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Asian Forest Sanctuary

Explore the jungle

Exotic and mysterious. Lush and green. The Asian Forest Sanctuary immerses you in a five-acre, eight-habitat oasis of waterfalls, streams and bamboo forest. Animals rotate around the habitats to explore new sights and smells.

From elephants to anoa – plus daily keeper talks – there’s always something magical to discover.

NOTE: The main waterfall exhibit is open. The other exhibits in this area are temporarily closed for renovation.

Discover The Forest

Meet the Keepers
(They don't bite.)
Looking after tigers is a lot of work! But at 12:30pm every day our keepers take turns talking about how they care for our Asian Forest Sanctuary animals. Making meatballs. Scooping tapir poop. (Oh, yes.) Bring all your questions.
See daily schedule
Find it
in the zoo.
Take a right at the plaza – left, for stroller ramps – and pass the South Pacific Aquarium and elephant barn to enter the Asian Forest Sanctuary. NOTE: The main waterfall exhibit is open. The other exhibits are temporarily closed for renovation.
Plan your day

Meet Our Animals

Sumatran tiger
Asian elephant
Clouded leopard
Malayan tapir
Lowland anoa
White-cheeked gibbon
Indian crested porcupine
Siamang
Asian small-clawed otter
Bathing elephants
It's a team effort.
Our keepers care for our elephants daily - that means baths too, with one keeper feeding fruit treats while the other wields the hose.
The elephant's favorite part? Getting a jet of water onto their tongue! It's all part of looking after these beautiful animals.
Tiger dental work
(They need to be asleep.)
Sometimes your tiger might need a root canal. In 2017 Kirana had one done to help her chew better and keep healthy.
The operation took an entire veterinary-keeper team, and lasted hours. Of course, Kirana slept through it all...

Protecting the rainforest

Palm Oil and Poaching.

THE THREAT: In the wild, all our Asian Forest Sanctuary species depend on tropical rainforests to survive. In Southeast Asia, these forests are rapidly being cut down to grow palm oil, found in many food products. Tigers are also hunted by poachers, pushing them near extinction.

TAKE ACTION: Learn about the products you buy, and switch to those made with sustainable palm oil. Urge companies to change. Never buy wildlife products, and support local laws against wildlife trafficking. And consider donating to our Dr. Holly Reed fund, which supports tiger conservation in Sumatra.

Asian forest Stories

A Tapir Ultrasound

Zoological Aide Katie Schachtsick holds a long-handled back-scratcher and applies just the right amount of pressure as she rubs it across the black-and-white hide of endangered Malayan tapir Yuna. It’s clear Yuna enjoys the attention – and the back rub – leaning into the scratcher and then moving her stout legs down, getting into a … Continued

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AI for endangered tigers

Cross your paws. And think of tiger cubs! Our endangered female Sumatran tigers, 5-year-old Kali and 4-year-old Kirana, could be pregnant. Both were artificially inseminated Jan. 30 with sperm from 14-year-old Mohan. We won’t know for a few weeks if a pregnancy resulted, but if successful, tiger cubs would be born in May. But it … Continued

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5 Animals that Beat the Cold

We’re all feeling the cold right about now in the Pacific Northwest – and the rest of the country too. But here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, our animals have some pretty cool ways to deal with it. From fur coats to heated hammocks, here are five ways our animals beat the winter cold. … Continued

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