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Camel Rides

Climb on up

We’re the only zoo in the Northwest where you can climb on a camel! Feel on top of the world in the comfy saddle of our dromedary camels, and pose for the perfect photo op at the same time.

Now open weekends!

Discover the Camels

Open seasonally
(They like it warm.)
Camel rides are now open on weekends only. Rides cost $8 per person ($6 Zoo members), with $7 commemorative photo extra. Age 3+.
NOTE: Rides always weather-dependent.
Find them
in the zoo
Domestic camels are found in the Middle East, and some live wild in dry areas of Australia, though they're not native. To find ours, go downhill from the central plaza and head right.
Plan your day

"Whooo's" Nearby?

Argentine tegu
Green iguana
Barn owl
Rhinoceros iguana
Nibble and slurp
It's all about quantity.
How much can you drink? A dromedary camel can drink 100 liters (26 gallons) of water in just ten minutes!
Camels eat what they find in the desert: thorny plants, dry grasses. But they don’t eat entire shrubs – just a few bites from each plant.
Baby camels
Get up and walk.
Dromedary camels breed in the rainy season. Females give birth to a single calf after a 12-15-month pregnancy.
Calves can walk by the end of their first day and start eating grass at 2-3 months old, though they nurse for 1-2 years.
Those eyelashes
(Nostrils too)
Camels are adapted for life in the desert. Heavy eyebrows, a double row of eyelashes, closeable nostril slits and even a clear eyelid all work to protect them against sandstorms.
Their humps are made of fat and store nutrients (not water). They can lose over 30 percent of their body weight in water without suffering, where most mammals would die.

Animal Stories

Browsing the Bamboo

When you think ‘edible gardening,’ you usually don’t imagine growing banana trees for elephants. But Bryon Jones does. The lead horticulturalist at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has created an entire garden devoted to plants that zoo animals can munch, nibble or chew. It’s usually hidden from public view. But on this Sunday’s free garden … Continued

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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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Camels in Asia?
You bet! The Bactrian camel lives in Central Asia, but unlike the dromedary, it has two humps.