News From Our Blog

Image description: Two red panda (Ailurus fulgens) cubs born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on June 17 received a clean bill of health during their first veterinary exam yesterday. They appear to be very healthy, strong, active and have good vocalizations. Zoo veterinarian Margarita Woc-Colburn performed a complete physical exam and administered their first set of vaccines. She confirmed both cubs are female and are gaining weight steadily, weighing in at 374 grams (13 ounces) and 460 grams (one pound).
These cubs, which do not yet have names, are the first surviving offspring of three-year-old mother Shama and four-year-old father Tate. Visitors will be able to see the cubs and their parents at the Asia Trail exhibit this fall.
Photo by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Image description: Two red panda (Ailurus fulgens) cubs born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on June 17 received a clean bill of health during their first veterinary exam yesterday. They appear to be very healthy, strong, active and have good vocalizations. Zoo veterinarian Margarita Woc-Colburn performed a complete physical exam and administered their first set of vaccines. She confirmed both cubs are female and are gaining weight steadily, weighing in at 374 grams (13 ounces) and 460 grams (one pound).

These cubs, which do not yet have names, are the first surviving offspring of three-year-old mother Shama and four-year-old father Tate. Visitors will be able to see the cubs and their parents at the Asia Trail exhibit this fall.

Photo by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Image description: One of five cheetah cubs born at the National Zoo’s Conservation Biology Institute.
Photo by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
To see more pictures of cheetah cubs, watch this slideshow from the National Zoo.

Image description: One of five cheetah cubs born at the National Zoo’s Conservation Biology Institute.

Photo by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo

To see more pictures of cheetah cubs, watch this slideshow from the National Zoo.

From the National Zoo:

On the heels of spring’s arrival, a wattled  crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) chick hatched at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo  March 20, the third of its kind in the park’s history. National Zoo  veterinarians examined the chick and took a blood sample when it was 4 days old,  which they will use to determine its sex. Visitors can see the chick and its  parents at the Crane Run, part of the Bird House’s outdoor exhibits.
In stark contrast to their white-plumaged parents, wattled crane chicks sport  yellow downy feathers and very small wattles—flaps of skin that prominently hang  beneath the beak of adult birds. While scientists do not know exactly why these  birds possess this trait, the size and shape of a wattle says a lot about a  bird’s comfort or stress level. These cranes tend to extend their wattles when  they are agitated or trying to assert dominance, and they will constrict their  wattles when frightened or submissive.
Measuring 6 feet tall, the wattled crane is the largest of the six crane  species that call Africa home; they are also the rarest. Although wattled cranes  can be found in the wetlands of 11 countries in the sub-Saharan region, their  numbers in many countries are few and continue to dwindle. Zambia contains the  largest populations, with roughly 5,500 individuals. Wattled cranes are listed  as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List  of Threatened Species due to hunting, agricultural advancement, pest control and  collisions with power lines.

From the National Zoo:

On the heels of spring’s arrival, a wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) chick hatched at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo March 20, the third of its kind in the park’s history. National Zoo veterinarians examined the chick and took a blood sample when it was 4 days old, which they will use to determine its sex. Visitors can see the chick and its parents at the Crane Run, part of the Bird House’s outdoor exhibits.

In stark contrast to their white-plumaged parents, wattled crane chicks sport yellow downy feathers and very small wattles—flaps of skin that prominently hang beneath the beak of adult birds. While scientists do not know exactly why these birds possess this trait, the size and shape of a wattle says a lot about a bird’s comfort or stress level. These cranes tend to extend their wattles when they are agitated or trying to assert dominance, and they will constrict their wattles when frightened or submissive.

Measuring 6 feet tall, the wattled crane is the largest of the six crane species that call Africa home; they are also the rarest. Although wattled cranes can be found in the wetlands of 11 countries in the sub-Saharan region, their numbers in many countries are few and continue to dwindle. Zambia contains the largest populations, with roughly 5,500 individuals. Wattled cranes are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species due to hunting, agricultural advancement, pest control and collisions with power lines.