What a year this has been! Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium provided a home and second chance to a rescued sea lion named Björn, celebrated the births of a Southern three-banded armadillo pup and a Southern tamandua pup, among so many other moments. Thanks for being here on this journey with us. Enjoy our best photos of 2021, taken by staff photographer Katie Cotterill.The penguins celebrated Pride weekend with a disco ball!
The Zoo welcomed lar gibbon brothers Aries and Orion.
A gentle sea lion, rescued after being blinded by bullets and likely attacked by a shark, arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in May.
Southern three-banded armadillos Vespa and Scooter welcomed a female pup into the world in late October, making them both first-time parents. The pup is the first healthy armadillo pup born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in its 116-year history.
Both staff biologists and the veterinary staff at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium brought a rare penguin chick back to good health, just days after it was suffering from what appeared to be dehydration.
Terra the Southern tamandua gave birth to Liana, a healthy female pup in April.
A four-month-old clouded leopard cub named Rakhan joined the Zoo in December.
The Zoolights crew assembles the giant Pacific octopus on top of the closed North Pacific Aquarium.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s jelly team collected jellyfish from Puget Sound. Moon jellies are plentiful in the waters around the Pacific Northwest. (All collection is done under a permit from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, which monitors populations carefully.) Moon jellies are natural food for other jellyfish, like lion’s mane and egg yolk jellies, which are both in the Pacific Seas Aquarium.
Zoo fans named the new giant Pacific octopus “Gertie”, referring to the Tacoma legend that the largest octopus in the world inhabits the underwater ruins of the collapsed Tacoma Narrows Bridge, nicknamed Galloping Gertie.
Point Defiance Zoo’s incredible staff photographer Katie Cotterill took portraits of keepers and their favorite animals, superimposing them in her camera as a double-exposure shot. The results were magic.
Rio the penguin chick learned to swim and joined the other penguins at Penguin Point.
Staff Biologist Stephanie showed us what it’s like to work as a keeper in the Rocky Shores area of the Zoo.