Washington, DC


Photo Credit: Roshan Patel/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“Giant panda Bei Bei (BAY-BAY) celebrated his third birthday Aug. 22 with an ice cake made from frozen, diluted fruit juices and decorated with apples, pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, sugar cane and bamboo.

Now weighing in at almost 215 pounds, Bei Bei has been taking full advantage of his summer Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user, and multiple PoP Pulitzer recipient, angela n.

From the National Zoo:

“The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s charismatic Bornean orangutan infant, Redd, will celebrate his second birthday Sept. 12! Since our last update in February, he has hit some major milestones. He has even started traveling sections of the O-Line independently from time to time. Get the latest scoop on this playful primate from animal keeper Erin Stromberg: Read More

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From the National Capital Planning Commission:

“At NCPC’s July 12 meeting, the Commission heard the Smithsonian Institution’s proposal for supplemental fencing and consolidated entrances around the National Zoo. The Commission deferred taking an action and requested that the Smithsonian provide a security assessment and conduct public outreach before coming back later in the fall. As a result, on August 1 at 6:30 pm, the Smithsonian will host a public meeting on the project in the Zoo’s Conservation Pavilion.

[NCPC also approved preliminary site development plans for a landscape design project that is part of the South Capitol Street Corridor and the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. The design features a large traffic oval at either side of the bridge over the Anacostia River. Discussion and comments focused on the programming of the east oval and the types of amenities that should be provided for the community.]

More on the Zoo’s August 1 Meeting Read More

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3001 Connecticut Ave., NW

UPDATE: Related:

From a press release:

“Statement on National Zoo Security-Access Plan

The safety and security of the visitors, staff and animals are the No. 1 priority at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The Zoo has an existing perimeter that currently has 13 pedestrian entrances. To improve the Zoo’s overall security and visitor experience, the number of pedestrian entrances will be decreased to three–Connecticut Avenue, the lower Zoo (Harvard Street) and the bus parking area near giant panda habitat. These are the three entrances that the vast majority of visitors use now.

Limiting the number of ways people enter the Zoo will enhance security and safety year-round. For the past four years during high visitation days or when there has been an increased threat level, security at these entrances has included bag checks and additional screening. The Zoo will continue this practice. On most days, visitors will use these three entrances as they do now.

The only part of the Visitor Access and Security Fencing Project proposal put forward to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) for approval is the installation of additional fencing, which will begin in 2019. Although the proposal before NCPC refers to additional phased security concepts, these proposals are not under review by NCPC at this time. The Smithsonian is committed to engaging in a public process before submitting new security concepts for review by NCPC. Comments can be submitted to the Smithsonian via [email protected]

FAQ Smithsonian’s National Capital Planning Commission Proposal: Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

The National Capital Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the first phase of the security check-point plan at the National Zoo (a perimeter security fence) next week.

Folks can submit comments on-line (click the “Submit Comments” button.)

Here’s the comment I just submitted:

I am writing as a member of the general public to oppose the National Zoological Park’s proposed Supplemental Perimeter Fencing,
NCPC File Number 7986.

This proposal is unnecessary and unwise. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

From the National Zoo on Sunday:

“Beginning today, the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will be closed to keep a quiet area around female giant panda Mei Xiang’s den. Although keepers are not able to confirm if she is pregnant, Mei Xiang is exhibiting expected, normal behaviors after the secondary hormone rise that are in line with both a pregnancy and pseudo, or false, pregnancy. She is building a nest in her den, has a decreased appetite, is sleeping more and is reacting to loud noises. Paws-crossed! Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

I’m not saying it’s time freak out but I’m also not saying don’t wildly anticipate the possibilities…

From the National Zoo:

“It’s been almost three months since Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated (AI). Keepers, veterinarians and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists have been monitoring her carefully ever since. Endocrinologists confirmed that her levels of urinary progesterone began to rise May 2. This period is what scientists call the secondary rise. The first rise was when Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated in March. Read More

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“Calaya and her infant in the Great Ape House at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.”

From the National Zoo:

For the first time in nine years, primate staff at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are celebrating the birth of a male western lowland gorilla. He was born at 6:25 p.m. April 15 and is named Moke [Mo-KEY], which means “junior” or “little one” in the Lingala language. Read More

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