This Review posted by Gumby4646
The Smithsonian National Zoo is a great zoo! They have such a large variety of animals and they keep them in naturalistic habitats... I do have problems that the areas for wild cats seem way too small but the other exibits are very humane... I know they are also involved in a lot of research and conservation issues... They are doing a lot to try and captive breed the endangered black-footed ferret and most displays are very naturalistic and give animals places to hide so that even if people don't see them, they will not be stressed. The think tank is also something to definitely check out, that's the center where they do all kinds of studies on apes, and the apes and monkeys definitely seem to enjoy it and they have enriching habitats..they even have this huge rope course that the orangutans like to do and you can see them climbing over your head even when you're like in other places inthe park... I think they have a petting zoo too, but I don't like that as much because a goat ate my buttons there and tried to eat my hair when I was
three and it was really scary. and there are always demonstrations, like w/ elephants or snakes, going on... it is a huge zoo with lots of activities and, most importantly information about the animals. One of the coolest school projects I did was when we had to do a video that had to do with endangered animals we had picked... our group went to the zoo and interviewed people and had a chance to play around at the zoo and learn about WAY more than four animals.
Visitor Review 2
This Review posted by Carol Muffett July 2000
The National Zoo is an excellent zoo. The zoo is heavily involved in species conservation, both through captive programs at the main zoo campus in Washington, D.C. and through research programs at its Conservation Research Facility in rural Virginia. One of its most visible conservation projects involves the captive breeding of highly endangered golden lion tamarins for reintroduction into the Atlantic forests of Brazil. The captive-bred tamarins have had only modest survival rates when reintroduced, but by inter-breeding with wild individuals, they've contributed significantly to the genetic diversity of the remaining wild populations. The National Zoo, through the CRC, is also one of the few institutions in the country with a captive breeding program for the endangered Przewalski's horse.
From a humane perspective, the National Zoo is far from perfect. The first reviewer is correct that the enclosures for both the big and small cats are far too small. (The one exception is the Cheetah habitat, which is large, open and very natural.) However, the National Zoo is in the forefront of zoos working to build larger, more naturalistic enclosures for many species. And, contrary to the belief of the first reviewer, there is no petting zoo.
I disagree with the National Zoo's recent decision to aquire new panda cubs to replace the recently deceased Hsing Hsing. I believe this is inconsistent with the sound conservation of the species.
On the whole, however, the National Zoo is outstanding. Its commitment to wildlife conservation, reintroduction programs, research, and public education make it one of the nation's best zoos