The oldest yet the most diverse zoo in the United States is the National Zoological Park. The National Zoological Park comes under the Smithsonian Institution. The National Zoo is much famed, thanks to the natives of this zoo. This zoo houses more than 1800 animal species including the giant pandas, African lion pride, Asian elephants and what not! Whether you are an animal lover or you’re not, this place is a must visit to find these cute animals happily living in their natural habitat. The Zoological Park has many other amusing things as well, to make your visit worth the fun! Go on; explore the following interesting facts about Washington’s National Zoological Park:
1. Home To More Than 1800 Animal Species
The National Zoological Park is home to more than 1800 individual animals including over 300 different species) living blissfully in their natural habitats. The most famed species among those include the Asian elephants, African lions, and giant pandas. The Zoo also houses numerous species which are seemed to be endangered.
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2. A Refuge For Vanishing Wildlife!
The National Zoo is working to help the giant pandas with ongoing breeding, conservation, and research so that one day they can be safely entered back into its natural environment.
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3. The First To Hatch A Brown Kiwi!
The National Zoological Park became the first organization outside of New Zealand to hatch a brown kiwi in 1975. Till date, only five zoos have successfully bred kiwis after the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
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4. Two Million Visitors Every Year
The zoo receives about two million visitors each year. The best part about this zoo, which attracts most visitors, is that it’s free of charge, just like all Smithsonian properties. The main motto behind this zoo is to provide engaging experiences with animals and share knowledge to save wildlife and their natural habitats.
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5. Earlier It Was Part Of A Museum!
Earlier when the zoo first began, it started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in the year 1886. It was in 1890 when it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Zoological Park was created.
6. One Zoo, Two Locations!
The National Zoo has two campuses. The first is located in Northwest Washington, D.C. The other one is situated in Front Royal, Virginia and is called Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
source: Wikipedia, image: nationalzoo.si.edu
7. Don’t Miss On The Think Tank!
The interactive ‘Think Tank’ examines animal intelligence and displays a cabinet of brains. You can go there and have a wonderful experience. The Think Tank area is specially designed to tell the visitors about how the animals think and learn about their surroundings and habits.
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8. Artificial Insemination!
The Giant Panda Mei Xiang living at the National Zoo got pregnant as a result of artificial insemination. Moreover, the Asian Elephant living at the National Zoo is the fifth of its kind to be created through artificial insemination.
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9. New Look For The Bird House!
The Bird House at the National Zoological Park is going through a major renovation and will reopen in 2020.
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10. A Lot Of Poop Study!
At the National Zoo, scientists can learn what the elephants eat, who their relatives are and even how old they are, that means every kind of information they can get by studying an elephant’s poop.