National Zoological Park Travel Guide

  • National Zoological Park
    by Ewingjr98
  • Things to Do
    by Ewingjr98
  • Things to Do
    by Ewingjr98

National Zoological Park Things to Do

  • Poor Lonely Beaver

    We only saw one lone beaver in the pool during our visit, but the zoo actually has five beavers. The adult male is Cleaver (Ha ha Beaver Cleaver) and the adult female is Granby; they have three offspring named Chipper, Buzz, and Willow.

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  • Zebra, not a Zonkey!

    The zoo has two Grevy’s zebras, both male, named Gumu and Dante. The National Zoo has only male zebras, and it keeps these animals until they reach adulthood, then there are sent to other locations for breeding.Did you know zebras and donkeys can be bred together, with the resulting offspring called a zonkey? Zonkeys, like mules, are typically...

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  • Chubby Seals

    The zoo has two gray seals: a male named Gunnar and a female named Selkie. Both were born in Iceland in 1973, and the male now weighs about 500 pounds while the female is quite a bit smaller at 320 pounds.

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  • Bald Eagles

    The National Zoo has two bald eagles, a female named Sam and a male named Tioga. Sam is from Alaska, and was placed in capativity in 1986 after being found with a gunshot would to her wing. Tioga is from Pennsylvania, and he had a broken shoulder in 1998 when he was brought into captivity. Neither bird can fly.

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  • Gorillas

    Haloko – femaleMandara - femaleKigali – femaleBaraka - maleKwame – maleKojo – maleA new baby gorilla was born in mid January 2009, and it was less than a month old during my visit.

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  • Red Pandas

    The red pandas have had a rough history at the zoo; in 2003 the pair of pandas died after ingesting rat poison, part of a wider series of deaths over a two year period. Now there are two new pandas, and they might be in the mood for mating.

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  • Giant Pandas

    Currently the zoo has two adult giant pandas, female Mei Xiang and male Tian Tian, and their three-year-old offspring, Tai Shan. The adults are on loan from China for about $10 million over ten years. Tai Shan is just the third giant panda born in a US zoo that has survived into adulthood, but he is owned by China as part of the agreement and will...

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  • Cheetahs in the zoo

    Three male and two female cheetahs live at the Zoo's Cheetah Conservation Station. The three young male cheetah are brothers.Tumai and Amani are adult female cheetahs. Draco, Granger, and Zabini, are the males.The cheetahs are located next to the maned wolves, endangered scimitar-horned oryx, Grevy's zebras, and in the yard next to the Maned Wolves...

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  • Orangutans

    Four Sumatran-Bornean hybrid orangutans and two Bornean orangutans live at the Great Ape House and Think Tank. The orangutans can travel on an outdoor cable crossway across the zoo to the Think Tank building.Batang is a female Bornean orangutan, and Kyle is a male Bornean. Bonnie and Lucy are hybrid females. Iris and Kiko are male hybrid orangutan.

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National Zoological Park Transportation

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    by Ewingjr98 Written Apr 4, 2009

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    One of the best ways to get to the zoo is via the DC Metro system. Both Woodley Park Station and Cleveland Park Station are within a half mile of the zoo's entrance, in opposite directions along Connecticut Ave NW. If you are walking at a nice pace, expect it to take 10 minutes. Both of these stations are on the Metro's Red Line.

    A note of advice: Connecticut Ave NW runs uphill from Woodley Park Station to Cleveland Park Station. For the easiest walking route, use Cleveland Park station to get to the zoo, then head downhill to Woodley Park Station when leaving the zoo. This way, your walk will be downhill both ways!


    The DC Metro is a great way to get around the city once you get over the strange fare system. There are five lines that cover the entire downtown area and stretch into the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia, covering 106 miles. There are several stops in the city center near the famous monuments, landmarks, museums, and government buildings making the metro a great way for tourists to see the city.

    The biggest problem with DC's metro is the crazy fare system. Not only do they charge different fees throughout the day ("peak" or "off-peak"), but you never know the fares between any two stations until you look on the fare chart. Prices range from $1.35 to $3.90 (and everything in between) depending on which stations you travel from and to... and the time of day.

    Luckily you can buy a pre-paid, stored value fare cards for almost any amount, which takes the guesswork out of figuring out the cost.

    The Metro closes at midnight on weeknights and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.

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National Zoological Park Favorites

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    by Ewingjr98 Updated Feb 22, 2009

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    Favorite thing: The bathrooms at the zoo have funny signs describing animal behavior relating to bathroom functions. One sign I saw in the men's room explained how lobsters greet each other by spraying urine, and another talked about animals that eat and defecate from the same orifice.

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