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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.

NEWS: We have two new male walruses, Mitik and Pakak! Come meet them.

Discover Rocky Shores

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 Chat 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
Puffins
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

Two orphaned walruses reunite

They were rescued as orphans in the same week. They spent the next three months of their lives together, snuggling with keepers and each other. And now, after seven years, they’ll be together again. Young male walruses Mitik (pronounced Mitt-ick) and Pakak (Puck-uck, or Puck for short) have arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium … Continued

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One, two, 200! The 2019 Sea Otter Count

On a fine day this summer, Stephanie Rager, staff biologist at the Zoo’s Rocky Shores habitat, went for a hike. After three miles and a lot of uphill walking at the remote edge of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, she arrived with two other women at the rocky outcrop of Sand Point. There they set up a … Continued

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Walrus Training

Cindy Roberts and Sheriden Ploof stood in long rubber boots on the edge of the walrus pool, metal bucket in hand. For the two Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff biologists, it was a bittersweet moment. Basilla and Kulusiq, the zoo’s two female walruses, were leaving for a new home in sunny San Diego – … 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.