The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo, is a zoo located in Washington, D.C.
It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Founded in 1889, it consists of two distinct installations: a 163 acre (0.7 kmÂ²) zoo within the Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C., and a 3,200 acre (13 kmÂ²) Conservation and Research Center located in Front Royal, Virginia, at the edge of the Shenandoah National Park.
The zoo in Washington is free and open to the public and is dedicated in large part to education.
The conservation center in Virginia is closed to the public and is used primarily to breed and study endangered species. Altogether, the two facilities contain some 2,000 animals of 400 different species.
The $50 million Elephant Trails, set to open in 2011, will give eight pachyderms the majority of four acres.