Our Animal Care
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
Meet the Team
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
It’s National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 11-17, 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 vet techs Julie Lemon and Sara Dunleavy for all they do to care for animals and help staff: prepping for procedures, monitoring animal vitals and … Continued
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
Shannon Smith stands outside on a fall day, calling out encouragement. “Foot!” she requests. Across the yard, her “buddy” of 24 years slowly lifts a leg, then puts it back down. “Good!” exclaims Smith, and offers an apple slice. It’s exercise time at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and Smith is leading Suki the elderly … Continued