National Zoo


Update on Easter Monday Stabbing at Zoo

Flickr: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The crowd reached 25,000 at the National Zoo yesterday, on Easter Monday.

Mshairi Alkebular, the 16-year old who allegedly stabbed another teen during Easter Monday celebrations at the National Zoo yesterday will be charged as an adult, according to WUSA9:

Charging documents show the victim identified (Alkebular) by photo.

According to charging documents, the victim said he was stabbed twice in the right elbow area by Alkebular inside the National Zoo and police broke up the fight.

Then, according to documents, Alkebular and others exited the zoo and chased McNeal again. Alkebular allegedly stabbed him four more times in the chest.

African American families have been visiting the National Zoo on the day after Easter for over a century. WUSA’s Bruce Johnson said that the victim is 14-years old and is now in stable condition. NBC reported that the attack was gang-related.

Teen Stabbed at Zoo’s Easter Monday Celebration

A teenager was stabbed today at the National Zoo, on Easter Monday, a day traditionally celebrated by African American families:

Update - stabbing - 2900 blk Connecticut av NW - EMS transporting - 1 teenage male - priority 1 - serious, potentially life-threatening

According to this report, the boy was wounded several times. A similar incident occurred on Easter Monday in 2000, when seven young people were shot.

The tradition of celebrating Easter a day late at the zoo originated over a century ago:

The free gathering, which dates back to the 1890s, almost as far as the White House Easter Egg Roll. Oral history says that black domestic workers were required to work on Easter Sunday, so Monday was the day of family celebration. And since the White House in those segregated days either didn’t allow or strongly discouraged African-Americans at its egg roll, the District’s black residents created their own.

Have a Jolly Holly-day!

Smithsonian's National Zoo

Panda Claws, in front of the Whited House, promoting Zoolights.

DCentric is off for the holidays, to visit family, eat unhealthy foods and otherwise throw around good cheer. We will be back on Monday with a heaping serving of Tasty Morning Bytes. From all of the elves and pixies who keep DCentric humming along to you and yours– Happy Holidays! And if you were wondering about the picture I used….it’s Panda Claws! He was out and about the city promoting Zoo Lights:
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District Cuteness

I have a meeting I’m rushing off to, so posting will be light for a few hours, but you won’t even notice I’m gone, because you’ll be too busy looking at this photo set of the National Zoo’s baby Lion cubs taking a “swimming test”! I think they passed, with flying paddling colors.

Smithsonian's National Zoo

I would like to volunteer for the next swim test, thanks.

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More happy news from the Zoo!

Smithsonian's National Zoo

This cub is a half-sibling to the three newest arrivals.

We posted about baby lions three weeks ago– and now there are even more! I can’t wait until “late fall or early winter”; that’s when the cubs go public at our lovely, free zoo.

The birth of three more lion cubs at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo this morning has contributed to the growth of the Zoo’s lion pride over the past three weeks and has brought the total number of cubs to seven so far. The Zoo’s six-year-old lion Nababiep gave birth to the three newest cubs three weeks after her sister, five-year-old Shera, gave birth to four cubs.

This news is extra nice; Nababiep is the lion who gave birth to a cub last May, only to have it die of pneumonia two days later, after a bit of straw lodged in its lung. The Zoo investigated alternative bedding alternatives after the incident. It’s nice to know that the fuzzy baby lion pictured above is sleeping safely– near three new playmates, as of today.

National Zoo Welcomes Four Lion Cubs!


The National Zoo's Shera, after giving birth.

Huzzah! There are new baby animals at the National Zoo. Last night, four lion cubs were born to first-time mother Shera. They arrived between 10:30 pm and 2:30 am.

This is especially wonderful for the Zoo and its fans because of the tragic loss of the last lion cub which was born there in May– who shared a father, Luke, with the current babies. Born to Shera’s sister, Nababiep, the single cub died after just 48 hours when a straw awn from its bedding became lodged in his lung. The Zoo has instituted changes, since then:

“Since the unfortunate death of Naba’s cub, we’ve investigated various alternative bedding options,” said Rebecca Stites, a lion and tiger keeper. “The use of bedding is imperative as it protects the cubs from trauma during the first fragile weeks of their lives. We’ve provided Shera and her cubs with shavings and soft hay with as few awns as possible.”

Good to know. The Zoo says the cubs will be visible to the public by late Fall. For those of us still suffering from Tai-Shan withdrawal, this news is delightful.