Skip to main content

Press releases

Recent Releases

sensory bag

Zoo, Northwest Trek certified as “sensory-inclusive”

April 10, 2019: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium each recently earned prestigious designation as “sensory inclusive” sites from a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness, acceptance and inclusion for people with autism and other special needs.

Read release | Download pdf

Annie Crawley at sea
Ocean Voices speaker series brings story, science, inspiration

Mar. 11, 2019: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium brings ocean story, science and inspiration to venues around Tacoma every Tuesday during April in an Ocean Voices speaker series highlighting scientists, filmmakers and environmentalists who work to protect the ocean.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


turtle wave concept art

“Turtle Wave” community art to help save the ocean

Mar. 11, 2019: Make and see “Turtle Wave,” a community artwork being created at Metro Parks Tacoma facilities and elsewhere in the community over the next few weeks, with a grand finale scheduled April 26-28 inside the Pacific Seas Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


Keeper tour Jeep with moose
Daily openings coming March 1, plus Northwest Trek tours

Feb. 13, 2019: Daily openings are coming soon to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Plus, the popular premier Keeper Adventure Tours will soon resume at Northwest Trek, and an all-new Photo Tour program for youths is nearly ready for its debut.

Read release | Download pdf


Faces in Baja Bay aquarium
Community invited to Pacific Seas Aquarium Celebration

Feb. 12, 2019: Sea turtles. Art-making. Scientists. For the entire month of April, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will celebrate its new Pacific Seas Aquarium, home to green sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and hundreds of other sea creatures. And the zoo is inviting the whole community to join in.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


Father and son with hammerhead at Baja Bay

Attendance records smashed in 2018 at Zoo and Northwest Trek

Jan. 8, 2019: In 2018, 820,776 guests walked through the turnstiles during 2018, the largest such total in Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s 113-year history. Coupled with the 222,294 guests who visited Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, that added up to over 1 million visitors for the sister zoos.

Read release | Download pdf



Outer loop Five Mile Drive and Northwest Trek closed due to wind damage

Jan. 6, 2019: The Outer Loop of Five Mile Drive in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park will be closed all day today due to trees that fell during last night’s fierce windstorm. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park near Eatonville will be closed all day today due to a wind-related power outage.

Read release | Download pdf


Moea the sea otter

Rescued Southern sea otter Moea makes her debut

Jan. 3, 2019: A 10-year-old Southern sea otter who was rescued and rehabilitated at Monterey Bay Aquarium has joined the “raft” of sea otters at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Read release | Download pdf


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.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


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.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to page


 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.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


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.

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


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).

Read release | Download pdf | Go to event


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.

Read release | Download pdf


Browse the archives