Asian small-clawed otterAsia Trail, a series of exhibits that opened in 2006, is home to six Asian species: sloth bears, fishing cats, red pandas, clouded leopards, Asian small-clawed otters, and giant pandas, who enjoy the new Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat.

The Zoo euthanized its Japanese giant salamander on November 3, due to her declining health following several months of treatment for liver disease and a skin infection. She will be missed.

See a map of Asia Trail, read about the new animal habitats, and learn about Asia Trail's green elements.

click toExperience Asia Trail with an online and downloadable audio tour, narrated by Dakota Fanning, from Fujifilm.

Asia Trail's small-clawed otters are the subject of a study. Find out more in the Diary of a Zoo Leader in Training

Sloth Bear Movements

Khali and BalawatThings seem to be in constant flux up here with our sloth bears. Currently, Khali is in a yard with Balawat (shown at left), the male bear born here in early 2006. Hana, his mother, decided Bala was old enough to go off on his own this past spring; she was ready to be an empty-nester. He didn’t agree, unfortunately—one keeper thinks cubs never do—and as it is for all animals, in the wild or in zoos, it’s been a difficult time for him. Because he wasn’t adjusting well to being on his own, we began giving him visual access to Merlin, his father, and Khali, a female who arrived a few months ago, for companionship. Read more.

In the wild, sloth bears are found in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. They have a slightly longer snout than other species of bear, and they use it along with their lips to create a vacuum-like seal to suck up insects from holes, cracks and crevices.

Two Red Pandas Arrive at Asia Trail

red pandasEarlier this year, two red pandas—female Shama and male Wicket—moved into their renovated exhibit yard on Asia Trail. This brother-and-sister pair was born at the Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia, last July.

Although they are not related to giant pandas, they also evolved special paws to help them grip bamboo—one of their diet staples. Listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, the species is threatened by habitat loss in the Himalayas and China. It is estimated that fewer than 2,500 adult red pandas exist in the wild. Learn more.

link to Asia Trail Photo Gallery | link toHelp with cam

Can’t see any animals?
The animal in this exhibit may have moved out of view. FONZ volunteers operate some cams, but most of our cams show a fixed view.

Watching fishing cats: Two fishing cats live on Asia Trail. These short-tailed cats are about twice the size of the average housecat. They attract fish by lighting tapping the water's surface with a paw, mimicking insect movements. Then, they dive into the water to catch the fish.
Fishing Cat Facts | Watch Fishing Cats Fish

Related Cams
     Giant Pandas:  Camera I | Camera II
     Sloth Bears:  Sloth Bear Yard 1 A | Sloth Bear Yard 1 B | Sloth Bear Yard 2 A | Sloth Bear Yard 2 B
     Clouded Leopards
     Asian Small-clawed Otters

clouded leopardAsia Trail features two species that have not been at the Zoo in decades: clouded leopards, which Zoo scientists breed at our Conservation and Research Center and study in Thailand; and a Japanese giant salamander, a five-foot-long cousin of the diminutive salamanders found in the United States.

Asia Trail provides so much for so many:

  • state-of-the-art exhibits with a stimulating environment,
  • a comprehensive education program for visitors, students, and teachers, and
  • the expertise for in-depth research and training that aims to conserve these species in the wild.

Komodo dragonMany Asian species can be found at the Zoo:

Check out the Zoo map and plot your own "Asia Trail" through the Zoo. Or take a virtual world tour.

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