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Zoo News

New Walruses Arrive

They were born just weeks apart six years ago and have been closely bonded ever since. And now, the two young walruses have moved together from Aquarium du Québec to … Continued

Nov 16, 2022

animals

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Nov 18, 2022

Lakina, our new female walrus, wears custom-made crowns to help protect her two tusks. Lakina did an excellent job holding still long enough for one of her crowns to be … Continued

Nov 16, 2022

They were born just weeks apart six years ago and have been closely bonded ever since. And now, the two young walruses have moved together from Aquarium du Québec to … Continued

Oct 31, 2022

Björn (pronounced bee-yorn), the sea lion, is definitely a fighter. The 11-year-old sea lion was rescued off the coast of southern California in December 2019 and brought to a rehabilitation … Continued

Oct 30, 2022

Black cats, pumpkins, ghosts… skulls and skeletons. They’re all symbols of the Halloween season. We asked Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s head veterinarian, Dr. Karen Wolf, to give us an … Continued

aquarium

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Mar 30, 2022

Splashing water and excited conversation filled the air behind the scenes of Baja Bay in the Pacific Seas Aquarium as veterinary staff and aquarists gathered for the annual exams of … Continued

Feb 11, 2022

If you have children at home, it’s likely you’ve heard the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the Disney movie Encanto. And if you don’t have children, you may … Continued

Feb 03, 2022

Did you know that Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is home to the largest jellyfish display in Oregon and Washington. And now we have even more! Upside down jellyfish are … Continued

Oct 20, 2021

“I love Tippy and Tippy loves me.” Meet Liam Parnell. He’s a sweet boy who really, really loves sharks, especially the blacktip reef shark at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium … Continued

Oct 04, 2022

Larry Gordon, a 30-year-old leopard eel, recently traveled from his home at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to Summit Veterinary Hospital to receive a CT scan. In April, Zoo Associate … Continued

Sep 27, 2022

’Twas the month before Christmas and inside Kids’ Zone, The meerkats received a surprise of their own; A stocking was hung on the rock wall with care, But the one … Continued

Sep 01, 2022

Clara, the 13-year-old sea otter, recently received her routine wellness exam at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. While under anesthesia, the non-releasable sea otter was weighed, X-rayed and given a … Continued

Apr 28, 2022

If Dr. Karen Wolf needs another skilled set of hands for a polar bear procedure, she knows who to call. And if Dr. Allison Case has a beaver or owl … Continued

conservation

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Oct 24, 2022

Cindy Roberts, a former staff biologist at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, recently received the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) Nico van Strien Leadership in Conservation Award. Cindy was … Continued

Oct 06, 2022

An underwater crisis is happening, and there isn’t one apparent reason. Since the 1870s, South Puget Sound’s shorelines have lost about two-thirds of their bull kelp forests, according to a … Continued

Sep 14, 2022

Rocky Shores Staff Biologists Noelle and Maggie and Conservation Engagement Coordinator Zach weren’t walking into their typical jobs at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Instead, they volunteered to travel to … Continued

Jul 05, 2022

Five healthy red wolf pups were born at our off-site facility in Eatonville in early May. Adorable and growing fast, the pups are the latest success in the story of … Continued

people

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Nov 08, 2022

“All right – who’s ready to go into the park and do some science?” “YEAH!!!!” The yell was impressive – but so was the quiet focus that followed as Ms. … Continued

Nov 06, 2022

Snakes! Armadillos! A kestrel! A few animals made their way (with keepers, of course!) to Tacoma Public Schools’ Lister Elementary in East Tacoma. The school was kicking off the first … Continued

Oct 19, 2022

Early on this crisp fall morning, Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park is quiet and still. A jogger glides by in the distance; a deer grazes peacefully. The parking lot is empty at Point Defiance … Continued

Oct 17, 2022

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 16-22, and we’re celebrating our wonderful veterinary technicians with a virtual thank-you card. Keepers, curators and veterinarians all weighed in to thank our superhero … Continued

plants

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Jun 22, 2022

Tomatoes. Apples. Almonds. Pumpkin. Coffee. Tea. Chocolate. All pretty important, right? And they all have one thing in common: they need pollinators. Around 1,000 plants that humans use for food, … Continued

Sep 21, 2021

Heavy as velvet, a bumblebee bounces over yellow coneflower petals. Next door a golden honeybee dives headfirst into a red salvia blossom to sip. And across the pathway, a hummingbird … Continued

Sep 13, 2021

It’s one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. It’s used for buildings, dishes, musical instruments. It’s food for animals and people. And there are over 45 types at Point … Continued

Nov 17, 2020

Missing travel? While the coronavirus pandemic has made global vacations more dream than reality, Puget Sound-area folks have an option right on their doorstep: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, where … Continued

Zoo Art

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Sep 08, 2021

Just above floor level at the Red Wolf Woods habitat, a young girl crouches low. Open-mouthed in wonder, she slowly runs her fingers over the soft snout of a sleeping … Continued

Jul 22, 2021

Zookeepers and the animals they love What’s the animal you feel most deeply inside? The one you connect with, love, relate to, share traits with? For National Zookeeper Week 2021, … Continued

May 06, 2019

UPDATE: Now over. Thanks for visiting! Q: Where in the world would you find an elephant, a sea turtle and an axolotl all together? A: In Species in the Sand, … Continued

Apr 17, 2019

UPDATE: May 1, 2019 We did it! We made 3,600 paper turtles, glueing them onto ten blue silk “waves” to create a cascading spiral of ocean beauty in the Pacific … Continued

zoolights

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Nov 16, 2022

Sightseeing Zoolights with Cameron McIntyre isn’t your standard experience. For one thing, we’re driving around the annual holiday lights display at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in a maintenance truck during daylight. The Zoo … Continued

Oct 11, 2022

Tickets on sale now. Purchase tickets here.  Ghosts, goblins, and gourds – you can find all of that at the Zoo’s annual Halloween event, Zoo Boo. But something else festive is … Continued

Dec 19, 2019

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 … Continued

Nov 01, 2019

It’s a problem, just how many spots Kazu the tapir calf has. Not for him, of course – the spots are excellent camouflage. But for Dennis Parkhurst and Mason Patzer, … Continued