The National Zoo's elephant exhibit will get a bit more crowded next spring when it adds three female Asian pachyderms on an extended loan from the Calgary Zoo. When the trio of elephants arrives, the Elephant Community Center's herd will grow to seven. Two of the newcomers, Kamala and Swarna, were born in the wild in 1975 and were transported to Calgary the following year by way of a Sri Lankan elephant orphanage. The third, Maharani, is Kamala's offspring, born at the Calgary Zoo in 1990. When they arrive—and complete a customary 30-day quarantine—the new elephants will join the existing herd comprised of 65-year-old Ambika, 38-year-old Shanthi, 11-year-old (and lone male of the bunch) Kandula, and the most recent addition, 37-year-old Bozie. Bozie, recently imported from a zoo in Baton Rouge, La., is the one with a much-publicized knack for painting, though she hasn't exercised her artistic talents since arriving in DC. (National Zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Zoon says that here, zookeepers try to focus on the elephant's natural, rather than trained, skills.) And even though seven pachyderms seems like a lot, there's room for more. The National Zoo says its elephant exhibit is large enough to house eight to ten adult specimens and their young.
Michelle Obama tweeted the announcement Monday evening that the First Family had added a new puppy to the mix, a female Portuguese water dog named Sunny. She’s intended as a companion for Bo, who Mrs. O. has said doesn’t get enough interaction with other dogs. So what can Sunny expect as a presidential pet? Check out the slideshow for a glimpse at a White House dog’s life, as told by Bo.
Well, that happened. The federal government closed yesterday in anticipation of the Snowquester/Saturn storm—which turned out to be, as our own Sophie Gilbert astutely named it, a major “snoverreaction.”
Still, some of you managed to snap pictures of the snow before it completely disappeared. Check them out in the slideshow—and tell us in the comments how you spent what might have been the last “snow day” of the season.
Valentine’s Day, intrigue, and rare treasures combined to create a romantic evening at Hillwood Museum, inspired by both James Bond and czars. Apart from the new exhibition in the dacha and the jewels on the display in the mansion, guests had three ways to get in the mood, and two involved vodka. At the Visitors Center, while on a screen in the background Sean Connery as Bond outsmarted many opponents in From Russia With Love, guests made their way to three bars. One served Russian wine. The other two offered vodka, either the James Bond way—a martini straight up, shaken, not stirred—or a choice of Russian standard vodkas served neat and chilled after traveling through an elaborate ice sculpture. The most popular was the premium Imperia.
Every year around Halloween, our office holds a costume contest. But not just any costume; employees are asked to bring their favorite Washingtonian cover to life. This year's outfits were some of the best we've ever seen—so now we're sharing them with you. Check out the slideshow, and let us know your favorite in the comments.