A regular party of flamingos can’t seem to decide which way to go at the National Zoo. The placement of the birds keeps your eyes moving around the photo, while three birds facing both let and right, respectively, provide an interesting balance in the shot. The composition is further strengthened by the triangular shape the birds keep in relation to one another, as well as the focus being on the single bird looking towards the photographer. Heat and humidity can’t keep these birds from being awesome.
Asian small-clawed otter by Smithsonian’s National Zoo
They may not be able to go trick-or-treating due to, well, being locked in confined quarters, but that’s not preventing these cute zoo animals and their keepers from getting into the holiday spirit. I can’t wait for Christmas when they build snowmen with the gorillas and hang ornaments from the giraffes’ horns. Feast your eyes on the whole set here.
Enough to pay $5,000 plus airfare to go visit him? That well-known panda-lobbying organization The Friends of the National Zoo is organizing a 10-day trip this fall to China, one that will include a stop at the Bifengxia Wildlife Preserve, home to our beloved Tai Shan. Sure, there’s lots of culture and dining and education and blah blah blah mixed in, but we know what it’s really all about: checking up on Butterstick to make sure he hasn’t been brainwashed by the communists.
Mere days after Happy the Hippo left the National Zoo to go live with a harem — or as We Love DC author Carl suggests, pushed out by gentrification, the arrival of the elephants — comes the promise of more fun stories of zoo animals.
On Monday night at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, former National Zoo Director Lucy Spelman will give a talk about her book, The Rhino with Glue-on Shoes and other surprising true stories of zoo vets and their patients. In addition to up-close-and-personal accounts of the zoo’s residents, she’ll talk about the special bonds between human and (very large) beast.
Think the National Zoo is boring? Hah! You’ve obviously never seen turtles having sex. Michael Oar of Alexandria took a trip there yesterday and snapped this great shot of reptile love making at its finest. Look for baby turtles all over Woodley Park in the near future, these guys really went at it.
As a side note, I thought about including some interesting scientific facts about turtles and their reproductive process, but when I Googled “turtle sex” I was immediately turned off of that pursuit. Yes, I Googled “turtle sex”.
Have you been to the Zoo lately? You are sooo missing out.
‘Rare White-Naped Crane Hatches National Zoo Conservation and Research Center’
courtesy of ‘Smithsonian’s National Zoo’
Okay, boys and girls — it’s time for a little talk about the birds and the bees. Well, the birds anyway.
The good news is that there’s a new baby girl at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va. — a rare white-naped crane that’s an endangered species because of destruction of its native habitat, wetlands in northeast China. Female hatchlings have been few and far between in recent years, which puts the population at further risk.
Therefore, like children of royalty, this girl came peeping into the world with lots of responsibility on her shoulders, that of “the most genetically important hatchling in the North American White-Naped Crane Species Survival Program.” She can help boost the captive population of the endangered species. No pressure, and I hope she wants a gazillion kids.
The bad news is she’s got some whacked family relations, great fodder for a reality TV show or at least Dr. Phil.
The National Zoo was the second major DC tourism spot that I hit after I moved here. The first was the Washington Monument. Our Zoo is great – it’s my second favorite zoo I’ve ever been to (second only to the zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. No I’m not joking, that zoo is phenomenal.) so when my parents came into town to visit, we decided to make the journey.
It sort of feels wrong, you know? Just walking right in without paying. Put aside the guilt and it’s actually a fabulous feeling. It allows people to come back and back again, and it seems like there are people who truly take advantage. As we were walking in a runner in full workout garb jogged past – what a great run! Aside from dodging all the bumbling people and strollers, you’d have incredibly entertaining scenery and quite a steep hill workout. Envious.
As you enter the zoo you’re faced with starting your zoo tour by heading down towards the pandas on the the Asia walk, or going down the entire hill and doing everything on the way back up. I don’t have an opinion either way. But I do recommend that you print out a map before you go – available on the zoo web site, you can save yourself money by printing it out on your own. Otherwise they charge for a take-with-you map. Fair, I think, since entry is free. So off you go to meet and greet all the animals. Continue reading
Via the National Zoo we behold Harrison Ford, his fiancé Calista Flockhart, and her son Liam at the National Zoo, getting a closeup view of 5000 pound Nile hippopotamus Happy. Word is that Ford was able to personally feed the hippo, whose diet, like a Nabooan shaak, consists mainly of grass.
No word on whether Mr. Ford then pulled out a whip to fend off the hippo from stampeding his future family. Anyway, ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.
My first exposure to Washington D.C. was in 1982 as a side stop on our family’s trip down to see the World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN. On that trip we did the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the National Zoo in D.C.. I remember vaguely, the trees being more plentiful and taller, however I’m also a yard taller now, and they seem now, just a bit shorter. I’m still surprised I remember something from over 26 years ago, but D.C. had that kind of effect.