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Zoo News
Jun 13, 2018

Now up all summer long! International sand sculptor Sue McGrew and her team have created a mammoth sand ocean scene on our Hub lawn! Sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, fish, jellyfish – all the animals coming soon to our brand-new Pacific Seas Aquarium are here, sculpted in sand.   Learn from the pros Sue’s … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Feb. 10, 2018 It isn’t just visitors and keepers loving our animals this month. There’s also plenty of love going around the zoo… Listen out as you pass the budgie house – can you hear all those squawks? Our budgies may have gone inside for the winter but they’ve kept busy, hatching 17 chicks in … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

June UPDATE: Our penguin chicks are now behind-the-scenes, learning to swim. Yes, you read that right. While their downy feathers stiffen and become more waterproof, they’ll live in temporary quarters away from the big pool at Penguin Point. Staff biologists will keep a keen eye on them as they learn to swim in a smaller pool. … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

  The North Pacific Aquarium was built to replace the aging 1940 aquarium, a wooden building down on the waterfront that was rusting, rotting and leaking. Early ideas included moving it to the park’s “bus station” (now the Pagoda), but by 1961 the Park Board decided to build a new one inside the zoo complex, where the … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Through four years of dreaming, mentoring staff, caring for animals and watching a building rise, Neil Allen has kept one vision in sight for the Pacific Seas Aquarium, coming late summer to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. “There’s nothing like seeing little kids running up, pressing their noses against the glass and saying, ‘Wow,’ ” … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Ivan. The one word name has been recognizable in Tacoma, the Puget Sound region and around the world for more than half a century. The western lowland gorilla who grew up with a local family, lived in a shopping center and ultimately found a home among members of his species in an award-winning gorilla habitat … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

For 33 years, E.T. the Pacific walrus was a Tacoma icon. Having arrived at the Zoo as an orphan in 1982, he won hearts with his famous flipper wave and endearing vocalizations. Now, two years after E.T.’s passing in 2015, Tacoma gets its beloved walrus back – in a bronze sculpture that welcomes visitors at … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Sunny and Azul, the green sea turtles waiting patiently for their new home in the aquarium’s Baja Bay exhibit, passed their first physical wellness exam this month with flying colors – and got a treat as a reward for being good patients. Watch the video here.

Jun 12, 2018

Jan. 24, 2018 It’s beginning to look a lot like an aquarium over there now. Visitors to the zoo see a high roofline; people passing by on Five Mile Drive see fish scale facades, window insets and the space for our glass artwork. The crane is gone, and the tanks have come, including the enormous … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Sept. 22, 2017 Azul is a diva, but curious. Sunny’s more a chill kinda guy. But aquarist Melissa Bishop loves both of the green sea turtles that just arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – and she has plenty of time to get to know them before they move into their big Baja Bay … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Aug. 16, 2017 It had all the complex choreography of a ballet. Last Friday, four scalloped hammerhead sharks and two spotted eagle rays arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. They’d been flown in specially-built tanks all the way from Hawaii. They’d been carefully trucked down from SeaTac airport. And then, as dusk settled over … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Wondering what all those concrete walls are going to become in the new aquarium? Here’s our walk-through guide. 1. You’ll enter just downhill from the path to Rocky Shores. 2. First, you’ll walk by a tidal surge tank, with Northwest animals like sea urchins. 3. In the top gallery you’ll catch an eye-level glimpse of … Continued