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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 closed for winter.)

Discover the Camels

Open seasonally
(They like it warm.)
Camel rides are open seasonally - come back this spring! Rides cost $8 per person ($6 Zoo members), with $7 commemorative photo extra. Age 3+. NOTE: Rides are 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
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

Growing Kiwis for Critters

Behind the Asian Forest Sanctuary at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, volunteer Scott Murdock has disappeared behind a vine. The massive spread of large, furling leaves engulfs Murdock’s head, leaving visible just legs on a ladder. Sprawled in the sun, the vines smell rich and green. It’s the Zoo’s kiwifruit arbor, and Murdock gently twists … Continued

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Moea the sea otter arrives

She’s calm and confident– and loves her breakfast. Moea (pronounced “Mia”) is the newest sea otter at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and she’s already settling into life at the Rocky Shores habitat with our other otters Libby and Sekiu. She’ll make her official debut with them Jan. 5 and 6, with special sea otter … Continued

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Cho Cho, the Oldest Siamang

How does it feel to be the oldest siamang – probably – in North America? Well, for Cho Cho, snuggled up with his companion Dudlee on a crisp fall morning at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, it seemed pretty cozy. This year Cho Cho is celebrating his 51st birthday – which makes him the oldest … 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.