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Zoo Vets: Zebras and Education

National Zoo
Smithsonian Channel presents insights into the life of Suzan Murray, the National Zoo's chief veterinarian. Hear her—and a couple of other women at the Zoo—talk about educating children about science and zebra rumps.

Young dama gazelle explores yard

National Zoo
Just a few weeks old, the Zoo's youngest dama gazelle explores his yard. The gazelle was born Sept. 4, 2012.

#OrangutanStory: Redd Goes to School

National Zoo
Over the winter, Bornean orangutan Redd learned some new husbandry behaviors! Read the latest #OrangutanStory from primate keeper Erin Stromberg. STORY: https://s.si.edu/2Y2DIjx.

Behind the Scenes: National Zoo Commissary

National Zoo
Mike Maslanka, head nutritionist at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, talks about what it takes to feed 2,000 animals from 400 different species 365 days a year. Each one receives a diet specially designed by National Zoo nutritionists that not only meets their nutrient needs but also encourages them to employ their natural feeding behaviors. The Zoo's commissary is one of the world's largest zoo commissaries and is about half an acre in size. In all, 13 people make up the Zoos nutrition team. Two members of the team are certified nutritionists. Of all 220 zoo members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, only 11 have nutritionists, and the National Zoo has two! But that's not the only thing that sets the Zoo apart. The National Zoo is also the only zoo that grows all of its own hay, which is grown at CRC.

Tian Tian in the Snow Jan. 23, 2016

National Zoo
Jan. 23, 2016---Male giant panda Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN) woke up this morning to a lot of snow, and he was pretty excited about it. Giant pandas have thick woolly coats that keep them warm in the snowy mountains of China. #Blizzard2016

Andean Bears: Saving Species with Zoo Director Dennis Kelly

National Zoo
Music: Woodvale by Ryan Lutton Visit the Andean bear cubs at the Smithsonian's National Zoo beginning March 28. The cubs were born at the Zoo Nov. 10 and 11, 2014, and are significant births for the population of Andean bears in human care. They are the third litter of cubs born at the Zoo since 2010, and one of only five surviving litters born in North American Zoos in the past 10 years. Andean bears are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, and it is estimated that there are only 20,000 left in the wild. #WeSaveSpecies

#ZooEnrichment: How is a Raven Like an Artist?

National Zoo
Using non-toxic, water-based paint, American Trail's female raven Iris creates one-of-a-kind works of art! Painting is one among many activities that fall under enrichment, a program that provides physically and mentally stimulating activities and environments for the Zoo's residents. Biologist Rebecca Sturniolo reveals how she trained Iris to use her natural behaviors to paint in the latest Keeper Q & A: http://s.si.edu/1MTtUfu.

American Bison Return to Smithsonian's National Zoo

National Zoo
In honor of its 125th anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is once again home to American bison, the animal that began the Zoo’s living collection in 1889 and sparked the conservation movement. Learn more at /www.americanbison.si.edu.

Bei Bei's 4th Birthday

National Zoo
Bei Bei (BAY-BAY) turned 4 years old today, Aug. 22. The Department of Nutrition Science at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo made him a panda-friendly frozen cake as a birthday treat. Keepers placed the cake made of his favorite foods, including diluted apple and grape juice, leaf-eater biscuits, applesauce, apples, pears, bananas, carrots, cooked sweet potatoes and sugar cane, in his yard at 9 a.m. Bei Bei was born at the Zoo but will move to China now that he is 4 years old as stipulated in the Zoo’s giant panda breeding agreement. The preparations for his move are well underway and include working with other federal agencies, researching travel logistics, coordinating with colleagues in China and preparing Bei Bei for the move. A date for his move has not been finalized, but it will occur in the coming months.

Zoo Jobs: Meet an Endocrinologist

National Zoo
Ever wonder what it’s like to be an endocrinologist at the National Zoo? Middle school students should check out, “Other Duties as Assigned: The Secret World of Zoo Jobs.” Meet Sarah Putman, endocrinologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Animal Demonstrations at Smithsonian's National Zoo

National Zoo
Come see our numerous animal demonstrations at Smithsonian's National Zoo! For a complete list of daily demonstrations, visit: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Visit/DailyPrograms/

Smithsonian's Lions Cubs GoPro Video

National Zoo
Last week, keepers at the Smithsonian's Great Cats exhibit put a GoPro camera in the den with Naba's cubs while mom was outside enjoying the sunshine. At first, the girls were a bit wary of the cam—hissing and stepping gingerly around it. Within 20 minutes, however, they felt comfortable going right up to the cam and even knocked it over! Adding a novel items to the lions' environment is part of the Zoo's enrichment program. Not only do they physically and mentally stimulate the Zoo's residents, but also encourage animals to use their natural abilities and behaviors in new and exciting ways. Enrichment is an integral part of daily care and helps keepers ensure the Zoo's animals have a high quality of life. You can help contribute to the Zoo's enrichment program by donating to our Giving Tree! http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Support/MakeDonation/GivingTree.cfm

Lion Cub Naming Contest: Your Guide to Our Lions

National Zoo
So you think you've got what it takes to name the Smithsonian National Zoo's lion cubs? Here are some tips from two of the Zoo's lion keepers that may help get you started brainstorming. In this video, keepers answer the following questions and more: What are the two cubs like? Where are their parents from? What traits make them stand out? Once you've created your video, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/lionnames to submit your entry. You'll also find official rules at this site. Good luck! Official rules here:

