Call Us: 202.971.9116 dean@seedctoday.com
  • The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.

The zoo first started as the National Museum’s Department of Living Animals in 1886. In 1890, it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
For its first 50 years, the National Zoo, like most zoos around the world, focused mainly on exhibiting one or two representatives of as many exotic species as possible.

In 1958, Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) was founded. The citizen group’s first accomplishment was to persuade Congress to fund the zoo’s budget entirely through the Smithsonian; previously, the zoo’s budget was divided between appropriations for the Smithsonian and the District of Columbia. This placed the zoo on a firmer financial base.

Today, the animals live in natural groupings rather than as individuals. Rare and endangered species breed and raise their young – a testament to the success of the zoo’s conservation and research programs.

The National Zoo has been the home to giant pandas since Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling arrived to the zoo in 1972 from China. Since 2000, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, also lived there. On July 9, 2005, Mei Xiang gave birth to Tai Shan, who went to China in February 2010. On August 23, 2013, Mei Xiang gave birth to Bao Bao, who still resides at the zoo. When Tai Shan was born in 2005 the zoo’s Panda Cam was introduced and new cub suddenly had a TV following as he grew up on (hidden) camera.

Recently the National Zoo was the birthplace of two American Eagles. The entire nation watched Eagle Cam as the chicks hatched from their eggs in March 2016.