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Zoo News
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

Even internet celebrities need their mom and dad sometimes. Butternut, the beaver kit born in April at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, will make her public debut at 2 p.m. Aug. 10 & 11 – but she’ll have mom Nutmeg and dad Walnut out there to keep her company as she meets her adoring fans. … 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

Jun 05, 2019

Looking for awesome gift ideas for Dad? You’ve come to the right place. Nothing beats a fun animal experience at the Zoo or Point Defiance Park, especially when it’s one Dad can share with the whole family.   Eye-to-Eye Shark Dive All Dads are brave, right? Give yours the thrill of getting up close to … Continued

May 30, 2019

CHICK UPDATE: Our penguin chicks have gone behind the scenes to grow bigger and learn to swim. They’ll be back out in a few weeks when they’ve lost their downy feathers, ready to demonstrate their expert swimming skills.   Peck. Peck. Peck. A tiny beak hammers away from the inside of an egg shell, cracks … Continued

May 21, 2019

It was a sunny Saturday in Tacoma – perfect for the beach. But as Zach Hawn and Kailee Bynum picked their way across Owen Beach with five Zoo volunteers, they weren’t just there for the weather. They were there to count and clean up trash, joining dozens of walkers, kayakers and even divers in the … Continued

May 21, 2019

As a young boy watches, face pressed to the glass wall, a flood of bubbly white water gushes through the Tidal Surge habitat. As water washes over them, green anemones wave and pink sea stars cling to the rocks. The bubbles subside and the boy stares, enthralled – even before he’s set foot inside the … Continued

May 16, 2019

PUPDATE: The red wolf pups are now roaming outside on view to the public. They also have names – meet them here. When Dr. Karen Wolf picks up eight newborn red wolf pups one by one, it’s more than just a routine – though adorable – new pup exam. It’s a victory. “American red wolves … Continued

May 15, 2019

On the steps of the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, there’s a little boy in a shark T-shirt. He’s clutching a blanket, and staring wide-eyed as an armadillo scuttles across the stage. He looks just like most of the other kids in the audience, who are equally enthralled. But six-year-old Keller is different in a really … Continued

May 14, 2019

BEAVER UPDATE: The baby beaver is a girl, and her name is Butternut! All the family are doing well behind the scenes.   First there was Walnut, a male beaver living at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Then came Nutmeg, a female beaver who came to the zoo from sister zoo Northwest Trek as a … Continued

May 13, 2019

PUPDATE! – Red wolf pups are exploring outside, on view to the public.  Meet them here.   And suddenly, there are eight. What appeared at first to be a litter of four rare red wolf pups on Friday afternoon became a squirming mass of eight, yes, count them, EIGHT!, healthy newborns over the weekend. Red … Continued

May 06, 2019

UPDATE: Come see Sue sculpt our new tapir calf in sand! 10am-5pm Aug. 3-4. Q: Where in the world would you find an elephant, a sea turtle and an axolotl all together? A: In Species in the Sand, the new sand sculpture this summer at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! Beginning mid-May, our sculpting team … Continued

May 02, 2019

No, you won’t find a Tyrannosaurus next to the tigers. But Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has dozens of living things whose roots go back hundreds of millions of years. Ferns, mosses, cycads and ginkoes – not to mention the Wollemi pine or monkey puzzle tree. Yep, we’re talking plants: living fossils that have been … Continued

Apr 29, 2019

On the stage at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, two dogs are waiting to ride a “hot air balloon” (actually, a basket and beach ball on a cable). One, with dark brown patches and a blue bandanna round his neck, sits patiently – then hops inside confidently. The other dog, lighter brown with a purple … Continued

Apr 29, 2019

It’s like being inside a cloud of excited children who’ve all been given a bright yellow jacket and two cups of coffee. We’re inside Budgie Buddies on a sunny spring morning – perfect budgie weather, says keeper Ariel Woodruff. She and fellow keeper Heather Burns have been doing the spring cleaning before this popular habitat … Continued

Apr 24, 2019

It’s magical enough to stand inside the Pacific Seas Aquarium and gaze at shimmering scales, cruising sea turtles or impossibly long wolf eels. But with x-ray vision, a whole new underwater world reveals itself. Thanks to our veterinary team, who regularly take radiographs of our Pacific Seas Aquarium animals to check on their health and … Continued

Apr 17, 2019

UPDATE: May 1, 2019 We did it! We made 3,600 paper turtles, glueing them onto ten blue silk “waves” to create a cascading spiral of ocean beauty in the Pacific Seas Aquarium. And we raised $10,068 for ocean conservation, thanks to the Ocean Art Challenge sponsored by the Bezos Family Foundation, and all the hundreds … Continued

Apr 08, 2019

Aquarist Mikiko Williams, clad in a black wetsuit, stood in the Japanese Spider Crab habitat at the Pacific Seas Aquarium, reached down, gently picked up an animal that weighed about 8 pounds and hoisted it up and out of the water. It was just after 8:30 a.m., the Zoo would open in an hour, and … Continued