Photo via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Sweet, sweet words from the National Zoo:

“The panda house is open today! Visitors can see Bei Bei inside the panda house until 4 p.m.”

Ed. Note: Over the Thanksgiving holiday Bei Bei hademergency surgery to to remove a dense, masticated lemon-sized mass of bamboo. Happy to see him back in form!

Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo


From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on Sunday:

“Yesterday in the late afternoon, Mei Xiang and Bei Bei began to respond to each other’s vocalizations. Bei Bei actively climbed around his den so keepers decided to reintroduce Mei Xiang and Bei Bei to help him settle down. After an initial period of high activity during the introduction, Bei Bei nursed for 20 minutes and they both fell asleep. Bei Bei has successfully nursed three times thus far. (more…)

Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From a press release:

“Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s giant panda cub Bei Bei is stable and recovering following an emergency bowel obstruction surgery to remove a dense, masticated lemon-sized mass of bamboo.

“I’m extremely proud and thankful for our team of keepers, veterinarians, animal care staff, volunteer medical experts and all staff who have helped facilitate the urgent response,” said Director Dennis Kelly. “Bei Bei’s prognosis is very good. The challenge will be for our team to monitor him safely and that requires his cooperation. We will keep everyone up to speed as he recovers.”

On Thursday, Nov. 24, giant panda cub Bei Bei showed signs of stomach discomfort and nausea. He was sleeping more than normal and not eating. Bei Bei was given an anti-nausea medication injection and remained in his indoor enclosure under observation. Zoo animal care and veterinary staff observed him closely throughout the day and made periodic checks overnight to monitor his condition. (more…)

courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“A 23-year-old male Andean bear named Cisco died at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Oct. 24 during an emergency veterinary exam. In the past week, Cisco became less active and began breathing more heavily with an occasional cough. Those signs worsened over the weekend and his appetite declined, which prompted keepers and veterinarians to move an exam scheduled for later this week to Monday morning. (more…)

Caption: Bao Bao at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Photo: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

And the day just got even darker. We knew it was coming but it still stings damn it.

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“Giant panda Bao Bao will depart the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for China in late winter, within the first few months of 2017. As part of the Zoo’s cooperative breeding agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), all cubs born at the Zoo move to China by the time they turn 4 years old. Bao Bao will turn 4 Aug. 23, 2017.

Baby Panda Vet Exam 10/23/13
Flashback Photo: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

“Bao Bao is very special to us at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo,” said Brandie Smith, associate director of animal care sciences. “She was the first surviving cub born at the Zoo since 2005. She’s captured the hearts of people all over the world who watched her grow up on the panda cams, and she has been an ambassador for conservation. We are sad to see her go, but excited for the contributions she is going to continue to make to the global giant panda population.” (more…)

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“The Great Ape House is open, but Batang and Redd still choose to spend the majority of their time resting behind-the-scenes. We were lucky to catch this glimpse of them yesterday! To help Batang transition back into her normal routine, keepers have scattered some of Batang’s favorite foods around the public exhibit for enrichment, as well as piles of hay and fleece blankets for nesting materials. Today, she built a nest close to the door of Bonnie and Kyle’s enclosure, and the two took turns looking at Redd!”

via the Smithsonian National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

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. The Great Ape House will remain closed to provide Batang a quiet space to bond with her infant.”