Although I've been to DC several dozen times over the years, I had only been to the National Zoo one time before my most recent visit (mostly because it's not located on the Mall along with the other Smithsonian museums), and that was about 20-25 years ago. What I remembered most clearly about it was that, in the middle of summer, every garbage can in the Zoo was haunted by enormous orange Japanese hornets. Yikes.
So during my recent visit to DC, I wanted to go back to the Zoo. My impression is that there are fewer animal species now than there were back then, but there does seem to be a bigger emphasis on maintaining groups of particular species for breeding purposes.
One thing that hadn't changed was that the Zoo is located on very hilly land, and the entrance is at the top of the hill, so you get quite a workout walking around, particularly at the end of the day when you're leaving. ;)
Here are my photos from the Zoo (LOTS of photos, so if you're an animal lover, make yourself comfy and enjoy):
The National Zoo.
Sloth Bear, from Asia.
Keepers giving a talk about the Sloth Bears.
Fishing Cat. From Asia.
Asian Small-Clawed Otters.
Feeding time for the Red Panda.
Asian Elephant in her enclosure.
Enlargement for Elephants being constructed.
Bird House interior.
White-faced Whistling Duck. South America.
Red Fan Parrot. Amazon River basin.
Red-Crested Cardinal. South America, introduced to Hawaii.
Keel-Billed Toucan. Central and South America.
Red-Billed Hornbill. Africa.
Wrinkled Hornbill. Southeast Asia.
Micronesian Kingfisher. Native to Guam and Palau. Now extinct in the wild.
White Stork. Europe, Africa, Asia.
Whooping Crane. North America.
King Vulture. South America.
Mandarin Duck. China and Japan.
Giant Panda eating bamboo.
Przewalksi's Horse. Mongolia.
The Small Mammal House.
Prevost's Squirrel eating a fruit. Southeast Asia.
Dwarf Mongoose. Africa.
Howler Monkey. South America.
Lowland Gorilla. Male. Central Africa.
Lowland Gorilla. Female. Central Africa.
Aldabra Tortoise. Aldabra Islands, Indian Ocean.
Orangutan. Southeast Asia.
The Reptile House.
Philippine Crocodile. Philippine Islands.
Plated Lizard. Africa.
Emerald Tree Monitor. New Guinea.
Green Basilisk. Also known as the "Jesus Christ Lizard", because it can run on water. South America.
Mangrove Snake. Southeast Asia.
Veiled Chameleon. Madagascar.
Gaboon Viper. Africa.
Red-Tailed Rat Snakes. Southeast Asia.
Giant Day Gecko. Madagascar. No, the photo isn't sideways--geckos can walk up walls.
Taylor's Cantil. Mexico.
Black-Headed Python. Australia.
Tentacled Snake. Southeast Asia.
Leopard Frog. North America.
Blue Poison Dart Frog. South America.
Lance-Headed Pygmy Rattlesnake. Mexico.
Brown Tree Snake. Native to Guam, it has been introduced throughout the Pacific, where it is wiping out bird species.
Northern Copperhead. North America.
Cuban Crocodile. Cuba.
False Water Cobra. South America.
Fiji Island Iguana. Fiji.
American Alligator. North America.
Orangutan on the "O-Line", a rope network that allows the Orangs to travel from one exhibit area to another.
Red-Bellied Turtle. USA.
Painted Turtles. USA.
Komodo Dragon. Indonesia.
The Invertebrate Exhibit.
Anemones and corals.
Hissing Cockroaches. Madagascar.
Vietnamese Giant Centipede. Southeast Asia.
Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula. South America.
Golden Orb-Weaver Spider. Madagascar.
Death's Head Cockroaches. Central America.
Bullfrog in an outdoor pond.
Alpaca. South America.
Poison Dart Frog. South America.
Tiger Salamander. North America.
Beaver. North America.
Scimitar-Horned Oryx. Arabia.
Maned Wolf. South America.
Two White-Tailed Deer that wandered into the Zoo from outside.