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This program is for Smithsonian Associates members only.

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Breakfast at the Zoo: A Date with Spike the Elephant

For Smithsonian Associates members at the Promoter ($100) level or below

Saturday, September 22, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Code: 1P0628G

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Asian elephant, Spike (Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

Please note: Event registration closes Wed., Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. Tickets will not be available on the event day. This special event is open only to Smithsonian Associates members and their guests. This ticket does not include VIP access.

Interested in VIP access? Upgrade to the Advocate ($175) level or call 202-633-3030 (M-F; 9-5). VIP access includes covered seating, an upgraded breakfast buffet, and other activities at the Mane Grill across from Lion and Tiger Hill. Breakfast is served within these three time slots: 8 to 9 a.m.; 9 to 10 a.m.; or 10 to 11 a.m.

Humans are not the only ones who have dating websites. Elephants have them too. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, matches individual animals across the country for breeding in order to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse, and self-sustaining population. One individual who recently made the cut is Spike. The 13,000-pound, 36 year-old Asian elephant traveled 900 miles from Miami to join Ambika, Shanthi, Kamala, Swarna , Bozie  and Maharani at the National Zoo’s Elephant Trails exhibit. 

With a reputation as one “very laid back and chill," pachyderm, Spike’s arrival ushers in an exciting new era for the Zoo’s elephant team,” said Tony Barthel, curator of Elephant Trails. “He will have a big presence here, and we look forward to seeing our herd interact with him. Spike lived with Kamala, Swarna, and Maharani at the Calgary Zoo, so we anticipate that a reunion will elicit lots of excitement and energy among the quartet.” Noted one animal keeper, the other elephants “were flapping their ears excitedly. We call that behavior 'happy flappy ears!' "

Come and celebrate the arrival of this gentle giant at our popular outing at the National Zoo. After enjoying a breakfast buffet and performance on Lion and Tiger Hill visit the Kids Activity Corner for a hands-on pollinator-related experience. Then, meet some of the animals and their keepers. And be sure to stop at the Elephant Trails exhibit to say “hi” to Spike.

General Information
  • Pricing: Members and guests: $25 per person; children 12 and under $15; children age 4 and under admitted free.
  • Registration closes Wed., Sept. 19 at 5 p.m.
  • Tickets are not available at the event.
  • Seating: Guests are welcome to bring their own blankets and folding chairs to breakfast on Lion and Tiger Hill.
  • Parking: Use vehicle entrance in the 3000 block of Connecticut Ave NW. Lots D and E are closest to Lion and Tiger Hill. Please note there is a $25 parking fee.
  • Pedestrians: Take the Red line to the Cleveland Park or Woodley Park/Zoo Metrorail stop. Enter the zoo in the 3000 block of Connecticut Ave NW.

National Zoological Park
Lion and Tiger Hill
3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Metro: Cleveland Park or Woodley Park/Zoo