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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.

Discover The Forest

End of Summer Blast
Animals, ice and fun.
Chill with our polar bears, tigers, red wolves, elephants and more as they play with piles of shaved ice, stomp watermelons and devour frozen treats. We're even building an igloo! Free with admission Sept. 1-3.
Get the details
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 your questions – they’ll be somewhere new every day.
See daily schedule
Find it
in the zoo.
Take a right at the plaza – left, for stroller ramps – and pass the South Pacific Aquarium to enter the Asian Forest Sanctuary. You’ll see the elephant barn first, followed by the other habitats.
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

When Your Tiger Needs a Root Canal

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, two dentists, two dental assistants, one x-ray technician and several caring zookeepers gave one endangered Sumatran tiger a root canal last Friday. Kirana did great … Continued

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Elephant Care

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium keepers and veterinarians are experts at providing the highest quality of care for our two elderly Asian female elephants, Suki and Hanako. Elephant Manager Shannon Smith has cared for Suki, 53, and Hanako, 54, since they arrived here in the mid-1990s, and has developed strong bonds with them.   How … Continued

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Love Around the Zoo

Feb. 10, 2018 It isn’t just visitors and keepers loving our animals this month. There’s also plenty of love going around the zoo… Listen out as you pass the budgie house – can you hear all those squawks? Our budgies may have gone inside for the winter but they’ve kept busy, hatching 17 chicks in … Continued

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Member Rewards
Looking for a deeper experience at the Zoo? Become a member to get peeks, perks and discounts.