The Smithsonian National Zoological Park or the National Zoo is one of America's oldest zoos and a member of the Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum and research complex globally. It was founded in 1889 to provide leadership in science, animal care, education, visitor experience and sustainability.
The Smithsonian National Zoological Park has two campuses: one, a 163-acre park in northwest Washington, D.C., and the other, a 3,200-acre Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia.
These two campuses have over 2,000 animals of 400 species of which one-fifth are endangered. Usually, these species are exhibited at Rock Creek Park campus where you can see giant pandas, big cats, Asian elephants, birds, great apes, insects, reptiles, amphibians, aquatic animals and small mammals, apart from about 40 endangered species.
This zoo registers a maximum of two million visitors from all over the world annually, free of cost. It is a beautiful ground for marveling and gazing at animals, learning all about conserving wildlife and enjoying the peaceful environs of this place. The National Zoo is a member zoo of the American Public Gardens Association who is known for their efforts in research, education and conservation of endangered species, besides also having a modern veterinary hospital.
The Zoo's sponsorship program, the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), provides critical support to wildlife conservation programs here. FONZ's 40,000 members help provide education, guest services, development support and outreach programs and financial support for the Zoo and its activities.