Smithsonian National Zoo

Andean Bear Cubs Born at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

After an eight-year hiatus, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) in Washington, D.C., is celebrating the birth of two Andean bears. The cubs were born Nov. 15 to first-time parents, 3-year-old mother Brienne and 9-year-old father Quito. The first cub was born around 4 p.m. and the second around 8:30 p.m. Animal care staff is closely monitoring the mother and cubs via the Andean Bear Cub Cam on the Zoo’s website, allowing Brienne to care for her offspring without interference. Virtual visitors can also observe the Andean bear family on this temporary platform until the cubs leave the den.

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Cheetah Cubs Are Born At Smithsonian’s National Zoo And Conservation Biology Institute

Carnivore keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, welcomed a litter of two cheetah cubs. First-time mother, 4-year-old female Amani, birthed the cubs Oct. 3 around 9:17 p.m. and 11:05 p.m. ET. This is also the first litter sired by 7-year-old father Asante. As the first offspring of both parents, the cubs are genetically valuable. They appear to be strong, active, vocalizing and nursing well. Animal care staff are closely monitoring Amani and her cubs’ behaviors via the Cheetah Cub Cam on the Zoo’s website. Virtual visitors can also observe Amani and her cubs on this temporary platform until the cubs leave the dens.

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Two Critically Endangered Blue-Billed Curassows Hatch at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

For the first time, Bird House keepers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C., are celebrating the hatching of two critically endangered blue-billed curassows. The two female chicks are being cared for off-exhibit. The first chick, named Aluna, hatched Aug. 5. Her sister Lulo hatched Aug. 28. Aluna is the first offspring for 6-year-old mother, Jackie; the 16-year-old father, JB, previously sired chicks at another institution. Keepers report that the sisters are thriving and describe them as confident and curious.

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Dust Bath with a Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec

Even for Madagascar hedgehog tenrecs, self-care is so important. This little fellow is taking a dust bath and scent-anointing (rubbing the new scent into his spines). Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Keepers give tenrecs novel scents and substrates as enrichment to encourage this natural behavior. In the wild, scent can be used as camouflage and parasite repellent!

Meet and greet amazing Smithsonian National Zoo animals at Brew at the Zoo on Sept. 8. Get up close to an adorable tenrec who looks even more adorable taking a dust bath. Tickets include unlimited beer & cider tastings, a souvenir glass & live music. Link to purchase tickets: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/events/brew-zoo


Two Critically Endangered Blue-Billed Curassows Hatch at Smithsonian’s National Zoo

For the first time, Bird House keepers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are celebrating the hatching of two critically endangered blue-billed curassows. The two female chicks are being cared for off-exhibit. The first chick, named Aluna, hatched Aug. 5. Her sister Lulo hatched Aug. 28. Aluna is the first offspring for 6-year-old mother, Jackie; the 16-year-old father, JB, previously sired chicks at another institution. Keepers report that the sisters are thriving and describe them as confident and curious.

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Fofo The Porcupette Quill Be Grown Up Before You Know It!

Don’t be put off by Fofo’s prickly appearance! As his name implies, Smithsonian National Zoo's 8-week-old prehensile-tailed porcupette is as “cute” as can be! Get to know Fofo in this Q+A with Small Mammal House keepers Maria Montgomery and Mimi Nowlin.

Photos: Mimi Nowlin/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

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Meet Endangered Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin Twins

On Oct. 7, the National Zoo’s Small Mammal House team celebrated the arrival of golden-headed lion tamarin twins! They are the first of their endangered species born at the Zoo in 16 years.

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Get to know the mischievous and curious babies from keepers Mimi Nowlin and Maria Montgomery: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/news/meet-our-golden-headed-lion-tamarin-twins