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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

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, or the puffin feed at 12pm.
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

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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Penguin Chick Expedition

Dwight & Jim Move Out Moving into a new home is an exciting moment in anybody’s life. But for Dwight and Jim, penguin chicks at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, it became a enriching expedition of discovery as the two newly-fledged youngsters walked across the zoo from their behind-the-scenes home into the main Penguin Point … Continued

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Puffin Exam Parade

At 8 a.m. the check-up line was assembled. Two veterinarians, two veterinary technicians, a curator and two Rocky Shores keepers all stood poised at three long tables in the seabird underwater viewing area at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Carefully lined up on the tables were a scale, spare leg bands, clippers, vials, syringes primed … 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.