Lacey Donohue · 11/18/13 11:36PM

[Sumatran tiger cub Bandar continued to charm the camera during his public debut at the National Zoo in Washington on Monday. His less-photogenic sister, Sukacita, was also introduced to the public. Photo by Jacquelyn Martin via AP]

Baby Panda Is Female, Has Father in Household

Tom Scocca · 09/05/13 09:17AM

The new baby panda at the National Zoo—the alive one, not the one that was born dead—is a girl panda, the zoo announced this morning. And genetic testing reveals that she is the offspring of the National Zoo's own resident male panda, Tian Tian.

How Did Rusty the Red Panda Escape? Don't Ask the National Zoo

Tom Scocca · 06/28/13 01:05PM

The Smithsonian has sent out a press release purporting to update the public on this week's escape of Rusty, a red panda (Ailurus fulgens), from a supposedly secure enclosure at the National Zoo. It is a masterpiece of tautology and obfuscation, designed to conceal the fact that the zookeepers have no idea how an animal with a sub-three-inch brain got away from them.

Orangutans Will Soon Be Able to Sext Each Other

Jordan Sargent · 01/23/13 12:16AM

Orangutans, they're just like us. No, really.'s blog Around the Mall has a story today on apes at the museum's National Zoo that have been playing with iPads for recreation, using specially designed apps that allow six orangutans to make music, draw and play games to improve their cognitive skills. I'd note that the apes at the National Zoo are now literally more productive on a day-to-day basis than me, but they probably were even before they got the iPads.

But How Did Zoo Animals React to the Earthquake?

Maureen O'Connor · 08/24/11 05:20PM

In what will surely be the greatest press release of ths week, the National Zoo offers a catalog of how various animals reacted to yesterday's earthquake. In it, we discover that the range of animal quake reactions is roughly the same as the range of human quake reactions, from startled shrieking to baleful hiding:

American-Born Pandas to be Deported to China to Mate

Maureen O'Connor · 01/26/10 04:14AM

Washington, D.C.'s Tai Shan and Atlanta's Mei Lan have been recalled to China (Did you know they retain inalienable ownership of all pandas, everywhere, forever?) to participate in their ancestral land's breeding program, and will leave next week.