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Our Animal Care

We care for animals.

You can see that care every day, from dedicated keepers to highly trained veterinarians. Our animals get regular medical check-ups and cutting-edge treatment. We’re constantly exploring new ways to enrich their diet and play, and help them feel comfortable. 

Caring for animals

It takes a team.
(Vets, techs and more.)
It takes a dedicated and skilled team to give animals the care they deserve. Our veterinarians, veterinary technicians, interns and registrar work with keepers, combining expertise, technology and passion to care for all our animals, large and small.

Meet the Team

Dr. Karen
Dr. Kadie
Julie
Sara
Emily

Why we care

I’ve always been drawn to nature and wild animals. There are many veterinarians that care for domestic animals, but relatively few who care for wildlife. Caring for and improving medical knowledge of wild animals is very important for conservation of those species.
I also love the challenge of zoo veterinary life: There is never a dull day, and you have to think outside the box to give the best care for the unique anatomy, physiology and behavior of wild animals.
And there is nothing in the world quite as awe-inspiring as providing hands-on medical care for animals like walruses, polar bears, tigers and more.

– Dr. Karen Wolf, head veterinarian

Care Stories

He’s a boy! Help name our muskox calf

He head-butted some rocks. He tasted some clover. Then he galloped back down the hillside to mom. Yes, it’s official – our baby muskox calf is a boy, and now his fans get to vote on his name. (UPDATE: Voting closed 12pm July 8.) The veterinary and animal care team confirmed the sex last Friday … Continued

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Penguin Chick Parenting

UPDATE June 29: The chicks have moved behind-the-scenes. Read the story for more! There are the chill kind of parents, who just relax and enjoy their little one. Then there are the intense kind of parents, super-protective and alert. At Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, we’ve got one pair of each – at Penguin Point. … Continued

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Sister Zoo Vets

If Dr. Karen Wolf needs another skilled set of hands for a walrus procedure, she knows who to call. And if Dr. Allison Case has a beaver or owl that needs attention while she’s out of town, she has a second clinic just a van-trip away. The two women are head veterinarians of Point Defiance … Continued

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Help us care
You can help us care for animals both here at the Zoo and around the world by giving to The Zoo Society. Donations support health care equipment, enrichment, conservation and more.