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Zoo News
Oct 10, 2019

On a fine day this summer, Stephanie Rager, staff biologist at the Zoo’s Rocky Shores habitat, went for a hike. After three miles and a lot of uphill walking at the remote edge of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, she arrived with two other women at the rocky outcrop of Sand Point. There they set up a … Continued

Oct 09, 2019

Cindy Roberts and Sheriden Ploof stood in long rubber boots on the edge of the walrus pool, metal bucket in hand. For the two Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff biologists, it was a bittersweet moment. Basilla and Kulusiq, the zoo’s two female walruses, were leaving for a new home in sunny San Diego – … Continued

Oct 07, 2019

It’s possibly the best job in the world. Adrienne Umpstead, staff biologist at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, sits in a pool of sunlight just near the tamandua habitat. One foot propped on a stool, her lap is covered with a small pillow and fleece blanket. One hand is poised with a bottle; the other … Continued

Oct 01, 2019

Kulu loves playing with a hose waterfall. Basa gives a deep sigh if she’s not in the mood for something. Cumulatively, they’ve lived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for 16 years. Our lady walruses Kulusiq and Basilla are leaving for SeaWorld San Diego, and we’re giving them two weekends of farewell: Oct. 5-6 and … Continued

Sep 25, 2019

Agaves with shark teeth. Trees that poke you. Carnivorous plants. If you think the plant world is all about pretty flowers, it’s time to think again – and time for the Zoo’s annual Savage Garden tour. No, not the band. The actual Zoo garden, which is full of poky, skeletal and otherwise Halloween-themed plants – … Continued

Sep 09, 2019

Our red wolf pups are growing up into adolescents – and now they have dyed fur to boot. Now 18 weeks old, the pups born on May 10 are now between 22-28 pounds each – that’s around half the weight of their petite mom, Charlotte. They’ll keep gaining around a pound a week for the next … Continued

Sep 06, 2019

  The San Diego Zoo, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park are partnering to provide a virtual adventure television channel in Mary Bridge Children’s hospital patient rooms. This new channel is being provided by San Diego Zoo Global as part of its children’s hospital network that airs … Continued

Sep 03, 2019

Big news: Our new baby tamandua is a girl, and her name is Chiquita! And since her weight was low at birth and she was slow to gain weight despite nursing, she’s getting extra veterinary and keeper care around the clock to help her grow and thrive. “She’s doing very well,” said head veterinarian Dr. … Continued

Aug 29, 2019

When you think ‘edible gardening,’ you usually don’t imagine growing banana trees for elephants. But Bryon Jones does. The lead horticulturalist at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has created an entire garden devoted to plants that zoo animals can munch, nibble or chew. It’s usually hidden from public view. But on this Sunday’s free garden … Continued

Aug 29, 2019

UPDATE: Kazu made his public debut Aug. 30. He and Yuna are now viewable in the Asian Forest Sanctuary late morning-early afternoon on weekends. Trotting over green grass. Figuring out stairs. Swimming. A brand-new, exciting world for Kazu the tapir calf is in store this weekend at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, as the seven-week-old … Continued

Aug 26, 2019

We all love summer in the Pacific Northwest, but there’s no doubt that some days get pretty hot. Humans are pretty creative in finding ways to beat the heat – splashing, shade, cool clothes – and our Zoo animals do it too! Asian elephants Hanako and Suki might be elderly elephants, but they love a … Continued

Aug 21, 2019

If you’re an apex jungle predator, it’s pretty important to have strong teeth. So when Kirana, one of the four Sumatran tigers at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, needed some work on a fractured canine last week, she had a team of 12 veterinarians, veterinary dentists, technicians and keepers to take care of her. “Can … Continued

Aug 21, 2019

In the Budgie Buddies exhibit early one morning, there’s a sudden hush. It’s the sound of 100 brand-new budgies, all perched in a row on the roof, and all stopping their chatter in one unified moment. Then abruptly, they dive in perfect formation, like a flashing school of fish, and swoop back up to restart … Continued

Aug 21, 2019

He’s thriving, growing and exploring the pool: The endangered Malayan tapir calf born July 12 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is nearly ready to meet his adoring fans. But before he does, he needs a name. Members of the public were invited to vote on one of five names chosen by keepers in the … Continued

