Our team of reproductive scientists, veterinarians and panda keepers performed two artificial inseminations on 18-year-old female giant panda Mei Xiang on May 25. Paws crossed for a little bundle of conservation success in 90-180 days!

Scientists and keepers had been closely monitoring Mei Xiang’s behavior and hormones for the past several weeks. Daily hormone reports showed Mei Xiang’s...
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Our team of reproductive scientists veterinarians and panda keepers performed tw

National Zoo Scientists Artificially Inseminate Giant Panda Mei Xiang

s.si.edu
Mark Blado
Barbara Duesler
Lynn Kitchen
Calling all talk show hosts: we have a shell of a paternity test story for you! In a new Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute study, we found that male desert tortoises that had been relocated from a threatened habitat to a new nearby home are reproducing at a much, much lower rate than resident males. The findings highlight unexpected shortcomings of translocation, a common conservation...
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Calling all talk show hosts we have a shell of a paternity

Desert Tortoise Paternity Assignments Highlight Unexpected Shortcomings of Common Conservation Strategy

nationalzoo.si.edu
Caterina Lillis
Ellen Nunnelee
Katie Lawrence McCormick
Our Mata Mata turtle might just make you smile. Check them out in Amazonia! #WorldTurtleDay
This tortoise is the largest animal on the Aldabra Island atoll, where they have been known to knock over small trees and shrubs to obtain nutritious leaves . At the Zoo, Aldabra tortoises eat salad and hay, as well as cactus pad, carrots????, sweet potatoes and assorted browse. #WorldTurtleDay
This tortoise is the largest animal on the Aldabra Island atoll where
Dafnie Sarah Fahey
Diane Ellison
Philip Stromer
The David M. Rubenstein Giant Panda Habitat will close today at 4 p.m. Our female giant panda Mei Xiang is in estrus. Will Mei Xiang and Tian Tian have an opportunity to breed naturally? Yes—if they show an interest in spending time with one another. The bears have had an opportunity to mate naturally nearly every breeding season. Despite these attempts, the panda team has never observed...
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The David M Rubenstein Giant Panda Habitat will close today at 4

Mei Xiang is Showing Signs of Estrus

nationalzoo.si.edu
Ann Rusk
Nannette R. Lisker
Denice Brown
DYK: Tortoises can feel when they are being touched because their shells have nerves and blood vessels. #WorldTurtleDay
DYK Tortoises can feel when they are being touched because their shells
Lyrical Laura Maria Rodriguez
Uli Hortmann
Heather Anne Bosley-Papp
Happy #WorldTurtleDay! Male painted terrapins’ heads and shells completely change color during the breeding season to attract females.
Happy WorldTurtleDay Male painted terrapins heads and shells completely change c
Jodi R. Mo
Keisha Woods
Ericka Delgado
The Smithsonian’s MarineGEO program has just launched a new site in Kāne‘ohe Bay, Hawaii! For the next two weeks over 90 scientists from 20 different organizations – including our team plus Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology - HIMB will be assessing the rich biodiversity of the region. Teams will be collecting hundreds of specimens, from...
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The Smithsonians MarineGEO program has just launched a new site in Kāneohe
Carolyn Serfass
Tracey Alink
Alicia Steward
Zoo visitors and Panda Cam viewers may be wondering why Mei Xiang appears restless this week. Our panda experts have the answer: breeding season has arrived! Keepers have been monitoring Mei Xiang’s behaviors, including physical changes, scent marking, pacing, and showing less interest in food and training sessions. In the past couple of days, it has become clear that she is approaching...
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Zoo visitors and Panda Cam viewers may be wondering why Mei Xiang
Tina Williams
Nancy Smith
Barb Boyd
May is Membership Month! Become a Friends of the National Zoo member to receive a discount, an exclusive member tote, and two extra months of membership. [ S.si.edu Link ]
May is Membership Month Become a Friends of the National Zoo member
Suzanne Nichter
Carol Loveless
Dorothy Anderson Wade
Bon Appétit! African lions evolved to eat and digest both meat and bone, so our nutrition departments provides the cats with cow bones in addition to their regular ground meat diet. This #ZooEnrichment is important for the lions' health, as it takes a lot more time, energy, and work to eat and digest a bone rather than butchered meat. This extra work has been scientifically shown to improve...
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Michael Fleetwood
Nancy Hardy Oakes
Mary Beth Hart
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute hatched its first red siskin chick in April! Red siskin are one of the most endangered species of bird in the world. We’re working to eventually reintroduce the species to the wild. #EndangeredSpeciesDay
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute hatched its first red siskin chick in
Ann Rusk
David Fulton Akin
Annette Zollicoffer
A scimitar-horned oryx calf joined our herd at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute May 15! This species was extinct in the wild until reintroductions led by the Environment Agency—Abu Dhabi and the government of Chad began in 2016. #EndangeredSpeciesDay
A scimitarhorned oryx calf joined our herd at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology
Nicky Drake
Muriel Brasche
Finbarr O Donovan
We welcomed a critically endangered Przewalski’s filly May 9 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. This species is the last truly wild species of horse. All of the Przewalski's horses alive today are descended from 14 individuals. #EndangeredSpeciesDay
We welcomed a critically endangered Przewalskis filly May 9 at the Smithsonian
Eleanor Worley
Leigh Clodfelter
Mary Elizabeth Pruitt
Yum! The cheetah cubs at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute started eating meat. Keepers break the meat up into smaller cub-sized pieces for them. #WeSaveSpecies
Yum The cheetah cubs at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute started eating
Tiki Kim
Kristin Mullaney
Elyssa Ann
From #Hamilton tickets to paintings by animals, there is still time to bid online for the #ZooFari:Dine for Wildlife, sponsored by Geico auction. All proceeds support our efforts to study, care for and save species and habitats. The auction ends tonight at 9pm EDT. [ 501auctions.com Link ] Photo: Brightest Young Things Friends of the National Zoo
From Hamilton tickets to paintings by animals there is still time to
Jacob Smith
Kaitlyn Acorn
Anne Talbott
Have you ever wondered what the Zoo's orangutans are thinking? We're live at Think Tank with researcher Jenny Botting. #ZooLive
Tia Perez
Cathe Klassen
We welcomed two loggerhead shrikes April 4 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Loggerhead shrikes were once common across North America, but have disappeared from much of their range. Our scientists are studying the reason for the species’ dramatic decline in Virginia and West Virginia. #EndangeredSpeciesDay #WeSaveSpecies
We welcomed two loggerhead shrikes April 4 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology
Ann Schroeder Williams
Yihua Zheng
George W Lewis
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute has welcomed 7 black-footed ferret kits so far this year! Kits born at SCBI are sent for reintroduction to the American west each year. #WeSaveSpecies
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute has welcomed 7 blackfooted ferret kits so
Tiki Kim
Debbie Ward
Peter Combe
We welcomed an endangered white-naped crane chick April 24! This chick is the 43rd to hatch at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. There are approximately 5,000 in the wild. #EndangeredSpeciesDay
We welcomed an endangered whitenaped crane chick April 24 This chick is
Suzanne Nichter
Lyubov Teplitskaya
Maggie Reigelsperger