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Spring Over to the National Zoo!

Lions at the National Zoo

Now that it is finally starting to warm up in the District, you can enjoy all the outdoor activities DC has to offer!   DC Insider Tours’ recommendation?  Drop everything and head straight to the National Zoo!  There are more reasons to visit the zoo right now than could possibly fit in a single blog post, but we’ll give it a shot.

  1. Elephant Trails is FINALLY open!  The zoo has been working for years to provide year-round indoor and outdoor yard access for the elephants, and the project is complete at last.  Not only do the elephants have fancy new indoor “suites” and beautifully manicured yards, but there are killer new vantage points for visitors to view the elephants.  You can read more about the exhibit and check out pictures here:
  2. The zoo’s female giant panda, Mei Xiang, was recently artificially inseminated.  We apologize if this is TMPI (Too Much Panda Information), but it’s pretty exciting for us Washingtonians still mourning Mei Xiang’s cub that passed away last September.  Since female pandas only ovulate one day a year (evolution much, pandas?) we’ve got our fingers crossed so tight they’re losing circulation.  So head over and pay Mei Xiang a visit, and make your guess over whether or not there is a black-and-white bun in her oven.
  3. The zoo’s annual “ZooFari” event is returning May 16th.  Be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time, and come hungry!  Over 100 restaurants from the DC area will be bringing their yummiest dishes for you to try.  To make the deal even sweeter, there will be wine from both local and international vineyards, along with beer and soft drinks at three different “mega-bars”.  As if that weren’t enough to make for a fabulous evening, there will also be animal demonstrations and a zoo-themed pastry competition complete with celebrity judges.  Get more info and your tickets here:
  4. This may be your last chance to see some of the seven lion cubs born at the zoo in 2010.  Four of the cubs (Aslan, Baruti, Zuri and Fahari) have already flown the coop and headed to new homes as part of the lion Species Survival Plan (SSP).  Only Lusaka, Lelie, and John are left, and not for very long.  New homes have already been decided for these stragglers, so check them out while you still can.  They are stunningly gorgeous and a huge source of pride for the zoo.

There are a lot more reasons to visit the zoo, but we’re hoping these are enough to tempt you.  And, since the zoo is part of the Smithsonian, it is 100% free to visit!