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Blog (26)
Patrolling with the Zoo Ranger
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Early on this crisp fall morning, Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park is quiet and still. A jogger glides by in the distance; a deer grazes peacefully. The parking lot is empty at Point Defiance … Continued
Meet Keeper Heather
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This Zookeeper Week, we shadowed Heather, a zookeeper at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Heather works with the animals in the Asian Forest Sanctuary. We asked her about her experiences … Continued
Happy Zookeeper Week
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National Zookeeper Week takes place July 17-23 this year. The week is devoted to sharing the passion and dedication of keepers. Our zookeepers and aquarists are a dedicated group of … Continued
Meet Aquarist Mark
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This Zookeeper Week, we shadowed Mark, an aquarist at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Mark works with the animals in the Pacific Seas Aquarium. We asked him about his experiences … Continued
Meet Keeper Jarek
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This Zookeeper Week, we shadowed Jarek, a zookeeper at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Jarek works with the animals at Kids’ Zone. He is also the coordinator of the Association … Continued
Meet Keeper Margaret
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This Zookeeper Week, we shadowed Margaret, a zookeeper at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Margaret helps care for Suki the elephant, our two muskoxen Hudson and Charlotte, and three of … Continued
Meet Keeper Suzanne 
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This Zookeeper Week, we shadowed Suzanne, a zookeeper at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Suzanne works with the animals at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater. We asked her about her … Continued
Meet Keeper Kelsie
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This Zookeeper Week, we shadowed Kelsie, a zookeeper at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Kelsie works with the animals in the Rocky Shores / Arctic Tundra habitats. We asked her … Continued
Metro Parks Tacoma Wins Two WRPA Spotlight Awards
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Metro Parks Tacoma’s Dickman Mill Park and groundbreaking nature science education curriculum Wildlife Champions have won 2022 Spotlight Awards from the Washington Recreation & Park Association (WRPA). The awards, open … Continued
Clouded Leopard Conservation
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Clouded leopards are endangered. Their tropical forests are being cut down for logging, human habitat and to grow palm oil, a common food product. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium plays … Continued
Double Exposed
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Zookeepers and the animals they love What’s the animal you feel most deeply inside? The one you connect with, love, relate to, share traits with? For National Zookeeper Week 2021, … Continued
Zookeeper Life: Piper
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What do you do if your 760-pound male muskox refuses to do what you ask him? Well, if you’re a zookeeper, you have other strategies in your pocket. For keeper … Continued
Zookeeper Life: Sam
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Two things make zookeeper life in the Asian Forest Sanctuary quite different from anywhere else at Point Defiance Zoo: lots of meat, and lots of doors. And in a typical … Continued
Zookeeper Life: Monica
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Chef. Dietitian. Physical therapist. Hydrotherapist. Public speaker, cleaner, cricket-handler. When keeper Monica signed up to become a zookeeper, she knew it wouldn’t ever get boring – but caring for animals … Continued
Zookeeper Life: Jamie
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Summer sunlight dapples through Douglas firs. The air hums with insects, pierced by sharp raven calls. All else is quiet – and keeper Jamie climbs into the truck. Time to … Continued
Zookeeper Life: Jessie
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There are a lot of moving parts to being a zookeeper in the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – but training ambassador animals is a … Continued
Zookeeper Life: Stephanie
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Keeper Stephanie’s day involves quite a lot of fish – and shrimp, and clam, and squid. When you care for ten marine mammals and four flocks of seabirds in nine … Continued
Elephant Facial Recognition
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At the elephant habitat at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Shannon and Russell are doing something usually reserved for zoo visitors, not keepers. Side by side, phones held aloft, they’re … Continued
National Zookeeper Week
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National Zookeeper Week takes place July 19-25 this year. The week is devoted to sharing the passion and dedication of keepers. Even though Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was temporarily … Continued
Teen Zookeepers – for One Day
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For parents of teens who won’t clean their room, it might seem amazing that six 13- and 14-year-olds would willingly spend a freezing winter morning chopping vegetables. But for the … Continued
Polar Bear Ambassador
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It’s a long way from Tacoma, Washington to Churchill, Manitoba: about 1,420 miles as the crow flies, at least eight hours by plane. There’s no road. In icy isolation on … Continued
Polar Bear Skype
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It looked like a regular school assembly – until they brought out the polar bear skull. On a gray November afternoon, the kids at Arlington Elementary School in Tacoma’s south … Continued
Wildlife Champions Kick Off
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Puffins! Barn owls! Moon jellies! There was a parade of animals at Tacoma Public School’s Arlington Elementary on September 30, 2019 – not literally, but as class mascots for a … Continued
Our tapir calf is born!
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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 … Continued
Eight red wolf pups!
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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 … Continued
When Your Tiger Needs a Root Canal
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Our incredible staff goes through extreme lengths for medical procedures to help treat all Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium animals, from a small turtle to a massive tiger. Four veterinarians, … Continued