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Jun 10, 2019

What kind of shark are you: Relaxed? Intense? Take the quiz and find out! Loading…

May 30, 2019

Peck. Peck. Peck. A tiny beak hammers away from the inside of an egg shell, cracks growing slowly at first and then spreading quickly as more progress is made. Faint peeps are heard, then grow louder. Soon, a fluffy grayish and white chick emerges, its parents carefully observing the progress. And as two rare Magellanic … Continued

May 16, 2019

PUPDATE: The red wolf pups are now roaming outside on view to the public. They also have names – meet them here. When Dr. Karen Wolf picks up eight newborn red wolf pups one by one, it’s more than just a routine – though adorable – new pup exam. It’s a victory. “American red wolves … Continued

May 14, 2019

First there was Walnut, a male beaver living at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Then came Nutmeg, a female beaver who came to the zoo from sister zoo Northwest Trek as a companion for Walnut. And now baby makes three. Born late last month, the new kit is thriving and growing daily. Fuzzy brown, around … Continued

May 13, 2019

PUPDATE! – Red wolf pups are exploring outside, on view to the public.  Meet them here.   And suddenly, there are eight. What appeared at first to be a litter of four rare red wolf pups on Friday afternoon became a squirming mass of eight, yes, count them, EIGHT!, healthy newborns over the weekend. Red … Continued

Apr 29, 2019

On the stage at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, two dogs are waiting to ride a “hot air balloon” (actually, a basket and beach ball on a cable). One, with dark brown patches and a blue bandanna round his neck, sits patiently – then hops inside confidently. The other dog, lighter brown with a purple … Continued

Apr 29, 2019

It’s like being inside a cloud of excited children who’ve all been given a bright yellow jacket and two cups of coffee. We’re inside Budgie Buddies on a sunny spring morning – perfect budgie weather, says keeper Ariel Woodruff. She and fellow keeper Heather Burns have been doing the spring cleaning before this popular habitat … Continued

Feb 28, 2019

Zoological Aide Katie Schachtsick holds a long-handled back-scratcher and applies just the right amount of pressure as she rubs it across the black-and-white hide of endangered Malayan tapir Yuna. It’s clear Yuna enjoys the attention – and the back rub – leaning into the scratcher and then moving her stout legs down, getting into a … Continued

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

Jan 02, 2019

She’s calm and confident– and loves her breakfast. Moea (pronounced “Mia”) is the newest sea otter at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and she’s already settling into life at the Rocky Shores habitat with our other otters Libby and Sekiu. She’ll make her official debut with them Jan. 5 and 6, with special sea otter … Continued

Oct 24, 2018

How does it feel to be the oldest siamang – probably – in North America? Well, for Cho Cho, snuggled up with his companion Dudlee on a crisp fall morning at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, it seemed pretty cozy. This year Cho Cho is celebrating his 51st birthday – which makes him probably the … Continued

Oct 18, 2018

Endangered Malayan tapirs Yuna and Baku strolled around one of the Asian Forest Sanctuary exhibits on Wednesday afternoon, grazing on grasses – and keeping a secret. Not even the birds perched in the nearby trees would tweet the news. But we can let you in on this uber-exciting development today. Hooray! Hooray! A baby tapir … Continued

Aug 28, 2018

Dozer, the lovable, 3,078-pound walrus with the 17-inch-long tusks and unmistakable whistle, is leaving Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium mid-September. But there’s still time to bid him farewell. He’ll be featured on the marine mammal Keeper Talks at 3pm Saturday Sept. 15 and Sunday Sept. 16, the last weekend before he leaves. Dozer’s a crowd … Continued

Aug 25, 2018

With soft pale fur and sharp claws, Terra moseys up a log. She goes farther, her long tail wrapping for balance, sniffing and exploring until she’s way overhead. Then, without fuss, she makes her way back almost upside-down. Meet Terra, the Zoo’s new Southern tamandua. “She loves to climb,” says Jessie Sutherland, staff biologist at … Continued

Aug 24, 2018

For a meet-up of two engineers, things were going swimmingly. Walnut, the Zoo’s North American beaver, was grabbing a willow branch in his mouth and purposefully dragging it across the grass. His companion Nutmeg, who’d recently moved to her new Zoo home from sister zoo Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, was thoroughly investigating the grassy space. … Continued

Jun 26, 2018

Dozer is back! He arrived mid-November, and will spend part of each day on exhibit. All the ladies love Dozer The hunky 3,450-pound walrus with the 17-inch tusks has come back to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – but it’s not just visitors who’ll be charmed by the enormous whistling guy. Dozer’s back in town … Continued

Jun 19, 2018

Our baby boy muskox Hudson is growing up – and just met his girlfriend Charlotte. After 2-year-old Hudson got closer in size to the 3-year-old Charlotte) keepers put him together with her in the Arctic Tundra habitat. And they’re getting along perfectly, says senior keeper Shannon Smith. “He’s being the boy, saying ‘That’s my food,’” … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Feb. 10, 2018 It isn’t just visitors and keepers loving our animals this month. There’s also plenty of love going around the zoo… Listen out as you pass the budgie house – can you hear all those squawks? Our budgies may have gone inside for the winter but they’ve kept busy, hatching 17 chicks in … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

June UPDATE: Our penguin chicks are now behind-the-scenes, learning to swim. Yes, you read that right. While their downy feathers stiffen and become more waterproof, they’ll live in temporary quarters away from the big pool at Penguin Point. Staff biologists will keep a keen eye on them as they learn to swim in a smaller pool. … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Ivan. The one word name has been recognizable in Tacoma, the Puget Sound region and around the world for more than half a century. The western lowland gorilla who grew up with a local family, lived in a shopping center and ultimately found a home among members of his species in an award-winning gorilla habitat … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

For 33 years, E.T. the Pacific walrus was a Tacoma icon. Having arrived at the Zoo as an orphan in 1982, he won hearts with his famous flipper wave and endearing vocalizations. Now, two years after E.T.’s passing in 2015, Tacoma gets its beloved walrus back – in a bronze sculpture that welcomes visitors at … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Sept. 22, 2017 Azul is a diva, but curious. Sunny’s more a chill kinda guy. But aquarist Melissa Bishop loves both of the green sea turtles that just arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – and she has plenty of time to get to know them before they move into their big Baja Bay … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Aug. 16, 2017 It had all the complex choreography of a ballet. Last Friday, four scalloped hammerhead sharks and two spotted eagle rays arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. They’d been flown in specially-built tanks all the way from Hawaii. They’d been carefully trucked down from SeaTac airport. And then, as dusk settled over … Continued