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Elephant Cam News Archive

A video "play" button over a still of Asian elephant Swarna standing in a sandy yard eating browse
Apr. 20, 2022
When female Asian elephant Swarna joined our herd in May 2014, her routine tooth exams showed an unusual shape and wear pattern on her teeth. Elephant dentistry specialists joined the Zoo’s team to re... read more
Zoo nutritionist, Erin, holds screaming hairy armadillo, Sherman. Erin is wearing a black mask, navy jacket and light blue latex gloves. Sherman's front paws rest on Erin's left hand as he too looks at the camera.
Nov. 04, 2021
Food for thought: Nutrition forms the foundation to living a healthy life. Get a taste of the challenges real-life Zoo Guardian and Clinical Animal Nutritionist, Erin Kendrick, faces as she formulates... read more
A Guam rail (bird) stands on a small scale to be weighed
Nov. 04, 2021
Keepers can learn a lot about an animal’s needs just by monitoring its weight. But how do you weigh a wiggly ferret or get a full-grown elephant onto a scale? Find out in this update from primate keep... read more
Asian elephants Maharani (foreground) and her mother Kamala (background) explore the Elephant Trails habitat.
Oct. 01, 2021
Raise your trunks for the world’s largest land mammal: the elephant! Find out how animal keeper, Rebecca Riley, cares for Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Asian elephant herd.
Jan. 27 | Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji had his first taste of bamboo this week!
Jun. 14, 2021
How do you create a menu that is pleasing to the palates of giant pandas, flamingos and fishing cats? With more than 2,700 mouths to feed among 390 species, the Department of Nutrition Science whips u... read more
A male Asian elephant, named Spike, with large white tusks and a long trunk stands outside in the sun near a pool of water at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Apr. 29, 2021
How do animal keepers take a blood sample from an elephant or examine a big cat's teeth? Find out how training helps keepers care for animals that they can't share a physical space with in this update...
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 more
Asian elephants Bozie and Shanthi. Bozie, on the left, uses her trunk to touch Shanthi's face.
May. 19, 2020
The Zoo cares for five female Asian elephants from a few different family groups. Luckily, there are a few things that keepers can do to encourage them to build positive relationships. Learn more in t... read more
Infant western lowland gorilla Moke sits on a rock in a yard with grass and shrubs
May. 01, 2020
Chirping cheetah cubs, a birthday party fit for a gorilla and a Madagascar hedgehog tenrec indulging in some self-care with a dust bath—all of these events (and more) made for an eventful month. 
Asian elephant Ambika at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Elephant Trails habitat in 2016.
Mar. 28, 2020
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo community is mourning the loss of Ambika, the beloved eldest member of its Asian elephant herd. She was humanely euthanized yesterday, March 27, following a recent and i... read more
Asian elephant Shanthi at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
Jan. 06, 2020
As the Smithsonian’s National Zoo rang in the new year, the elephant team celebrated another revolution around the sun for (now) 45-year-old female Asian elephant, Shanthi.
Asian elephant Shanthi at the Zoo's Elephant Trails exhibit.
Dec. 06, 2019
An update on Asian elephant Shanthi's osteoarthritis. 
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!
An Asian elephant with large tusks walks near huts in Myanmar
Jun. 12, 2019
Large animals, like the Asian elephants, have evolved to grow and mature at a different rate than many smaller species monitored by organizations like the International Union for the Conservation of N... read more
Asian elephant Shanthi (foreground) at the Elephant Trails Exhibit. In the background are Ambika (L) and Bozie (R).
May. 17, 2019
Like many aging animals, Asian elephant Shanthi has osteoarthritis. She was first diagnosed with the chronic condition when she was in her teens. Zoo keepers and veterinarians have spent decades succe... read more
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 was created in 1889 and opened its doors in 1891. To celebrate its 130th anniversary, look back at how the Zoo has evolved through the years.
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 p... read more
Male Asian elephant in Myanmar.
Jun. 01, 2018
Learn all about studying elephant personalities in this Q&A with Shifra Goldenberg, a research associate with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Conservation Ecology Center.
scimitar-horned oryx laying in grass
May. 18, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is dedicated to saving species. Every day, its scientists and partners undertake important conservation efforts to protect species and... read more
A large Asian elephant, Spike, with tusks and gray skin stands in the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Elephant Community Center
Apr. 27, 2018
On April 27, 2018, Asian elephant Spike received a celebratory cake as he explored his new habitat in the Elephant Community Center at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute...
A male Asian elephant with tusks stands in a brightly lit barn at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Apr. 24, 2018
Asian elephant Spike will receive a celebratory cake as he explores his new habitat in the Elephant Community Center at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
Asian elephant Spike enjoys some browse in his yard.
Apr. 20, 2018
Get the latest scoop on Asian elephant Spike from animal keeper Amanda Bobyack.
An Asian elephant wearing a GPS satellite collar in a forest in Myanmar
Apr. 19, 2018
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Clemson University scientists have found that poaching is an emerging crisis in Myanmar for Asian elephants.
Asian elephant Spike in the Elephant Barn.
Mar. 29, 2018
This update was written by elephant keeper Kayleigh Sullivan.  It has been almost a week since Asian elephant Spike arrived at the Elephant Trails habitat. Since then, he has made himself right at hom...
A large male Asian elephant with white tusks stands in a brightly lit barn at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Mar. 23, 2018
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo community is celebrating the arrival of a 36-year-old male Asian elephant named Spike.