Aug 20, 2019

A boy? A girl? We won’t know for a while, but the Southern tamandua pup born Sunday night at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – the first in the zoo’s history – is a very welcome addition to the family. The baby tamandua – a small, arboreal species of anteater native to South America – … Continued

Aug 14, 2019

If the tiger is the king of the jungle, then the anoa would be the gardener. They’re not iconic like an elephant, or acrobatic like a siamang. They don’t star in Pixar movies or cartoons. Even in the jungle, they can be impossible to find. But this tiniest species of buffalo just 30 inches tall … Continued

Aug 08, 2019

Dwight & Jim Move Out Moving into a new home is an exciting moment in anybody’s life. But for Dwight and Jim, penguin chicks at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, it became a enriching expedition of discovery as the two newly-fledged youngsters walked across the zoo from their behind-the-scenes home into the main Penguin Point … Continued

Aug 07, 2019

UPDATE: Watch Butternut explore a pile of ice chips 2pm Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 for End of Summer Blast! The Close Encounter will be at the Discovery Hut Sat-Sun.   Even internet celebrities need their mom and dad sometimes. Butternut, the beaver kit born in April at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, will make … Continued

Jul 29, 2019

At 8 a.m. the check-up line was assembled. Two veterinarians, two veterinary technicians, a curator and two Rocky Shores keepers all stood poised at three long tables in the seabird underwater viewing area at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Carefully lined up on the tables were a scale, spare leg bands, clippers, vials, syringes primed … Continued

Jul 26, 2019

Two orphaned California sea lions have splashed into the Rocky Shores pools at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, taking the zoo’s total sea lion count to five. Eloise and Boomer arrived last week accompanied by zoo veterinarian Dr. Kadie Anderson and staff biologist Sheriden Ploof. Born last summer, the pups have been cared for by … Continued

Jul 23, 2019

Tangy mint smell. Velvety flowers. Giant sandpapery leaves. Visit a garden with ALL of your senses, and you experience the plant world in a totally different way – which is exactly what Bryon Jones wants you to do. On Sunday August 4 at 10am, the horticulturalist at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will lead his … Continued

Jul 17, 2019

Turns out, when you give physicals to giant pouched rats, some things are easy – like examining their long curved front teeth. Getting a blood sample from those tiny veins? Not so easy. But it’s a vital part of assessing health. “I’ll try the jugular first,” says head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf, gently parting soft … Continued

Jul 17, 2019

They’re fuzzy. They’re cute. They’re smart. Three HeroRATS have arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – the first zoo in North America – and they’re ready to show us how their species save lives. Celine, Chiku and Mona Lisa are rats, yes – but they’re about as far from domestic rats as Superman is … Continued

Jul 16, 2019

He’s healthy, weighs around 25 pounds and follows Mom everywhere. The Malayan tapir calf born July 12 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has just received his first wellness exam, and he appears to be in perfect health, says Dr. Karen Wolf, head veterinarian. “He is bright, exploring his environment and is in good body … Continued

Jul 15, 2019

UPDATE: Our tapir calf is now three weeks old and doing really well. He’s bonding with mom behind the scenes. Here’s the latest video: It’s a boy! An endangered Malayan tapir calf was born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Friday night, July 12. He is the first tapir calf born at the zoo in … Continued

Jul 10, 2019

It took three staff members, six adult volunteers, three youth Zoo Guides and four classes of high schoolers to shovel sand for polar bears – but it was worth it. On a late spring day, Boris and Blizzard, the polar bears at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, shifted to their inside dens for the day … Continued

Jul 10, 2019

It’s quite a progression from being afraid of a bug to making a home for it, painting a watercolor of it and documenting it on a science app. But that’s what Arlington Elementary Wildlife Champions are doing this summer in a nature science camp that takes the year-long classroom-to-park program into a new level of … Continued

Jun 26, 2019

It’s Thursday, and Blizzard is waiting to get his hair dyed. Standing in the training area behind Arctic Tundra at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the massive polar bear looks expectantly up at staff biologist Cindy Roberts. One of the bear’s keepers, she’s holding a big bucket that smells appetizingly of raw meat, fish and … Continued

Jun 10, 2019

What kind of shark are you: Relaxed? Intense? Take the quiz and find out! Loading…

Jun 05, 2019

For most of us, a wellness exam at 52 is all about middle-age health issues. For Cho Cho, it’s an impressive tribute to a senior siamang and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff who care for him – because at 52, Cho Cho is believed to be the oldest siamang in human care in … Continued