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Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

Mass.
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Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

I'm planning a trip to D.C for my family (husband, 9 year old child, myself) mainly to see the pandas at the zoo. The zoo website currently says the panda exhibit is closed because the female is in estrus and they're trying to breed her. Looking it up online, it appears that female pandas are in estrus only a few days. I'm hoping this means that I won't have to worry about the panda exhibit being closed when we go (the last few days in April and/or first days of May). I haven't made hotel reservations or other arrangements yet, so we could change the date if we had to now. I've also heard that a couple of years ago the zoo was under construction and some of the exhibits were closed then.

So, I guess my two questions are 1) Is the zoo still under construction? 2) Have people been able to see the pandas when they wanted to, or not in recent trips?

Any information is appreciated. Sorry for the long-winded post. Thanks!

Springfield, VA
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1. Re: Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

I'm not sure anyone here can predict what the pandas will/will not be doing at any given time. I'd suggest that you continue to monitor the zoo's website to see what's up. With an attraction like the zoo, you have to understand that any exhibit could be closed at a moment's notice if it's for the good of the animals contained therein. I don't think it happens a lot, but it's always a possibility. There's also the chance that, even if the exhibit is open, the animals won't be in the mood to cooperate and will be off sleeping in their dens.

There has been construction off and on at the zoo for years. This zoo was founded in the late 1800s and some of the exhibit spaces are old. The zoo has had an ongoing program to bring them up to date. I don't think construction is particulary bad right. Again, your best bet is to check the zoo's website on a regular basis.

texas
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2. Re: Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

If your main issue is to see Pandas, have you thought about Atlanta? I drove there this past year from Texas to see them and the baby. It was great. The only reason I ask is if that is the main reason,, you may want to go that route and see if they are still in ATL. Love DC, but loved the pandas at Atlanta.

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New York City, New...
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3. Re: Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

I just saw the pandas on Tuesday! It was amazing. You can enter the zoo before it is officially open and head to the outside exhibits. They were active when we saw them at 9:45. Not to be missed.

There were a couple of areas being renovated but nothing too bad at all. My family loved it except for the uphill walk.

washington dc
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4. Re: Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

Panda house is closed but outdoor yard is open - so if they want to go outside you will see them. The new Elephant trail and American trails are open. Check FONZ.org. But don't limit yourself to what you think are the main attractions. Amazonia is extraordinary. Invertebrate hall is great. The free flight bird house is wonderful, especially if you get there at feeding time

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5. Re: Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

I second seeing the rest of the zoo - and that there wasn't much construction going on at least just 10 days ago. The panda house and yard were open then but I don't know how often they take the pandas off exhibit either.

Mass.
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6. Re: Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

Thanks for the feedback everyone. It sounds like no matter what happens we can still probably get a glimpse of them in their yard. And since the zoo is free and we're staying in Washington D.C. for 3 days, we can just keep coming back until we see them I guess.

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7. Re: Seeing the pandas at the National Zoo

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