The National Zoological Park
National Zoo - Washington - DC Travel Blog› entry 680 of 1090 › view all entries
Although cynical persons who read the combination of Washington DC and National Zoo may think I visited US Congress I did not do that, I really visited a zoo. The National Zoological Park is part of the Smithsonian Institute the huge educational and research institute that owns 19 museums, 9 research centers and, one zoo. The National Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It was opened in 1889 by and act of the previously mentioned US Congress! In 1890 it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
Like all the Smithsonian museums the zoo does not charge an entrance fees, but offers the same high quality services as the museums do. The zoo is built in North West DC, in a very nice neighborhood.
It was an extremely hot day. We had about 36 °C (97 F). This caused a really strange experience when I entered the tropical rainforest hall, which interior was actually cooler than outside. Hey, let's cool off a bit, let's go into the tropical hall!
Another famous resident of the Zoo used to be Smokey Bear. Everybody who has traveled the American Forests knows Smokey Bear, a bear shaped puppet that warns the visitors for fires in order to prevent forest fires. Smokey was, however, a real bear. It got tragically stuck in a wildfire in New Mexico and was badly burnt, but saved. Smokey Bear was brought to the National Zoo and became so popular that it received up to 13,000 letters of fan mail per week. So many that the US Postal decided to assign him his own zip code.
More pictures below!