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National Zoological Park

Attractions, Zoo and aquariums Woodley Park Free
National Zoo
Photograph: Abby Wood
National Zoo
© Mehgan Murphy

The free-admission National Zoo offers a diverting escape. Particularly during the off-season, when the paths are not cluttered by pushchairs, the zoo offers a perfect (albeit hilly) stroll, away from the bustle of Connecticut Avenue. Tree-shaded paths wind through the margins past the various animals. The stars are two pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, brought on ten-year loan from China in 2001; their cub Tai Shan was returned to China in 2010. The panda habitat is part of the Asia Trail, which links the habitats of sloth bears, fishing cats, red pandas, clouded leopards, Asian small-clawed otters and a Japanese giant salamander. The zoo has built a new environment for Asian elephants as part of its effort to preserve these endangered animals. The Elephant Trails are large enough to house between eight and ten adults along with their young; they have indoor and outdoor facilities, with features such as pools and sand piles that stimulate natural elephant behaviour.


Venue name: National Zoological Park
Address: 3001 Connecticut Ave
Washington, DC
Opening hours: Daily 8am-5pm
Transport: Woodley Park or Cleveland Park Metro station
Price: Admission free
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