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Rocky Shores

Splash Around

At Rocky Shores you can explore a far Northwest world where land and ocean meet; where seabirds nest, sea lions dive, seals splash and otters play.

Discover Rocky Shores

Meet our Keepers
Getting wet is part of the job.
Did you know that otters sleep wrapped up in kelp? That seals can waddle on land as well as swim? Our keepers give unscheduled chats daily, so keep a look out!
Find it
in the zoo
Follow the arrows past the Pacific Seas Aquarium to find the winding path to Rocky Shores.
Plan your day

Meet Our Animals

California sea lion
Sea otter
Harbor seal
Puffin
Penguin
Otterly playful
Anything will do.
Sekiu loves any kind of plaything. Libby's favorite is a rectangular item from a kid's playhouse.
But both of them love the large purple boomer ball - or just snuggling with each other.
Preening with penguins
All in a day's work.
On a sunny day staff biologist Amanda Shaffer sat in the penguin habitat with a penguin gently pecking her.
While Shaffer scratched the penguin's back, the penguin preened her in return, enjoying the company while other penguins were sitting on eggs.

Protecting Marine Animals

Don't mess with our ocean.

THE THREAT: All marine animals and birds are at risk from ocean threats. Plastic trash chokes and starves; oil spills kill; and overfishing and climate change reduce food.

TAKE ACTION: We can all help protect our oceans by reducing our use of plastic. Bring a reusable water bottle to the Zoo. Skip the straw. Pack lunch sustainably. And tell your friends.

Shore Stories

Animal Athletes

Human athletes might be battling it out for medals at the Olympic Games in Japan this month, but here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, we have our own incredible athletes to celebrate: our animals! Who can leap the furthest? Climb the highest? Who’s the fastest swimmer, the cleanest diver, the most agile? Check out … Continued

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Double Exposed

Zookeepers and the animals they love What’s the animal you feel most deeply inside? The one you connect with, love, relate to, share traits with? For National Zookeeper Week 2021, we asked our assistant curators that very same question. Then our incredible staff photographer Katie Cotterill took portraits of both keeper AND animal, superimposing them … Continued

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Zookeeper Life: Stephanie

Keeper Stephanie’s day involves quite a lot of fish – and shrimp, and clam, and squid. When you care for ten marine mammals and four flocks of seabirds in nine different pools, you do a lot of feeding – and cleaning too. But for keepers like Stephanie at Point Defiance Zoo’s Rocky Shores habitat, creativity … Continued

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Keeper for a Day
Want to find out what our keepers do behind-the-scenes? Become a Keeper for a Day or Marine Biologist for a Day! Unique experiences for teens and adults – returning after current restrictions are over.