Tag archives for National Zoo
The panda cub that was born in September at the National Zoo lived for just six days before mysteriously dying. Today, the National Zoo released a statement saying that the female cub died of liver and lung damage. The cub’s lungs were not fully developed, so the cub was not getting enough oxygen. The cub’s mother, Mei Xiang, has returned to most of her ordinary behaviors.
A baby panda was born on September 16 at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo. The new baby is about as long as an adult’s hand, and only weighs about a quarter of a pound. Panda babies are pink when they are born–they don’t look like adult pandas at all! No one knows if the baby is a male or female yet, but the zoo will be able to tell in about a month. The new cub will receive a name when it is 100 days old, following the Chinese custom.
The last panda baby born at the zoo was named Tai Shan, seen in the picture above.
Photograph by Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP
Two red panda cubs born this summer at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. just got their names. The two female red panda cubs were born on the stormy evening of June 17, 2011. Their new names reflect the wild weather on the night of their birth. One of the cubs is named Pili, which means “clap of thunder” in Chinese. The other is named Damini, which means “lightning” in Nepalese.
Red pandas are endangered animals that live in the mountains. They are much smaller than giant pandas, growing to about the size of a housecat. They live in Nepal, Myanmar, and China.
Photograph courtesy Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Things got a little shaky at National Geographic headquarters yesterday! A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the U.S. East Coast, shaking Washington D.C., New York City, and beyond. The earthquake’s epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, which is near Richmond. Earthquakes are rare in this part of the country, but their effects can be felt farther away than ones that strike the West Coast.
Humans weren’t the only ones shaken up by the quake. Animals at the National Zoo exhibited unusual behavior before and after the earthquake.
Photograph by Justin Lane, European Pressphoto Agency
Seven lion cubs were born at the National Zoo this summer. Lioness Shera had four cubs, while lioness Nababiep had three. Now all seven cubs have been named!
Shera’s cubs are named John, Fahari, Zuri, and Lelie. Lelie, meaning “lily,” is the winning female name from the Name a Cub contest. The name was submitted by a first-grade classroom at Marshall Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia. Nababiep’s cubs are named Aslan, Lusaka, and Baruti. Baruti is the winning male name from the contest. It means “teacher” and was submitted by a daycare class from the Bright Horizons Child Care & Education at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.
Visit the National Zoo’s website to learn how the other names were chosen.
Want to help save lions? Visit Letters to Lions to find out how to send a letter to African leaders.
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian National Zoo
In August, seven cubs were born at the National Zoo! The Zoo is giving the public a chance to name two of the cubs, one male and one female. If you want to submit a name, create a 90-second video containing the name you think would be best for one of the cubs and explain why you chose that name.
U.S. residents over the age of 13 should submit their videos by midnight on Sunday, December 5. If you are younger than 13 but you still want to participate, make it a family project and have your parent or guardian submit the video.
Learn more about the cub-naming contest on the National Zoo’s website.
Help save lions! Find out how by visiting Letters to Lions.
This week, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. welcomed four new arrivals–baby lions! This is Shera’s first litter of cubs, and so far the family is doing wonderfully. The cubs won’t be out in the lion yard until late in the fall, according to keepers.
Learn more about the baby lions and watch a video on the National Zoo’s website.
Get the facts on lions in the Creature Feature.
The Big Cats Initiative, led by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, hope to stop the decline of lion and other big cat populations. Learn more on National Geographic.
Locate lions and watch Crittercam videos in the Crittercam: African Adventure game on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo
The National Zoo’s female red panda Shama gave birth to her first cub on June 16! This is the first red panda born at the Zoo in15 years. Red pandas are an endangered species–there are only about 2,500 red pandas left in the wild. But if you visit the Zoo, you may be able to see Shama and her little one from the upper viewing platform on the Asia Trail.
Learn more about the baby red panda on the National Zoo’s website.
