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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.

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! You can meet them at the daily elephant Keeper Chats. Or come see a polar bear Keeper Chat just nearby.
See daily schedule

Meet our Muskoxen

Mya
Hudson
Charlotte

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

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! Asian elephants Hanako and Suki might be elderly elephants, but they love a … Continued

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Getting Sandy for Polar Bears

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

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Dyed-hair polar bear

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

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