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Zoo News
May 06, 2019

Q: Where in the world would you find an elephant, a sea turtle and an axolotl all together? A: In Species in the Sand, the new sand sculpture this summer at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! Beginning mid-May, our sculpting team led by Tacoma native Sue McGrew will return to create another incredible sculpture – … 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 Seas Aquarium. And we raised $10,068 for ocean conservation, thanks to the Ocean Art Challenge sponsored by the Bezos Family Foundation, and all the hundreds … 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

Jun 13, 2018

In Kait Rhoads’ Seattle studio, four people are making a jellyfish. Focusing intently, they thread glass circles onto long steel tentacles, weaving copper wire in and out to keep the circles in place. Even with light floating through the big windows and art and plants everywhere, it’s a tedious job. But the atmosphere’s upbeat. Rhoads’ … Continued

Jun 13, 2018

Now up all summer long! International sand sculptor Sue McGrew and her team have created a mammoth sand ocean scene on our Hub lawn! Sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, fish, jellyfish – all the animals coming soon to our brand-new Pacific Seas Aquarium are here, sculpted in sand.   Learn from the pros Sue’s … 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