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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 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

The Walrus Ladies

We love walruses – and especially the three walrus ladies of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! Joan, Basilla and Kulusiq (or Kulu, for short) each have their own unique physical and personality traits, interacting with their keepers in their own special ways. For Walrus Awareness Week (Dec. 2-8), we’re celebrating our three lovely Pacific walruses. … Continued

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Healing with Light

On a cold, wet November morning, veterinary technician Julie Lemon is lying on her stomach on a hard floor. Angling her pony-tailed head, she carefully positions a small metal wand between the hard, pointy toes of a tapir, who’s anesthetized and sleeping soundly in his den. Then she presses a button, and a stream of … Continued

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Farewell, Dozer!

Dozer, the lovable, 3,078-pound walrus with the 17-inch-long tusks and unmistakable whistle, is leaving Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium mid-September. But there’s still time to bid him farewell. He’ll be featured on the marine mammal Keeper Talks at 3pm Saturday Sept. 15 and Sunday Sept. 16, the last weekend before he leaves. Dozer’s a crowd … 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.