March 6, 2003 |
The head of the Smithsonian Institution acknowledged yesterday that human error was to blame for "a handful" of recent animal deaths at the National Zoo, one of the capital's most popular and prestigious attractions. The deaths have aroused critics of the Smithsonian's secretary, Lawrence Small, and his handpicked zoo director, Lucy Spelman. Small, who took over Smithsonian management in 1999, has slashed budgets, ousted longtime museum and zoo leaders, and provoked numerous resignations.
July 13, 2013 |
Theodore "Ted" Reed, 90, who transformed the National Zoo into an international destination, most notably through the acquisition of two Chinese giant pandas that sparked Washington's love affair with the black-and-white bears, died July 2 of complications from Alzheimer's disease at a nursing home in Milford, Del., said his son, Mark Reed, executive director of the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan. Tall, bespectacled, and with a full red beard, Theodore...
October 12, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Liver failure caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen caused the death of the giant panda cub last month at the National Zoo, officials said Thursday. Chief veterinarian Suzan Murray said a necropsy showed the tiny cub's lungs were not fully formed. That impeded the flow of oxygen, leading to liver necrosis, or the death of liver cells. Murray said it was possible the cub had been born prematurely, but it is difficult to determine exactly when the embryo was formed.
September 18, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The capital region's newest celebrity is no bigger than a stick of butter. The National Zoo's female giant panda gave birth Sunday night, generating panda-monium in a city that has adored the rare creatures since the first pandas arrived after President Richard M. Nixon's groundbreaking 1972 trip to Beijing. Zoo officials think they caught a glimpse, via webcam, of the unnamed cub being clutched tightly by its mother, Mei Xiang, but got confirmation of its arrival via loud squealing.
December 4, 1995 |
It's a problem that baffles an 8-year-old schoolgirl visiting the National Zoo: how to obtain a cinnamon-coated mixture of popcorn and Cheerios lying beyond a barrier, just out of reach. But Indah, a 15-year-old orangutan, shows no hesitation. She grabs a bamboo stick lying nearby and uses it as a tool to pull the food toward her. Later, she will break off part of the stick to fashion a more flexible tool. But those are hardly all the tricks in Indah's expanding repertoire.
May 7, 2002
THE MEDIA world is jumping like jackals over the latest assault on press freedom and common-sense. The Washington Post recently put in a request for the medical records of Ryma, a popular giraffe who died while under the care of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. But zoo director Lucy Spelman refused to turn over the documents, saying doing so would violate the giraffe's right of privacy and the doctor-animal relationship. There is nothing in the law that says animals have a right to privacy or that there is a doctor-animal privilege, so the media mavens are heaping scorn on the National Zoo. But just for the record, this newspaper - famous for its pet obits - backs the animals on this one. It's obvious to us that Ryma has a right of privacy.
May 22, 2002
ONCE AGAIN the Daily News missed the point why the Washington Post wants the medical records of Ryma, the giraffe who died at the National Zoo (editorial, May 7). The editorial board, that pompous and mediocre gang of seven, supports giving animals "some constitutional protections" after they're dead! Rather than question National Zoo director Lucy Spelman's refusal to release the cause of death, the Daily News plays on the pathetic excuse of supporting an animals' "right to privacy.
April 28, 2000
That bullets could fly at the National Zoo on Easter Monday was horrifying but, in a country that lets its handguns do the talking, sadly unsurprising. . . . Youths have always scuffled; but today, scuffles too often turn into tragedies that couldn't happen were guns not so accessible. Congress doesn't hear gunfire unless it's in a school or maybe at a national tourist attraction like the zoo. Then speeches are made and proposals are introduced, diluted and abandoned. The most sensible proposal - to ban handguns and assault-style weapons - gets no hearing.
October 3, 2013
The National Zoo has confirmed that it will continue the care and feeding of its animals during the federal shutdown that began Tuesday. But it closed its gates to the public and turned off the live "animal cams" that allow observers worldwide to monitor the antics of giant pandas and other wild creatures. In the interim, C-SPAN will no doubt serve as a suitable substitute. It's often said that a crisis may yield an opportunity. But some of the denizens of our other national zoo, Congress, are taking every opportunity to manufacture a crisis.
September 26, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - As condolences poured in from around the world, National Zoo officials waited Monday for word on why a 6-day-old panda cub died and lamented a heartbreaking setback to their closely watched breeding program. The cub had liver abnormalities and fluid in its abdomen, but a cause of death will not be known until full necropsy results are available within two weeks. The cub, believed to be female, died Sunday morning, less than a week after its birth surprised and delighted zoo officials and visitors.