National Zoo’s American Trail Opens Sept. 1

Seals, sea lions, river otters, bald eagles and other North American animals will have cushy new digs.

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National Zoo
Seals, sea lions, river otters, bald eagles and other North American animals will have cushy new digs when the National Zoo's new American Trail opens to the public on Saturday, Sept. 1.
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National Zoo
Says the zoo: "This exhibit focuses on the places where land and water meet -- from a forest stream to a rocky coastline. The animals living here and the plants growing here will define and characterize the places where two spectacular environments come together."
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"As visitors move down the American Trail, the landscape and flora of Rock Creek will give way to the rocky shores of the coast. Oaks and poplars will give way to evergreens. Ferns will begin to pepper the landscape. Trees and bushes will take on a windswept look -- the forces of nature shape the native life," the zoo says.
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National Zoo
Bald eagles will reside (with great amounts of dignity, we presume) in the new exhibit.
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Visitors will be able to hear running water and view changing landscapes.
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National Zoo
Keepers are designing a new seal and sea lion habitat to create a more enriching environment for them.
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"Wave machines will keep the water moving, giving the marine mammals a chance to swim within a changing environment," the zoo says.
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National Zoo
A family of river otters came from the Santa Barbara Zoo in early April. They're currently living in the National Zoo's otter exhibit, and they never stop moving, which keeps things entertaining for visitors.
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Sea lions, seals, beavers, ravens, river otters, wolves and bald eagles will live along the trail.
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A sea lion pup and her mom will be part of the exhibit.
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The baby was actually born at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. "Both mother and pup are healthy and doing well and will return to the National Zoo in spring 2012 after their new sensory-stimulating exhibit on the American Trail is completed," the zoo said at the time.
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You can take a virtual tour of the upcoming exhibit here.
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You'll be able to explore outdoors, indoors and in "caves."
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"Wave machines will keep the water moving, giving the marine mammals a chance to swim within a changing environment," the zoo says.
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They'll also be able to kick back on their very own beach.
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"In addition to marveling at the diverse animals on exhibit -- sea lions, seals, beavers, ravens, river otters, wolves, and bald eagles -- visitors will be able to get their feet wet in an artificial tide pool and touch model sea creatures," the zoo says.
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Maybe the beavers can help put some finishing touches on the exhibit.
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The trail opens Saturday, Sept. 1.
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