Washington, DC


Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“Giant panda Bei Bei will depart the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for China Tuesday, Nov. 19. As part of the Zoo’s cooperative breeding agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, all cubs born at the Zoo move to China when they are 4 years old. Bei Bei turned 4 Aug. 22. Read More

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“A clouded leopard cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.” courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Word of Mei Xiang not being pregnant was rough but this salves the wound a bit.

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“For the first time, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is home to rare clouded leopard cubs. The two cubs are the newest residents on the Zoo’s Asia Trail and will make their public debut Wednesday, Sept. 11. The Zoo has been home to adult clouded leopards since 2006.

The cubs are a male named Paitoon and a female named Jilian. They were born April 29 and March 24, respectively, at the Nashville Zoo. Visitors will be able to see them for short periods of time during the morning at the clouded leopard exhibit from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

From the National Zoo:

“Reproductive scientists, veterinarians and animal keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute have determined that giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) will not give birth this year. She has been experiencing a pseudopregnancy over the past several months. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

I’m not crying, you’re crying!!

From the National Zoo:

“By the end of August Bei Bei will be another year older! He will receive a panda-friendly frozen cake specially made by the Zoo’s Department of Nutrition Science the morning of Aug. 22. Visit the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat to celebrate with us.

Now that Bei Bei is turning four years old, he will move to China as stipulated in our breeding agreement. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“Our scientists, veterinarians and keepers have been monitoring Mei Xiang closely for the past several months to determine if she is pregnant or experiencing a pseudopregnancy. They will have their answer by the end of August, because Mei Xiang is in her secondary hormone rise — or the 40-50 days when her levels of progesterone start to rise — signaling that she will either give birth to a cub or enter the final stages of a pseudopregnancy in the next several weeks. When Mei Xiang’s hormone levels return to baseline, she will either give birth to a cub or her behavior will return to normal. Read More

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Red panda cub being weighed June 19. (Jessica Kordell/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)

From the Smithsonian National Zoo:

“Moonlight, a 4-year-old red panda, gave birth to a cub overnight June 12 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Moonlight and the cub appear to be doing well and keepers are cautiously optimistic that the cub will continue to grow. The new mom has been very attentive to the cub, only leaving the nest box where it was born for very short periods of time to eat and drink. Keepers have been monitoring the pair via a closed-circuit camera in the nest box and they have seen Moonlight, an experienced mom, grooming and nursing the cub.

When Moonlight left the nest box June 19, keepers took the opportunity to perform a quick visual exam and weigh the cub. It weighed in at 6 ounces (172 grams), which is normal for a newborn. Keepers and veterinarians will continue to monitor the pair closely during the next several weeks, which are the most critical for a newborn cub. Read More

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Giant panda Mei Xiang at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. (Skip Brown/Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

From Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“A team of reproductive scientists, veterinarians and panda keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute performed an artificial insemination on giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) yesterday evening, March 28 at 9 p.m.

Scientists and keepers had been closely monitoring Mei Xiang’s behavior and hormones since she began displaying behavioral changes March 15, indicating she was entering her breeding season. Daily hormone reports showed Mei Xiang’s estrogen levels peaked the evening of March 27, which means she was ovulating and able to become pregnant. Female giant pandas are only in estrus, or able to become pregnant, for 24 to 72 hours each year.

Since the window when a giant panda can conceive a cub is so short, the Zoo’s panda team performed an artificial insemination on Mei Xiang. They artificially inseminated her using fresh semen from Tian Tian (t-YEN t-YEN) for the procedure. Read More

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Rest In Peace Diogo


via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“We are sad to share that Diogo, one of our golden lion tamarins, died Monday, March 4. At 18 years old, Diogo was geriatric for a golden lion tamarin. Keepers and veterinarians made the difficult decision to euthanize him due to his rapidly declining quality of life caused by renal failure and gallstones. He did not have any offspring, but he and his mate Julie were ambassadors for their species. Read More

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3001 Connecticut Ave., NW

“Dear PoPville,

The Zoo fencing plan is back at the National Capital Planning Commission.  The TSA-style security gate is gone from the front entrance (yay!), but the ridiculous fencing everywhere else remains.  Comments are due by noon on Wednesday!

Here’s what I got from NCPC:

At its Thursday, March 7 meeting NCPC will review revised preliminary and final site development plans for supplemental perimeter fencing at the National Zoo.

The project was original submitted for approval in July 2018, when the Commission postponed action due to outstanding questions from the public and Commission regarding the need for the enhanced security measures. The Smithsonian Institution indicated that this revised submission responds to feedback received from local leaders, civic groups, and the public. Major changes include the elimination of permanent security screening pavilions from further consideration.

The Executive Director’s Recommendation is available online, as is the final agenda. Both may also be accessed from https://www.ncpc.gov/. The meeting will begin at 1:00 pm and be streamed live at https://www.ncpc.gov/live/.

If you wish to provide comments on this revised submission, or register to speak on the submission, you may do so through noon on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Further information is available here: https://www.ncpc.gov/participate/guidelines/.

NCPC Office of the Secretariat

And here’s a copy of what I just submitted: Read More

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