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Can We Talk About How The National Zoo Is The Greatest Zoo On Earth?

I've got words for you: Bao Bao. And two more: It's free.

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We're all in agreement on this: Zoos are AWESOME. And if you haven't been to a zoo since you were little, you're missing out.

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But let's talk about one specific zoo right now, because it is way more awesome than your average zoo.

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It's the National Zoo, aka the National Zoological Park, aka the Smithsonian's National Zoo, aka THE GREATEST ZOO ON EARTH.

Cheetah Samson frolicked in the snow @ Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute/ Front Royal VA #SnowDay #SnowDay9

What makes it the greatest? Well, for one, it has every cool animal on the freaking planet.

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Tigers? Cool.

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Lions? Very cool.

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Baby bears that just want to roll around all day? SUPER EXTRA COOL.

View this video on YouTube

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The Zoo's got insanely cute red pandas, red pandas so cute, you won't even believe they're real.

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The Zoo's got sweet zebras, and chilled-out giraffes.

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The Zoo's even got birds, just hanging out and doing cool bird stuff.

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But that's just the start. A lot of zoos have lions and tigers and bears. The National Zoo takes all of that and makes it 1000000% more awesome. Just ask yourself this:

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Does your favorite zoo have orangutans literally** everywhere?

**Not literally, but the Zoo does have a TON of orangutans.
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**Not literally, but the Zoo does have a TON of orangutans.

And do those orangutans just walk around on giant wires way above your head?

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Does your zoo have gorillas AND seals AND totally legit snakes?

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Does your zoo have goats being goats?

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And does your zoo have a llama that does a wildly accurate Derek Zoolander impersonation?

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No, of course not! Because only this zoo has all of that — AND still has room for elephants that'll hang out with you anytime you want.

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BUT HOLD UP, we're just getting started here. The National Zoo also has baby versions of literally EVERY ANIMAL ON EARTH. I'm talking baby seals.

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Baby leopards.

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Baby cheetahs.

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Baby elephants.

Before mating, elephants court by chin resting, nuzzling, or mutual bathing #ValentinesDay

Oh, and the greatest baby animal of ALL TIME: Bao Bao.

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Because if you weren't impressed by anything else here, just remember: The National Zoo has the best pandas pretty much anywhere outside of Asia.

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The pandas literally can't stop being adorable. Here's Bao Bao just rolling around in the snow. Is that not the cutest thing you've even seen in your life?

View this video on YouTube

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And when you're not at the Zoo, you can still watch the pandas all day thanks to Panda Cam, literally the one of the top 2 or 3 inventions in human history.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed / Via nationalzoo.si.edu

Sandwiches are no. 1, and Netflix is probably up there, too. But it's definitely top 3.

The Zoo is fun in all seasons. Even at night, the Zoo is still stunning.

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And sometimes, awesome bands just drop by to play for everyone, just in case the zoo wasn't already awesome enough.

View this video on YouTube

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Oh, and one more thing: The Zoo is free. All of this — the elephants, the tigers, the baby seals, the PANDAS ROLLING AROUND IN THE SNOW BECAUSE THE WORLD IS PERFECT AND WONDERFUL — will cost you $0.

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So here's to you, The National Zoo. When it comes to zoos, you truly are no. 1.

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The National Zoo, sadly, no longer has giraffes. This reporter regrets the error, and even more deeply regrets that he never had a chance to say good-bye to the National Zoo's giraffes, who were really quite majestic.

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