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Press releases

2018 Releases

Zoolights at 30: Bigger, brighter and a holiday season must-see

Nov. 20, 2018: Zoolights began in 1988 with a big dream, a spark of ingenuity and several thousand incandescent lights. This year the region’s longest-running lights extravaganza is bigger and brighter than ever.

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hammerhead shark swimming l

Ocean Friendly Restaurants act to save the sea

Nov. 19, 2018: Twenty South Sound restaurants have committed to protecting the ocean and its creatures from plastic pollution, overfishing and the effects of climate change – and the number is growing, thanks to the Ocean Friendly Restaurants campaign.

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 zoolights scout nightScout Night at Zoolights brings tons of fun

Nov. 16, 2018: All Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire members and their families and friends get into the longest-running, best-loved holiday lights extravaganza in the Puget Sound region for just $9 each on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

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zoolights family fourMilitary Nights at Zoolights

Nov. 16, 2018: In honor of their service, all United States armed forces veterans score a great Zoolights discount on tickets, food and items purchased in the gift shop on eight Military Nights during November and December.

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zoolights family four

Zoolights tickets now on sale for 30th anniversary

Nov. 1, 2019: Tickets are now on sale for the 30th Anniversary Edition of Zoolights, the Puget Sound region’s longest-running and most-loved holiday lights display. Zoolights runs from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly Nov. 23.-Jan. 6 ( except Dec. 24).

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We’re expecting a tapir calf!

Oct. 18, 2018: Quick. What looks like a little brown-and-white watermelon and is utterly adorable? That would be a Malayan tapir calf, and the first one ever at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is expected next summer.

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bald eagle head for Endangered Species Act

Veterans enjoy free admission Nov. 10-12

Oct. 17, 2018: 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. 10, 11 and 12.

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zoolights bridge orcasHappy 30th anniversary, Zoolights!

Oct. 10, 2018: Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has gone from around 55,000 lights to a Zoo-wide holiday celebration that will this year top 700,000 energy-efficient LEDs, beginning Nov. 23.

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Father and son with hammerhead at Baja Bay

Be wowed: Pacific Seas Aquarium now open at Point Defiance

Sept. 7, 2018: Two dozen necks crane up, up, up, eyes riveted on the scene above, as four hammerhead
sharks cruise overhead. The Pacific Seas Aquarium opened to huge crowds, oohs and aahs on Sept. 7 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

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dozer underwater photo

Come say farewell to Dozer the walrus, leaving mid-September

Aug. 29, 2018: Dozer, the lovable, 3,078-pound walrus with the 17-inch-long tusks and unmistakable whistle, is leaving Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium next month. But visitors still have opportunities to see the massive mammal and bid him adieu before his departure.

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Polar bear swimming with ball for End of Summer blastHave an End-of-Summer Blast this Labor Day Weekend

Aug. 16, 2018: Polar bears, tigers, elephants and more will chill out with icy treats and other enrichments during the End of Summer Blast at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium over Labor Day Weekend. And zoo visitors can have a blast watching them and enjoying the zoo in these last few days of summer.

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Sea turtle for Pacific Seas Aquarium

Pacific Seas Aquarium to open Sept. 7

June 11, 2018: Imagine feeling immersed in ocean waters while hammerhead sharks and eagle rays
glide overhead. Majestic sea turtles placidly swim with schools of tropical fish. This is Baja Bay, the showpiece of the new Pacific Seas Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, opening Friday, Sept. 7.

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Father and son with budgie for Dad's Day

Half-Price Dad’s Day is set for Sunday, June 17

June 10, 2018: Take two superstar dads. Add in four (yes, four!) adorable Magellanic penguin chicks. Then think about an entire day of family fun, animal-watching and learning more about wildlife. Add in half-price general admission for all fathers, and you have all the ingredients for a day that’s sure to make Dad smile.

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penguin chick

Two Magellanic penguin chicks hatch at Point Defiance Zoo

May 25, 2018: “Pink” and “Red” now have two hungry mouths to feed.
The Magellanic penguin parents, known by the colors of the bands on their wings, welcomed two chicks in their burrow at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium earlier this week.

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Baja Beach sand sculpture

Baja Beach sand sculpture to rise at Point Defiance Zoo

May 18, 2018: It’s not summer yet, but Baja Beach is already taking shape on the main lawn at Point
Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. At 15-to-17 feet tall and 25-to-30 feet wide, the gigantic 360-degree sand
sculpture is bound to get guests at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in the mood to celebrate the ocean.

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Tamandua and keeper in Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater

Live-animal show and Budgie Buddies open for the season May 12-13 

April 26, 2018: Have you ever seen a dog fly? How about an aardvark sticking out its impossibly long tongue? Or a majestic Canada lynx parading past? All of this and more will play out daily in the live-animal show “The West is Wild” on the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater stage, opening May 12 and 13.

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April 24, 2018
Moms get half-off general admission at Point Defiance Zoo Aquarium on Saturday May 12

April 16, 2018
Aquarium-themed sand sculpture coming to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for World Ocean Weekend

March 28, 2018
Elderly red wolf Graham humanely euthanized at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

March 22, 2018
Point Defiance Zoo Elderly Elephant Hanako diagnosed with cancer

March 1, 2018
North Pacific Aquarium to close to the public on March 30

Feb. 12, 2018
New Pacific Seas Aquarium to open summer 2018 at Point Defiance Zoo

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