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Outer Reef

Swim Into the depths

Sharks may look ferocious – but you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a shark. And our sand tiger shark, with all those teeth? He’s harmless – he just can’t close his mouth all the way.

Discover the Reef

Shark Feed
It's a Frenzy.
Watch the frenzy – and careful choreography – as our massive sharks get fed! 11 am Tues. and Sat. On Thurs-Sun, watch for visitors doing the Eye to Eye Shark Dive.
See daily schedule
Find it
at the Zoo.
Our 240,000-gallon Outer Reef habitat mimics the real-life edge of a reef, where shallow protected waters meet the open ocean. Find it deep inside the South Pacific Aquarium, to the right of the central grassy lawn. NOTE: No strollers, please.

Meet our sharks

Nurse Shark
Sandbar shark
Blacktip reef shark
Sand tiger shark
Crevalle Jack

Protecting Sharks

Stop the finning.

THE THREAT: Sharks are beautiful creatures who keep our oceans in balance. But every year, millions fall victim to the horrific practice of finning, where a shark’s fins are cut off for human use and the shark thrown back into the ocean to die.

HOW TO HELP: Tell your friends how awesome sharks are. Never buy shark fin soup, pills or shark souvenirs. Use the Seafood Watch app to support sustainable fishing, and tell your representatives in Congress that you want shark protection laws.

Aquarium Stories

Jelly Babies

On the visitor side, the jellyfish gallery in the Pacific Seas Aquarium is a serene blue world of floating, pulsing forms. From eggcup to dinner-plate size, they hover in a kind of translucent eternity. Behind a nearby door, however, is another world; a world of bubbling tanks, petri dishes and complicated piping. This is the … Continued

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Ocean Explorer Virtual Reality

The white sand glows as you curve with a hammerhead shark through azure waters. Later, you tilt and dive down deep to rescue a green sea turtle from a plastic net – and are repaid with a magical tour through a coral wonderland. Four captivating ocean adventures await you with Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s … Continued

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Dear Santa: An Animal Wish List

What would you ask Santa for these holidays if you were a walrus? Or a tiger? Of course we can’t know what our animals are thinking, but we can definitely make some fun guesses based on what they enjoy doing or eating! Here’s a Zoo wish-list for Santa from some of our animals. Let’s hope … Continued

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Diving with Sharks
Imagine immersing yourself in the warm waters of the Outer Reef with massive sharks…That’s the experience of an Eye to Eye Shark Dive – unforgettable.