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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.

NEWS: We have a tapir calf! Born July 12, he is doing great, and so is mom Yuna.

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.
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

Meet Kazu the tapir calf!

UPDATE: Kazu made his public debut Aug. 30. He and Yuna are now viewable in the Asian Forest Sanctuary late morning-early afternoon on weekends. Trotting over green grass. Figuring out stairs. Swimming. A brand-new, exciting world for Kazu the tapir calf is in store this weekend at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, as the seven-week-old … 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! Asian elephants Hanako and Suki might be elderly elephants, but they love a … Continued

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Name our tapir calf!

He’s thriving, growing and exploring the pool: The endangered Malayan tapir calf born July 12 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is nearly ready to meet his adoring fans. But before he does, he needs a name. Members of the public were invited to vote on one of five names chosen by keepers in the … Continued

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