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Creating Wildlife Champions

At Arlington Elementary in South Tacoma, 25 kids are wiggling into blue rain jackets. As a teacher corrals them into line, they hop around excitedly, chatting to the four Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff helping them. “Are we going to the park?” “Are we doing science again?” When the Zoo staff smile and nod, … Continued

Feb 14, 2019

animal care

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Jan 23, 2019

At age 33, Boris is very likely the oldest male polar bear on the planet. We know he’s the oldest male of his species in zoo-related databases that keep track of polar bears worldwide. And since polar bears live longer under human care than they do in the wild, we think he is the champ. … Continued

Jan 07, 2019

Behind the Asian Forest Sanctuary at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, volunteer Scott Murdock has disappeared behind a vine. The massive spread of large, furling leaves engulfs Murdock’s head, leaving visible just legs on a ladder. Sprawled in the sun, the vines smell rich and green. It’s the Zoo’s kiwifruit arbor, and Murdock gently twists … Continued

Dec 18, 2018

Playing with an octopus isn’t in everyone’s job description. But for aquarium staff Paige Gutierrez and Tai Fripp, it’s all part of caring for Ozzie, the giant Pacific octopus inside the Pacific Seas Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Why? Because an octopus is curious – and if an aquarist is cleaning her habitat, … Continued

Dec 13, 2018

In clear, blue Baja Bay, three scuba divers are drifting alongside eagle rays and brightly-colored fish. They’re moving slowly, and unlike most divers in tropical waters, they’re not gazing admiringly at the animals around them. Because these divers are aquarists at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – and they’re hard at work. “We clean, we … Continued

animals

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Jan 28, 2019

We’re all feeling the cold right about now in the Pacific Northwest – and the rest of the country too. But here at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, our animals have some pretty cool ways to deal with it. From fur coats to heated hammocks, here are five ways our animals beat the winter cold. … Continued

Jan 28, 2019

Rainy day? Here in the Pacific Northwest we get a lot of them. But that’s actually one of the best times to visit the Zoo! Fewer crowds, cool animals and plenty of places to stay dry. Here are 10 ways to do it. 1. Gaze at sea turtles Our new Pacific Seas Aquarium is the … Continued

Jan 23, 2019

At age 33, Boris is very likely the oldest male polar bear on the planet. We know he’s the oldest male of his species in zoo-related databases that keep track of polar bears worldwide. And since polar bears live longer under human care than they do in the wild, we think he is the champ. … Continued

Jan 09, 2019

New year, new tiger. There’s a cool new cat in town, and he’s making his official public debut this weekend, with appearances in the main Asian Forest Sanctuary Waterfall Exhibit at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Our keepers will talk about Bandar and give him some enrichments. His name is Bandar, and he’s a … Continued

aquarium

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Jan 31, 2019

As part of the Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration, come every weekend of April for something totally new and wonderful! From filmmakers to performers and community science, we’ve got it all.   April 6-7: Lelavision music/dance When: 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm (30 mins each) Where: Baja Bay Vashon-based duo Lelavision combine musical sculpture, dance, circus and … Continued

Jan 31, 2019

As part of the Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration, we’re having a special ocean storytime at 11am every Thursday in  Baja Bay! Fun for for kids and adults. All activities free with Zoo admission. Join us!   April 4: Critter Club – Super Sea Turtles When: 11am Where: Meet at Baja Bay Fun stories, hands-on … Continued

Jan 30, 2019

As part of our Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration this April, we’re filling every Friday with art! Join our talented Pacific Seas Aquarium artists each Friday to meet them, find out how they make things and then make some art of your own! On the final Friday, we join with hundreds of others all around … Continued

Dec 18, 2018

Playing with an octopus isn’t in everyone’s job description. But for aquarium staff Paige Gutierrez and Tai Fripp, it’s all part of caring for Ozzie, the giant Pacific octopus inside the Pacific Seas Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Why? Because an octopus is curious – and if an aquarist is cleaning her habitat, … Continued

Jan 30, 2019

As part of our Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration this April, we’re filling every Friday with art! Join our talented Pacific Seas Aquarium artists each Friday to meet them, find out how they make things and then make some art of your own! On the final Friday, we join with hundreds of others all around … Continued

