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Muskox

Did you know?

Ovibos moschatus wardi

Muskoxen have secret weapon against the cold – a two-layer coat. Their soft underwool, called qiviut (“kiv-ee-ute”) is warmer than sheep’s wool and softer than cashmere. They shed it in spring.

NEWS: We have a muskox calf! Read all about him and mom Charlotte.

Discover Muskoxen

Habitat
Wild and Zoo
Muskoxen have lived in the frozen Arctic for many thousands of years, living on prairies and tundra in Greenland, northern Canada and Alaska. Find them in our Arctic Tundra .
Arctic Tundra
Meet the Keepers
(Double duty.)
Our muskoxen are taken care of by our elephant keepers! Keeper Chats happen at unscheduled times each day to avoid congestion. Bring your questions...

Meet our Muskoxen

Hudson
Charlotte
Trebek

Protecting Muskox

Saving a species.

THE THREAT: Muskoxen were hunted for meat and hides in the 19th and 20th centuries, and their populations plummeted.

TAKE ACTION: The Northwest Game Act of 1917 allowed for conservation efforts that helped their recovery, and there are now around 80,000 muskoxen in the wild. Conservation works!

Arctic Stories

Farewell, Boris

TACOMA, Wash. – Boris, an elderly polar bear believed to be the oldest male of his species on the planet, was humanely euthanized at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Sept. 1 following a significant decline in his health. He was 34, a one-time circus bear who found a stable home in Tacoma, where he … Continued

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National Zookeeper Week

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 closed to the public to slow the spread of COVID-19, the keepers never took a pause. They are a dedicated group of people who work … Continued

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Splish, splash! Zoo animals that beat the heat

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! Muskox Muskoxen are adapted for living above the Arctic Circle and nibbling for … Continued

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Who's Nearby?
Curious about muskoxen? Then look for our polar bear! Keep walking along the Arctic Tundra path until you find him.