From the National Zoo:

“After several attempts this morning, ‪#‎BeiBei‬ climbed up a tree! And mamma bear Mei Xiang helped him climb back down. ‪#‎WeSaveSpecies‬”

Bei Bei's First Time Outside

Look who’s stepping out! #BeiBei ventured outside this morning for the first time with Mei Xiang. #WeSaveSpecies

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Thursday, February 4, 2016

“Look who’s stepping out! ‪#‎BeiBei‬ ventured outside this morning for the first time with Mei Xiang. ‪#‎WeSaveSpecies‬”

Tian Tian woke up this morning to a lot of snow…and he was pretty excited about it. #Blizzard2016

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Saturday, January 23, 2016

“Tian Tian woke up this morning to a lot of snow…and he was pretty excited about it.”

And a red panda too:

“Snow doesn’t stop the red pandas! Their feet are completely covered in fur, and their thick coats keep them warm in snow and cold weather.”

12552977_10153837945182902_3344144110270413029_n
Via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

bei bei
Bei Bei via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“#BeiBei had his first introduction to snow today! Keepers took him outside to a small behind-the-scenes area and let him explore in a light dusting of snow for a few minutes while Mei Xiang ate her breakfast in her outdoor yard. Keepers said he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the powdery snow.”

While we wait – here’s a reminder of how awesome/mesmerizing sister Bao Bao’s snow roll was last year.

Rusty_red_panda
Rusty when he was on the lam back in 2013 via @NationalZoo

And all is good in the world again! From the National Zoo:

“Have you been missing ‪#‎redpandas‬ at the Zoo since Rusty moved to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute? REJOICE! They’re back. Meet Tusa and Asa at the Small Mammal House.”

Ed. Note: Waiting to see Shredder, Clinger, and Slash too! RIP Shama.

Red Pandas at the National Zoo

Have you been missing #redpandas at the Zoo since Rusty moved to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute? REJOICE! They’re back. Meet Tusa and Asa at the Small Mammal House. #WeSaveSpecies

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Thursday, January 7, 2016

IMG_1803

From a press release:

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released a letter she sent yesterday to National Zoo Director Dennis Kelly criticizing the zoo’s decision to change its morning hours, from opening the grounds at 6:00 a.m. to opening them at 8:00 a.m., without holding a public meeting beforehand. Norton said she has heard from many constituents who use the zoo grounds to exercise in the morning and who are outraged that a public meeting with the Woodley Park Community Association was held only after the decision to change the morning hours had been made.

In her letter, Norton wrote, “Making decisions that affect the daily lives of District residents requires you to include them in that process, not simply make a unilateral decision and then attend a community meeting as an afterthought. The long experience of democracy is that such public participation before decisions are made yields better and less contentious outcomes. I ask that you respond to the residents’ pleas for a compromise and that you keep community input at the forefront of your decision-making process in the future.”

Norton’s full letter is below. (more…)

IMG_1805

Back in early November we learned about the new later zoo hours effective Jan. 1st. Some folks are pretty pissed and a petition has been launched to reverse the decision:

“Proposed change of National Zoo opening time to 8 AM eliminates a safe place to exercise before work. Keep the 6 AM opening time, which makes the Zoo a fitness resource for all the surrounding Washington DC neighborhoods. Walkers and runners are happy to help keep the Zoo secure by reporting anything unusual to the Zoo police.”

IMG_1806

Previously:

IMG_1808

CVEQdz3U8AA5x-_
via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Finally some competition for Bei Bei.

The National Zoo reports:

“Our 3 cheetah cubs at SCBI are just over 6 weeks old! They have started eating meat and are developing their own personalities. The male cub on the left is very brave and independent.”

CUrSVm0UwAAcNIe.jpg_large
Photo: Janice Sveda/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“During a routine medical exam yesterday, Nov. 24, veterinarians at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo discovered that their male clouded leopard had life-threatening tumors. Keepers had noticed that Tai, a 13-and-a-half-year-old male, had been chewing gingerly on the right side of his mouth for the past week and changed his food consumption, which prompted keepers to notify the veterinarian team. A decision was made to perform an oral-health assessment and his annual health checkup simultaneously because anesthetizing animals can pose risks.

During the exam, radiographs revealed that Tai had a large amount of fluid within his chest causing several of his lung lobes to collapse. After removing some of the fluid from his chest, veterinarians found several masses of varying sizes in Tai’s chest. These clinical signs pointed to an aggressive malignant tumor. Because of the seriousness of the tumors, veterinarians elected to humanely euthanize Tai.

Tai was one of the first residents on Asia Trail when it opened in 2006. He and his partner, Mook, the Zoo’s female clouded leopard, lived well together but never had any offspring. (more…)