Skip to main content

Press releases

Recent Releases

Aged sea lion Chinook dies

Feb. 27, 2020: Chinook, an aged California sea lion, died today at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium following a sudden decline in his health. Head veterinarian, Dr. Karen Wolf, said Chinook had been showing signs of lethargy and a loss of appetite.

Download pdf


hanako elephant trunk splashHanako, elderly elephant, is humanely euthanized

Feb. 16, 2020: Hanako, a beloved elderly Asian elephant who came to Tacoma two decades ago, was humanely euthanized at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Saturday evening after a severe decline in her health over the past several weeks.

Read release | Download pdf


muskox eating

Charlotte the muskox is expecting

Feb. 11, 2020: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has one more reason to celebrate muskoxen Charlotte and Hudson this Valentine’s Day: they are expecting a calf this summer.

Read release | Download pdf


tiger in grass

Tiger Mohan humanely euthanized

Jan. 27, 2020: Mohan, a 15-year-old male Sumatran tiger who came to Tacoma in 2017, was humanely euthanized at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Saturday after a decline in his health over the last month.

Read release | Download pdf


kids at turnstiles
Zoo smashes attendance record in 2019

Jan. 13, 2020: In 2019, 825,937 guests walked through the turnstiles, the largest total in Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s 114-year history. Combined with sister zoo Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, this meant more than 1 million visitors for the second consecutive year.

Read release | Download pdf

Explore the ocean in virtual reality at the Zoo

Dec. 23, 2019: Stay dry while exploring our oceans underwater with Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s new virtual reality experience in the Pacific Seas Aquarium. Guests can choose to swim with humpbacks, come face to fin with sharks or even go in a mini-submarine.

Read release | Download pdf


sarah oliver
New deputy director Sarah Oliver brings passion for people

Dec. 3, 2019: The Olympia, Washington native with a career in nonprofit leadership is bringing her people-focused expertise to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as its new deputy director.

Read release | Download pdf


two walruses on pool deck
Two orphaned walruses reunite at the Zoo

Nov. 15, 2019: They were rescued as orphans in the same week. And now, after seven years, they’ll be together again. Young male walruses Mitik and Pakak have arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Read release | Download pdf | Walrus page


Hanako the elephant
Two elephants test positive for tuberculosis

Nov. 13, 2019: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s two elderly elephants, Hanako and Suki, have tested positive for tuberculosis, zoo officials announced today.

Read release | Download pdf


elephant trunk
Safety stepped up as staff test positive for latent tuberculosis

Sept. 25, 2019: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium leaders are taking extra steps to ensure the health and safety of their staff, visitors and animals after some staff members who work with and around elephants tested positive for latent tuberculosis infection. There is no risk to the public, and no known active cases.

Read release | Download pdf


carved ivory
Toss the Tusk and help protect wildlife

Sept. 25, 2019: Have any ivory carvings tucked away? A shark fin souvenir? Thanks to the Washington Animal Trafficking Act, those wildlife products are now illegal to sell in Washington state. Hand them over at Toss the Tusk from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


Burrowing owl in pumpkin
Whoo-hoo – it’s time for Zoo Boo!

Sept. 23, 2019: Break out the costumes and candy! Parents, kids, animals and zoo staff all love Zoo Boo (Oct. 12-13), the annual fall-themed celebration at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


Bald eagle for Veterans Day WeekendFree admission for veterans on Veterans’ Appreciation Days

Sept. 17: U.S. military veterans are invited to enjoy the splendor of Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and the wonder of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium at no charge on Nov. 9, 10 and 11. Veterans’ immediate family members will receive half-off general admission at each zoo.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


zoolights howling wolfIt’s a Baby Animal Zoolights this year!

Sept. 17, 2019: It’s been a big year for baby animals at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – and now they’re coming to Zoolights! An LED tapir mom and calf, tamandua pup, beaver kit and eight red wolf pups will join the annual holiday lights display, brightening the Zoo and delighting guests with over 700,000 lights.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event

Browse the archives