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Zoo Rules & Terms and Conditions of Entry
Rule Number One: Enjoy Your Visit!
The National Zoo & Aquarium is a wonderful place to explore, learn, and relax. Our few rules help ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for all visitors.
We are open rain or shine. We are predominantly an outdoor venue, so please wear suitable clothes (and footwear) to walk between exhibits. Don't forget a hat and sunscreen in the warmer months, and pack an umbrella in case of wet weather. The Zoo Shop sells ponchos, hats & sunscreen in case you forget them. Most animals don't mind the rain, but on very hot days, some animals may be less active as they look for shade. There will be no refunds or rain checks due to inclement weather or animals resting or sleeping.
As we are a quarantine facility, members of the public are prohibited from bringing any animal(s) onto the grounds or into the car park at any time. Pets, leashed or unleashed, are not allowed in the park because they may disturb the Zoo's animals. In hot weather, it is dangerous to leave a pet closed up in a vehicle. Please leave your pets at home. (Service dogs are permitted - but please contact the zoo prior to arrival)
Walk, Don't Ride
Only people in wheelchairs and kids in strollers get to ride around the Zoo. Bikes, (including three wheelers for toddlers) scooters, skateboards, roller-shoes/skates/blades, and the like are prohibited.
Electric Scooters are permitted, however, while the Aquarium is fully accessible, there are areas within the Zoo grounds that have difficult access due to slopes or gravel paths.
To decrease fire hazard and ensure the safety and health of visitors, staff, and animals, smoking is not permitted in the public areas at the National Zoo. However, there is a designated smoking area behind Meerkats and in the Car Park.
Please Don't Feed the Animals
Our animals have scientifically formulated diets to ensure their health and wellbeing. Human food may make them sick. Balloons, streamers, confetti or anything that could be a choking hazard for an animal is not permitted on the zoo grounds at any time.
Rails, moats, and other barriers between you and our animals are there to protect you and the animals from harm. It is especially important not to lift children over rails or rest them on railings, or let them stick fingers or arms through fences. Remember, Zoo animals are wild animals. Children must be supervised by an accompanying adult at all times.
You are welcome to bring your own food into the Zoo, and make use of our Picnic and BBQ facilities.
Please note however, that alcohol is not permitted within the zoo grounds.
Put all of your rubbish in bins and use the Recycling Bins when appropriate. Help us to keep our Zoo clean.
Whistles of any type are not to be brought into or used on the zoo grounds by visitors under any circumstances. These are used by Zoo staff in the event of an animal emergency.
Visitors are allowed to bring tripods and are encouraged to take photographs for their personal use and to share their memories with family and friends. Photographers wishing to market and sell their photos of our Zoo animals must contact the Zoo for permission. A fee may be payable, and is determined on an individual case by case basis.
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We have the authority to close any part of the Zoo, including any animal exhibit (animals off display) or Keeper Talk, at any time for reasons of adverse weather, equipment failure, maintenance and construction, or in the interests of safety and we will not be liable for any loss or expense incurred by a guest as the result of such closure.