Sunday, November 2, 2008


In 1974, the Director of the National Zoo founded the Conservation and Research Center (CRC)in Front Royal, Virgina. The site was originally used by the US Government, who leased it from farmers. in 1909. It housed a series of Calvary remount stations, supplying horses and mules to the Military. In 1911 the land was purchased by the Federal Government and remained a supplier of mounts through both World Wars. In 1948 the land was passed to the USDA and was developed to study beef cattle. The project closed in 1973, leaving the area vacant. In 1974 the Director of the National Zoo recognised the need for a captive breeding program and founded the CRC. In 1975 the title was transferred to the Smithsonian and work began. The most well known programs center on captive breeding and reintroduction of endangered species. The current collection is over 400 species. One weekend a year the facility is opened to the public with the 'Autumn Conservation Festival' sponsored the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ).
Here's what DaveKay had to say about it ~

That place was phenomenal! It opened in 1908, and comprises some 2300 acres. The government bought up 42 farms in order to gather all the land in one bunch. It started out as a breeding and training center for the horses in the 1st Cavalry in WWI. General Patton's horse is buried there in their special horse cemetery. At the end of WWI, and the beginning of WWII, horses were replaced by armored vehicles, so the facility started training dogs for combat. Sometime in the 1930's, the National Zoo took over the place, and started using it for breeding research on Zoo animals. It's open one weekend a year and you can bet it's going to be on our schedule every year!

Red (lesser) Panda

Red Wolf (Germany) Sure reminds me of a Fox, lol

Horse Cemetery

Just a part of the Conservation Area. Beautiful!

Civil War Cavalry re-enactors

Transportation around Race Track Hill

Eld's Elk

Micronesian Kingfisher

Exotic Mynah Bird

Researcher checking Peking Duck egg for embryo development

Clouded Leopard A gorgeous cat!

Images courtesy of DaveKay
I can see why DaveKay is going to make this an annual trip. Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us. I have another group of photos from this trip that will be posted in a few days. And they are just as good as these.
Looking forward to our next "trip".

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