Get the facts on giant pandas on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy of Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian National Zoo
In March, you helped the National Zoo pick a name for their new giant Pacific octopus. The choices were Olympus, Octavius, Ceph, and Vancouver. And the winner is… Octavius! More than half of the people who voted chose this name. If you live near Washington D.C., you can visit Octavius at the National Zoo’s Inbertebrate Exhibit.
Read more about the ocean animals at the National Zoo on the Smithsonian Institution’s website.
Check out the News Bite on octopus “mobile homes.”
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy
The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. wants you to help name the new giant Pacific octopus. Zoo officials aren’t quite sure whether their octopus is a boy or a girl and won’t know until the octopus is bit more mature. Here are the four names from which to choose: Olympus, Octavius, Ceph, and Vancouver. Polls will remain open until noon Eastern time on April 7.
Tai Shan was born in 2005 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The giant panda turned four last July, and now it’s time for him to relocate to China. This Saturday, January 30, there will be a farewell celebration for Tai Shan at the National Zoo. Tai Shan will leave the zoo on February 4.
Tai Shan is going to China to be part of a panda breeding program. Giant pandas are endangered, with fewer than 2,000 pandas living in the wild. China’s giant panda breeding program will help sustain the numbers of wild pandas.
Learn more about Tai Shan’s farewell party on the National Zoo’s website.
Learn more about giant pandas on National Geographic Kids.
Jessie Cohen/Smithsonian National Zoo
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy/National Zoo
Happy the hippo was born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and lived there for 28 years. In recent years, he has been the zoo’s only hippo and shared a habitat with the elephants. On Monday, September 28, Happy moved out in preparation for the Asian elephant exhibit expansion. His new home is at the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin. Zoo visitors in Washington, D.C. will miss him, but at least Happy will finally have some company–two female hippos named Puddles and Patti.
Learn more about Happy’s big move on the National Zoo’s website.
Get the facts on hippos on National Geographic Kids.
One of the big attractions at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo is Tai Shan, a giant panda. He was born at the zoo in 2005, and has been delighting visitors ever since. Tai Shan turns four today, and his fans have been leaving birthday messages on the National Zoo’s website.
To celebrate his birthday, the zoo’s staff made Tai Shan a birthday “cake,” but it’s really more like a Popsicle. The ingredients are water, bamboo, and beets. Yummy!
Send Tai Shan a birthday wish on the National Zoo’s website.
Learn more about Tai Shan and the zoo’s other giant pandas on the National Zoo’s website.
Get facts about giant pandas on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy Mehgan
Murphy/Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Photograph by Meghan Murphy/National Zoo
Earlier this month, two clouded leopard cubs were born at the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia. This is the first successful clouded leopard birth at the center in 16 years!
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Keepers at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., were surprised when they counted three black and rufous giant elephant-shrew in their exhibit instead of two! The female elephant-shrew in the exhibit probably gave birth to the new baby in January. The baby elephant-shrew is doing well and can be seen in the National Zoo’s Small Mammal House.
See a video of the baby and learn more about the new elephant-shrew on the National Zoo’s website.
Watch a wild elephant shrew and her baby in this video.
A western lowland gorilla named Mandara gave birth to her sixth baby in the Great Ape House on January 10. The zoo isn’t sure if the tiny gorilla is a boy or a girl yet, because Mom’s keeping the baby all to herself for now.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as a critically endangered species, so these births are especially important. There have been seven successful western lowland gorilla births at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
See baby pictures and watch a video at the National Zoo.
Get the facts on mountain gorillas in the Creature Feature.
Did you know that orangutans can imitate sounds and even whistle? Researchers have seen them imitate human activities like sweeping and even washing clothes, but now scientists have found that they can pick up sounds from other species.
Bonnie, an orangutan who lives at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., has been whistling for about 20 years. She was never trained to whistle, indicating that some animals can learn and mimic sounds that other species make without being directly taught.
Photograph courtesy Smithsonian National Zoological Park