The National Zoo provides visitors with a memorable experience

January 2, 2015


Located in Washington D.C., the National Zoo shelters hundreds of different animals including pandas, elephants, reptiles, apes and more. The National Zoo, a free zoo open to the public, offers people a chance to learn more about the various animals in their natural habitats.

According to the National Zoo’s website, the National Zoo was created by an Act of Congress in 1889 for “the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people.” In order to accomplish this mission, the zoo provides visitors with the best possible experience through its many events and exhibits that are featured all around the entire park.

The Asia trail, Elephant trails and the American trail include landscaping designed by Federick Olmstead, who is also the creator of the Central Park. The elaborate and intricate architecture of the entire zoo builds a harmony between man and nature, which allows visitors to enjoy their time not only inside viewing animals, but also outside walking on the pathways while exploring the different exhibits.

“The zoo is full of a wonderful collection of animals for everyone to see,” said Daniel Martha, a volunteer at the zoo, “[people] can really learn about all aspects of this zoo.”

The zoo is full of a wonderful collection of animals for everyone to see… people can really learn about all aspects of this zoo

— Daniel Martha

One prominent path in the National Zoo leads to the homes of the pandas. Two pandas, donated by the Chinese government, are the most popular animals at the zoo. With the help of many volunteers and trainers, visitors can learn more about the two pandas named Mei Xiang, which means beautiful fragrance and Tian Tian, which means more and more. Soon, Bao Bao, whose name means precious was born to both Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. Today, visitors can view all three pandas at the Asia trail, where volunteers are stationed to answer any questions.

Maria Augustino, another volunteer at the zoo said, “The kids really love Bao Bao! [The kids] are all so fascinated… Their excitement makes me happy.”

Another path may take visitors to the great ape house where they will find six orangutans. Sometimes, the orangutans are allowed to travel along the O-line, which is a series of high cables that are supported by metal towers. On these days, the orangutans are free to move between the two buildings, which also enables visitors to experience this view from outside instead of in the normal, conventional cage setting. In this way, the zoo provides viewers with an innovative way to meet the animals.

The zoo also allows people to travel a path towards the small mammal house, which is another important place where they can visit. This is where most of the zoo’s smaller mammal species such as the black howler monkeys, naked mole rats, black-footed ferrets and two-toed sloths live.

“This collection is great for families because there are just so many animals to see,” said Augustino.

With all the different exhibits, events and trails, the National Park Zoo will provide people with an experience they will truly treasure.

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