Zurich Zoo's Wolf Pups
Hanging Out with San Diego's Koala Joey

Happy New Year from ZooBorns

To Our Readers, 

A sincere thank you for an incredible year. We hope you enjoyed our bright-eyed little friends. We also hope you learned something about the important work conducted at zoos and aquariums around the world to protect these species in the wild.

We leave you with the residents of the Smithsonian National Zoo's Small Mammal House enjoying special winter treats. See you in 2010!

Porcupine and snowman national zoo mehgan murphy 

Meerkat and snowman national zoo mehgan murphy 

Elephant shrew and snowman national zoo mehgan murphy 

Golden tamarins and snowman national zoo mehgan murphy 

Porcupine and snowman national zoo mehgan murphy 2 

Photo Credits: Mehgan Murphy / Smithsonian National Zoo

Species in order from top to bottom: Prehensile-tailed Porcupine, Slender-tailed Meerkat, Black-And-Rufous Elephant Shrew, Golden Lion Tamarin, and one last pic of the porcu chowing down. 

Winter Wonderland in Small Mammal House at Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The weather outside is frightful – but the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Small Mammal House is delightful!

The temperatures in the DC area continue to drop and residents plan accordingly as conditions turn even more brutal this New Year’s Eve.  However, the residents of the Small Mammal House are learning to enjoy winter. 

As an extension of their regular enrichment activities, animal keepers carved away pint-sized snowmen (and over-sized snowflakes) out of actual snow and adorned the pieces with apples, carrots and mealworms.  The result was a “kid-like” reaction to the snow – a bit of curiosity and a lot of excitement!

A diverse array of animals reside in the Small Mammal House, ranging from primates to armadillos – all with  individual personalities and abilities.  These animals occupy various niches in the wild and have highly specialized behaviors to adapt to their native environments.  Designing these “treat –enriched” snowmen and snowflakes encourages natural behaviors from these incredible animals.