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Rocky Shores

Splash Around

Wiggle with a walrus, spin like a seal. At Rocky Shores you can explore a far Northwest world where land and ocean meet; where seabirds nest, seals and sea lions dive, walruses splash and otters play.

Discover Rocky Shores

Sensational Sea Otters
Otterly adorable. Sept. 29-30.
They play, they flip, they dive! Watch our otters receive special enrichment treats at this all-weekend event, and discover how you can help the ocean.
Sensational Sea Otters
Meet our Keepers
Getting wet is part of the job.
Did you know that walruses sleep all piled up like puppies? That seals can waddle on land as well as swim? Get the scoop from behind the scenes at the daily Keeper Talk at 3pm.
See schedule
Find it
in the zoo
Head downhill from the central plaza and veer left at the Pacific Seas Aquarium to find the winding path to Rocky Shores. Make sure you explore both the underwater and above-water viewing spaces!
Plan your day

Meet Our Animals

Pacific walrus
California sea lion
Sea otter
Harbor seal
Seabirds
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

Dozer is back to charm the walrus ladies

Dozer is back! He arrived mid-November, and will spend part of each day on exhibit. All the ladies love Dozer The hunky 3,450-pound walrus with the 17-inch tusks has come back to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – but it’s not just visitors who’ll be charmed by the enormous whistling guy. Dozer’s back in town … Continued

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Penguin Chicks are Here!

June UPDATE: Our penguin chicks are now behind-the-scenes, learning to swim. Yes, you read that right. While their downy feathers stiffen and become more waterproof, they’ll live in temporary quarters away from the big pool at Penguin Point. Staff biologists will keep a keen eye on them as they learn to swim in a smaller pool. … Continued

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E.T. the Walrus: Forever Bronze

For 33 years, E.T. the Pacific walrus was a Tacoma icon. Having arrived at the Zoo as an orphan in 1982, he won hearts with his famous flipper wave and endearing vocalizations. Now, two years after E.T.’s passing in 2015, Tacoma gets its beloved walrus back – in a bronze sculpture that welcomes visitors at … 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 – book yours now.