2019 Press Releases
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.
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.
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.
Oct. 1, 2019: Our lady walruses Kulusiq and Basilla are leaving for SeaWorld San Diego, and we’re giving them two weekends of farewell: Oct. 5-6 and 12-13.
Nov. 13, 2019: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s two elderly elephants, Hanako and Suki, have tested positive for tuberculosis, zoo officials announced today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aug. 29, 2019: 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 – along with a baby Malayan tapir, making his debut.
Aug. 29, 2019: Trotting over green grass. Swimming. A brand-new, exciting world for Kazu the tapir calf is in store this weekend at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, as the seven-week-old makes his public debut Aug. 30-Sept. 2, the perfect family treat for Labor Day Weekend.
Aug. 21, 2019: He’s thriving, growing and exploring the pool: The endangered Malayan tapir calf born July 12 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is nearly ready to meet his adoring fans. But first, he needs a name.
Aug. 20, 2019: A boy? A girl? We won’t know for a while, but the Southern tamandua pup born Sunday night at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – the first in the zoo’s history – is a very welcome addition to the family.
Aug. 6, 2019: Butternut, the beaver kit born in May at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, will make her public debut in Close Encounters near the zoo’s Discovery Hut at 2 p.m. Aug. 10 & 11– but she’ll have mom Nutmeg and dad Walnut there to keep her company as she meets her adoring fans.
July 30, 2019: Zoo BOOze & Bites returns Friday Oct. 18 from 6-9 p.m. for a pre-Halloween party like no other. Tastings and bites from local breweries and chefs, a DJ, silent auction, fabulous raffle prize and costumes, all in the amazing setting of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium right by the new red wolf pups.
July 16: He’s healthy, weighs around 25 pounds and follows Mom everywhere. The Malayan tapir calf born July 12 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has just received his first wellness exam, and he appears to be in perfect health, says Dr. Karen Wolf, head veterinarian.
July 15: It’s a boy! An endangered Malayan tapir calf was born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Friday night. He is the first tapir calf born at the zoo in its 114-year history.
June 17: An elephant, tiger, anoa, green sea turtle, scalloped hammerhead shark and more have been slowly carved out of sand in “Species in the Sand,” a sand sculpture on the Zoo’s grassy lawn that kicked off mid-May and will last all summer.
June 12: They’ve got their legs under them now. And venturing out a bit, even learning how to climb the steps into their root cellar den.Now, the eight endangered red wolf pups born May 10 at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium are ready for their names.
May 30: Pacific walrus Joan died today at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium following a decline in her health over the past several weeks. She was 24.
May 30, 2019: Peck. Peck. Peck. A tiny beak hammers away from the inside of an egg shell. It’s a rare Magellanic penguin, which along with its sibling hatched out on video, just in time for World Ocean Weekend.
May 22, 2019: Our eight new red wolf pups need names, and we’re asking the public to vote in an online survey for two slates of names chosen by Zoo staff: one of place names, the other of trees in the wolves’ ancestral habitat in North Carolina.
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 Tacoma from Northwest Trek Wildlife Park as a companion for Walnut. And now baby makes three.
May 13, 2019: What appeared at first to be a littler of four rare red wolf pups on Friday afternoon became a squirming mass of eight healthy newborns over the weekend. Red wolf mom Charlotte whelped the pups during about a 12-hour period between Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning.
May 10, 2019: Four apparently healthy red wolf pups were born Friday afternoon at the Zoo, part of a breeding program to ensure the survival of this critically endangered species. All four, plus mom Charlotte and dad Hyde, are doing well.
May 10, 2019: When Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Senior Staff Biologist Marc Duncan heard the small noises coming from the depths of a storm drain at about 4:15 p.m. today, he instantly knew there were ducklings in trouble and swung into action – just in time for Mothers’ Day.
April 30, 2019: There’s a lot new to see and “zoo” at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and there’s no better time for a family outing than Saturday May 11, when all mothers will receive half-off general admission.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.