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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! Tues. and Sat. mornings, unscheduled to prevent congestion.
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.

Meet our sharks

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

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

New Animal Experiences Available

Visit the Zoo before the crowds arrive, feed an unusual hero, groom a goat, dive with sharks or go behind-the-scenes of the Pacific Seas Aquarium. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is expanding its Zoo for You exclusive animal experiences with two new premier adventures. In addition to grooming goats, diving with sharks and a behind-the-scenes … Continued

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Rockfish Recompression

Aquarist John Foster cradled the vermilion rockfish gently in two hands, submersed. Anesthetized, it lay still as veterinarian Dr. Kadie Anderson took a quick documentary photo of its eyes, which bulged to each side. Then Foster lowered the fish – now fully awake – into a water-filled container that looked something like sci-fi author Jules … Continued

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Shark Dives Re-Open

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is reopening its Eye-to-Eye Shark Dives on Thursday, Sept. 10, with timed online tickets and enhanced safety protocols designed to help guests connect up close with sharks while staying safe and healthy. Timed online tickets will go on sale Aug. 28. The 60-minute adventure allows up to four guests from … Continued

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Connect with Sharks
Looking for a deeper animal connection? Donate to The Zoo Society to support animal care, wildlife conservation, education and more.