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In Photos: National Zoo Animals Play in the Snow

Giant panda

giant panda

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

The cold-loving animals in Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. got out to enjoy the snow today.

Giant panda

giant panda

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

The National Zoo has several giant pandas: Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and baby Bao Bao.

Red panda

red panda

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Red pandas were the first species to be called "panda."

Red panda

red panda

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Originally classified in the bear family, red pandas are now the sole species in family Ailuridae.

Red panda

red panda

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

They resemble raccoons and their Asian habitat overlaps with that of giant pandas.

North American river otter

otters

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

River otters are very social animals.

North American river otter

otters

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Their thick undercoat keeps them warm during winter.

North American river otter

otters

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Otters' bodies are streamlined and have long tails for swimming.

California sea lions

sea lions

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is home to four female California sea lions: Sidney (3 years old), Summer (7 years old),Calli (7 years old) and Sophie (1 year old).

California sea lions

sea lions

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Fisherman once hunted sea lions for their skin or oil.

California sea lions

sea lions

(Image credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Under the protection of national law, some populations of sea lions have rebounded.

Tanya Lewis
Tanya was a staff writer for Live Science from 2013 to 2015, covering a wide array of topics, ranging from neuroscience to robotics to strange/cute animals. She received a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Brown University. She has previously written for Science News, Wired, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, the radio show Big Picture Science and other places. Tanya has lived on a tropical island, witnessed volcanic eruptions and flown in zero gravity (without losing her lunch!). To find out what her latest project is, you can visit her website.