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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 tigers to tapirs to keeper talks there’s always something magical to discover.

Sad news: Our elderly elephant Hanako was humanely euthanized Feb. 15 after a severe decline in health. Learn more. 

Discover The Forest

Meet the Keepers
(They don't bite.)
Looking after tigers is a lot of work! At unscheduled times 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.
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.
Plan your day

Meet Our Animals

Sumatran tiger
Asian elephant
Clouded leopard
Malayan tapir
Lowland anoa
White-cheeked gibbon
Indian crested porcupine
Siamang
Bathing elephant
It's a team effort.
Our keepers care for our elephant 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 her 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

Clouded Leopard Conservation

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 a huge role in the conservation of clouded leopards in the wild. The Zoo is part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) that keeps zoo … 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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Tapir calf Kazu growing more every day

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s 9-month-old tapir calf Kazu is healthy and growing more every day. Like all Malayan tapirs, he was covered in watermelon spots and stripes when he was little, but now he has the sleek black and white stripes of an adult tapir. He still has some baby spots on his chest, … Continued

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