Washington, DC

Tian Tian plays in the snow via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“You’re invited to a housewarming celebration! The new visitor exhibit in the panda house is finished and we would love for everyone to come visit and see it. On Feb. 23, we’ll be hosting a giant panda housewarming party, sponsored by Airbnb, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat.

After a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m., the housewarming party will begin! The day will be filled with fun activities for pandas and panda enthusiasts alike. The giant and red pandas will receive special frozen treats throughout the day. The treats, created by our department of nutrition science, will be made to look like noodles. Bei Bei and the red pandas, Asa and Jackie, will receive their treats in their yards at 9:30 a.m. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian will receive their baskets at 1 p.m.

Special treats will also be available for human visitors as well! Read More


From the National Zoo:

“American Trail keepers celebrated the arrival of three North American river otter pups — two males and one female — Jan. 21. Born to first-time parents 2-year-old mother Ashkii and 2-year-old father Emmett, the pups are the first litter of North American river otters born at the Zoo in its 129-year history. Ashkii gave birth in an off-exhibit den, and keepers report that they have observed her tending to and nursing her offspring. Read More


“Three-year-old giant panda Bei Bei plays in the snow” last month

From the National Zoo:

“Panda House Will Occasionally Close On Weekday Mornings

The New Year will bring in some new changes to the panda house! Beginning in early December, the panda house at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat may occasionally close during weekday mornings to allow for the installation of a brand new exhibit! On those mornings, visitors will be able to see Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Bei Bei outside. The pandas spend their mornings outside in their yards, and during the winter sometimes choose to spend the afternoons outside as well. They prefer cold temperatures and winter weather. If the panda house needs to close, it will reopen at 12 p.m., when the pandas have the choice to spend time inside or outside.

The updated exhibit will teach visitors about the ecology, history, reproduction, conservation and care of giant pandas. Read More


courtesy Friends of the National Zoo

From Friends of the National Zoo:

“Visit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for its annual holiday lights festival, ZooLights, powered by Pepco. ZooLights is a free event, and this year half-a-million environmentally friendly LED lights will illuminate the Zoo for 37 nights–from Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, 2019 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Guests can look forward to some new eye candy at Gingerbread Village, a magical area of frosted cookies and lollipops, giant gingerbread people cut-outs and a gingerbread throne perfect for friend-and-family photos. Visitors also can pause outside the Elephant Community Center to see a dazzling laser-light show, sponsored by Pepco, or board the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Choo-Choo, sponsored by Metro by T-Mobile, for a journey around the Kids’ Farm. Read More


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


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


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


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


“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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