We need your help to bring back the animal that sparked the conservation movement and the founding of our Zoo.
Support the care of 2,000 animals at the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation and Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
Support the National Zoo's American Trail
The Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park’s American Trail opened in September 2012. True to its name, American Trail focuses on the magnificent diversity of American species and celebrates their conservation success stories. Once known as Beaver Valley, this area of the Zoo had been closed due to construction since 2009.
The series of exhibits features animals that were once threatened with near extinction, but have come back from the brink and are now thriving—animals like beavers and otters, trapped for their fur, or the American bald eagle, nearly wiped out by the insecticide DDT before it was banned. In addition, American Trail includes exhibits for species never before displayed at the National Zoo: gray wolves and ravens.
The new American Trail provides a stimulating and fun-filled adventure with multisensory wildlife encounters. You can enjoy new species, new views into the animal enclosures, new landscape features, and improved accessibility for the disabled. In addition, the new Trail is more environmentally friendly—we use re-circulated water in all water features, including a meandering stream with three waterfalls and several ponds.
With your support, we can continue to add more species to this exhibit and educate future generations that saving endangered species isn’t a pipedream, but a realistic and achievable goal—the animals on American Trail are living proof!