopen two of its facilities to the public Friday, July 24: the National Zoo in Northwest Washington, D.C., and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in... read press release
American bison Lucy at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Jul. 16, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has welcomed “Lucy” and “Gally,” two juvenile female American bison.... read press release
For the first time in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) history, ungulate keepers celebrated the birth of a male Hartmann’s mountain zebra at the Front Royal, Virginia, facility. The colt was born overnight July 2, 2020.
Jul. 03, 2020
For the first time in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s (SCBI) history, ungulate keepers celebrated the birth of a male Hartmann’s mountain zebra at the Front Royal, Virginia, facility... read press release
Asian elephant Shanthi at the Elephant Trails exhibit.
Jun. 27, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute community is mourning the loss of Shanthi, beloved member of its Asian elephant herd and ambassador for her species. After decades of... read press release
Clouded Leopard Mook
May. 22, 2020
Asia Trail keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are mourning the loss of Mook, an elderly female clouded leopard who was humanely euthanized May 20 due to a... read press release
Three cheetah cubs sit in the grass beside their den
May. 21, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is asking the public to help name the litter of four cheetah cubs born April 8!... read press release
Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute welcomed six black-footed ferret kits to 2-year-old mother Potpie May 10, 2020.
May. 14, 2020
Mother’s Day was extra special for carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, who welcomed the year’s first litter of black-footed ferret... read press release
American bison Ten Bears (left) and Kicking Bird (right) at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
May. 14, 2020
Ungulate keepers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are mourning the loss of two elderly American Bison, a male named Ten Bears and a female named Kicking Bird, who were humanely... read press release