Clouded Leopard Cubs

National Zoo
The two boys are now three months old, mobile and rambunctious! Check out our website http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AsiaTrail/CloudedLeopard/default.cfm to learn more. June 2009

Guam Kingfisher Hatches at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

National Zoo
A tiny egg nestled in an incubator at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute began wiggling and cracking April 22 until a featherless Guam kingfisher chick emerged. A camera inside the incubator caught the moment the chick hatched out of the egg around 3 p.m. Guam kingfishers are extinct in the wild and only approximately 140 live in human care, making every chick extremely precious. Guam kingfishers are notoriously difficult to breed. They are territorial, and it has been difficult for the Species Survival Plan to match compatible breeding pairs. Although the chick’s parents successfully bred, they did not properly care for this egg. When keepers saw that the chick’s parents were not incubating the egg, they stepped in to help, placing it in an incubator mimicking the conditions in a nest. The egg hatched after 22 days, which is normal for the species. Eggs typically hatch between 21 and 23 days after they are laid. During the incubation, keepers candled—or shined a light against the shell of the egg—to track the chick’s development. The chick weighs 8.5 grams but will continue to grow every day. Keepers will feed the chick every two hours between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. for the next 10 days. At first, it will only receive thawed mice, which are easier for chicks to digest, but eventually its diet will include crickets, mealworms and small anoles (a type of lizard). After 10 days, the feedings will gradually decrease until the chick is fed twice a day like the adults. Outside of feeding the chick, keepers will keep interactions with it to a minimum to increase the chances of it successfully raising its own chicks as an adult. They have placed mirrors in the incubator and play Guam kingfisher vocalizations to prevent the chick from imprinting on humans. Guam kingfishers hatch without any feathers, their eyes closed and cannot thermoregulate on their own, so the chick will stay in the incubator until it has grown feathers. Its plumage will start to come in at around 10 days old, but it will take several more months for the chick to develop the vibrant blue, orange and white plumage that adults have. All existing Guam kingfishers, or sihek (SEE-heck) as they are called in Chamorro (the language of the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands), are descended from 29 individuals. They were taken from the wild into human care in the 1980s to create a breeding program to save the species from extinction. SCBI hatched its first chick in 1985. Since then, 20 chicks have hatched at SCBI as part of the Guam Kingfisher Species Survival Plan. SCBI plays a leading role in the Smithsonian’s global efforts to save wildlife species from extinction and train future generations of conservationists. SCBI spearheads research programs at its headquarters in Front Royal, Virginia, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and at field research stations and training sites worldwide. SCBI scientists tackle some of today’s most complex conservation challenges by applying and sharing what they learn about animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability.

Bao Bao and Mei Xiang Enjoy a Fruitsicle on a Summer Day

National Zoo
During the summer the giant pandas usually receive a refreshing fruitsicle treat every day. On July 6, 2014, Bao Bao and Mei Xiang each received one before shifting inside for the afternoon. Bao Bao's fruitsicle is much smaller than Mei's, but she is showing more interest in solid foods - especially fruitsicle treats.

Returning Scimitar-horned Oryx to Chad

National Zoo
Thirty years after the scimitar-horned oyrx were driven to extinction, the desert antelope will return to the last-known place it existed: Chad’s Sahelian grasslands. The reintroduction—the culmination of decades of work—is being led by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), the government of Chad and their implementing partner, the Sahara Conservation Fund. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Zoological Society of London are leading post-release satelite-tracking efforts that will result in the collection of one of the most comprehensive datasets for any wildlife species returned to its native habitat.

Batang and Her Infant

National Zoo
Sept. 13, 2016—For the first time in 25 years, primate staff at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are celebrating the birth of a male Bornean orangutan. He was born at 8:52 p.m. Sept. 12. Both 19 years old, female Batang and male Kyle bred in January following a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). Primate staff have confirmed the newborn is a male. Animal care staff have observed Batang nursing the infant who has been clinging closely to his mother, and they are cautiously optimistic that the newborn will thrive. In this video the infant is vocalizing to Batang, who is carefully inspecting him. Orangutan infants communicate with their mothers through vocalizations, gestures and touch, all of which helps reinforce their bond.

Monitoring and Analysis of the Acoustic Landscape (Soundscape) in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve

National Zoo
Please click on the closed captioning button ("CC") for English translation. This video summarizes the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's acoustic monitoring research in south central Peru, an experiment designed to understand the impacts of natural gas exploration on forest animals. Further details can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X16306392.

Bei Bei Choo!

National Zoo
Giant panda cub Bei Bei sneezes. As of Sept. 28, Bei Bei weighs 4 lbs.

Bornean Orangutan Redd on the O-Line

National Zoo
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s nearly 7-month-old male Bornean orangutan infant, Redd, took his first trip on the O-Line April 4 carried by his mother, Batang. The 50-foot-high suspended cable track gives orangutans the choice and freedom to move between their yards at the Great Ape House and Think Tank.

Smithsonian's National Zoo's Asia Trail Exhibit

National Zoo
Highlights of the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Asia Trail exhibit.

Smithsonian's National Zoo's American Trail Exhibit

National Zoo
Highlights of the American Trail exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
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