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Opening of Tropical Reef Aquarium

June 14 - 16, 2024
9:00AM - 4:00PM
Experience a lush, tropical oasis of warm-water marine beauty, with awe-inspiring sharks, colorful tropical fish, and other exciting new animals. The Tropical Reef Aquarium, previously known as the South Pacific Aquarium, has reopened after extensive restoration and repair of critical animal-care structures, habitats, and life support systems.

Open Friday, June 14 from 9am-4pm. Open Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm.

Discover the tropical reef

Dive in
Get eye-to-eye with seven species of sharks, from grey reef sharks and zebra sharks to nurse sharks and blacktip reef sharks. Be mesmerized by seas of colorful tropical fish and a very charismatic potato grouper.
Outer Reef
Touch Invertebrates
Gently touch tropical sea stars, sea cucumbers, tropical urchins, crabs, shrimp and more in a warm, shallow pool.
A New Mob of Meerkats

Five new meerkats are now living in the Kids’ Zone area at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! The two females, Keeya and Naledi, and three males, Kayode, Chaka, and Mkhaya, arrived in Tacoma in June. “We are delighted to welcome these meerkats to Tacoma,” said Curator Natalie Davis. “They are such curious, interactive animals, and observing what they get up to each day is very enjoyable.” A group of meerkats is called a “mob” or a “gang.” The new arrivals,…

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Critically Endangered American Red Wolf Pups Receive Exam

Our five critically endangered American Red Wolf pups met the vet team last week for a pup exam at our offsite facility in Eatonville, where the largest Red Wolf population in the world resides. Veterinarian Dr. Kadie evaluated the two-month-old pups’ overall health, checked their heart and lungs, weighed them, and gave them deworming medications and vaccinations. The growing pups weigh five to nine pounds and are really active. The litter, consisting of three males and two females, is vital…

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Sea Lion Pup Born

The sea lion pup will remain behind the scenes for the next few weeks as she learns to swim and continues to bond with mom. She will join the other sea lions and seals in the public viewing pool later this summer.  There’s a new set of flippers at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! Keepers in the Rocky Shores area of the zoo are celebrating the birth of a female California sea lion pup born on June 6. The…

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Our Other Aquarium
Looking for more ocean animals? Discover green sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, spotted eagle rays and more in our Pacific Seas Aquarium!