Oct 04, 2018

It’s more than just a play of light. Wander down the ramps of the new Pacific Seas Aquarium, and you’ll pass through shimmers of colored light. You’re immersed in their play and flicker, as if swimming through a sunlit lagoon. It’s art – the light installation “Shimmer,” by California artist Gordon Huether – but the … Continued

Aug 28, 2018

“Do you need more padding?” Kait Rhoads is standing, hands on hips, near a tentacled lump swathed in bubble wrap. Four men hover, poised to act. As one micro-adjusts a padding blanket on a lift, the others set hands on the bubble wrap. “Ready? One, two, three, up!” With two weeks to go until the … Continued

Jun 22, 2018

In a corner of the Pacific Seas Aquarium, Maria Jost is putting up a poster. With guest engagement coordinator Amy Hale holding up one corner on a stepladder, Jost surveys the big paper proof for size and fit. Spotlit, the corner is a tiny island of human activity in an otherwise-underwater room: teal-swept walls, rock-edged … Continued

conservation

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Feb 14, 2019

At Arlington Elementary in South Tacoma, 25 kids are wiggling into blue rain jackets. As a teacher corrals them into line, they hop around excitedly, chatting to the four Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff helping them. “Are we going to the park?” “Are we doing science again?” When the Zoo staff smile and nod, … Continued

Jan 30, 2019

Ocean Voices Speaker Series As part of the Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration, every Tuesday evening this April we’re gathering the best local scientists and ocean activists we can find for a dynamic speaker series at venues around Tacoma. Come listen, learn and be inspired to protect our ocean. All events are free.   April … Continued

Jan 22, 2019

Ask Grace Doleshel why she loves the ocean, and she bubbles with memories of family visits to the rugged Olympic coast: exploring tide pools, walking miles of wild beaches. Shay Steeves also grew up with a love of the sea, swimming and exploring Puget Sound shores. But the high school seniors have another thing in … Continued

Nov 30, 2018

For many years now, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has been saving energy every night of Zoolights with LED bulbs – in fact, we’ve been totally LED since 2014. But now the Zoo will be making energy during the day as well, thanks to 71 brand-new solar panels on the roof of a building most … Continued

people

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Feb 14, 2019

At Arlington Elementary in South Tacoma, 25 kids are wiggling into blue rain jackets. As a teacher corrals them into line, they hop around excitedly, chatting to the four Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff helping them. “Are we going to the park?” “Are we doing science again?” When the Zoo staff smile and nod, … Continued

Jan 31, 2019

As part of the Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration, come every weekend of April for something totally new and wonderful! From filmmakers to performers and community science, we’ve got it all.   April 6-7: Lelavision music/dance When: 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm (30 mins each) Where: Baja Bay Vashon-based duo Lelavision combine musical sculpture, dance, circus and … Continued

Jan 31, 2019

As part of the Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration, we’re having a special ocean storytime at 11am every Thursday in  Baja Bay! Fun for for kids and adults. All activities free with Zoo admission. Join us!   April 4: Critter Club – Super Sea Turtles When: 11am Where: Meet at Baja Bay Fun stories, hands-on … Continued

Nov 20, 2018

How do you get a 100-foot octopus onto an aquarium roof? No, it’s not the first line of a joke. It’s just one of the challenges faced by the Zoolights crew at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as they spend most of October and November prepping for the 31-year-old holiday lights show. But it’s a … Continued

plants

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Jan 07, 2019

Behind the Asian Forest Sanctuary at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, volunteer Scott Murdock has disappeared behind a vine. The massive spread of large, furling leaves engulfs Murdock’s head, leaving visible just legs on a ladder. Sprawled in the sun, the vines smell rich and green. It’s the Zoo’s kiwifruit arbor, and Murdock gently twists … Continued

Oct 29, 2018

No, you won’t find a Tyrannosaurus next to the tigers. But Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has dozens of living things whose roots go back hundreds of millions of years. Ferns, mosses, cycads and ginkoes – not to mention the Wollemi pine or monkey puzzle tree. Yep, we’re talking plants: living fossils that have been … Continued

Sep 25, 2018

Agaves with shark teeth. Trees that poke you. Carnivorous plants. If you think the plant world is all about pretty flowers, it’s time to think again – and time for the Zoo’s annual Savage Garden tour. No, not the band. The actual Zoo garden, which is full of poky, skeletal and otherwise Halloween-themed plants – … Continued