Costumes, critters and games.
Free with admission. Oct. 12-13
On a fine day this summer, Stephanie Rager, staff biologist at the Zoo’s Rocky Shores habitat, went for a hike. After three miles and a lot of uphill walking at the remote edge of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, she arrived with two other women at the rocky outcrop of Sand Point. There they set up a … Continued
Cindy Roberts and Sheriden Ploof stood in long rubber boots on the edge of the walrus pool, metal bucket in hand. For the two Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff biologists, it was a bittersweet moment. Basilla and Kulusiq, the zoo’s two female walruses, were leaving for a new home in sunny San Diego – … Continued
It’s possibly the best job in the world. Adrienne Umpstead, staff biologist at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, sits in a pool of sunlight just near the tamandua habitat. One foot propped on a stool, her lap is covered with a small pillow and fleece blanket. One hand is poised with a bottle; the other … Continued
Our red wolf pups are growing up into adolescents – and now they have dyed fur to boot. Now 18 weeks old, the pups born on May 10 are now between 22-28 pounds each – that’s around half the weight of their petite mom, Charlotte. They’ll keep gaining around a pound a week for the next … Continued
The San Diego Zoo, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park are partnering to provide a virtual adventure television channel in Mary Bridge Children’s hospital patient rooms. This new channel is being provided by San Diego Zoo Global as part of its children’s hospital network that airs … Continued
Leafy and fruity hors d’oeuvres.
Free with admission. Sept. 1
When you think ‘edible gardening,’ you usually don’t imagine growing banana trees for elephants. But Bryon Jones does. The lead horticulturalist at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has created an entire garden devoted to plants that zoo animals can munch, nibble or chew. It’s usually hidden from public view. But on this Sunday’s free garden … Continued
UPDATE: Kazu made his public debut Aug. 30. He and Yuna are now viewable in the Asian Forest Sanctuary late morning-early afternoon on weekends. Trotting over green grass. Figuring out stairs. 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 … Continued
We all love summer in the Pacific Northwest, but there’s no doubt that some days get pretty hot. Humans are pretty creative in finding ways to beat the heat – splashing, shade, cool clothes – and our Zoo animals do it too! Asian elephants Hanako and Suki might be elderly elephants, but they love a … Continued
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. The baby tamandua – a small, arboreal species of anteater native to South America – … Continued
If the tiger is the king of the jungle, then the anoa would be the gardener. They’re not iconic like an elephant, or acrobatic like a siamang. They don’t star in Pixar movies or cartoons. Even in the jungle, they can be impossible to find. But this tiniest species of buffalo just 30 inches tall … Continued
Dwight & Jim Move Out Moving into a new home is an exciting moment in anybody’s life. But for Dwight and Jim, penguin chicks at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, it became a enriching expedition of discovery as the two newly-fledged youngsters walked across the zoo from their behind-the-scenes home into the main Penguin Point … Continued
UPDATE: Watch Butternut explore a pile of ice chips 2pm Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 for End of Summer Blast! The Close Encounter will be at the Discovery Hut Sat-Sun. Even internet celebrities need their mom and dad sometimes. Butternut, the beaver kit born in April at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, will make … Continued
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. “He is bright, exploring his environment and is in good body … Continued
UPDATE: Our tapir calf is now three weeks old and doing really well. He’s bonding with mom behind the scenes. Here’s the latest video: It’s a boy! An endangered Malayan tapir calf was born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Friday night, July 12. He is the first tapir calf born at the zoo in … Continued
It’s Thursday, and Blizzard is waiting to get his hair dyed. Standing in the training area behind Arctic Tundra at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the massive polar bear looks expectantly up at staff biologist Cindy Roberts. One of the bear’s keepers, she’s holding a big bucket that smells appetizingly of raw meat, fish and … Continued
PUPDATE: The red wolf pups are now roaming outside on view to the public. They also have names – meet them here. When Dr. Karen Wolf picks up eight newborn red wolf pups one by one, it’s more than just a routine – though adorable – new pup exam. It’s a victory. “American red wolves … Continued
BEAVER UPDATE: The baby beaver is a girl, and her name is Butternut! All the family are doing well behind the scenes. First there was Walnut, a male beaver living at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Then came Nutmeg, a female beaver who came to the zoo from sister zoo Northwest Trek as a … Continued
PUPDATE! – Red wolf pups are exploring outside, on view to the public. Meet them here. And suddenly, there are eight. What appeared at first to be a litter of four rare red wolf pups on Friday afternoon became a squirming mass of eight, yes, count them, EIGHT!, healthy newborns over the weekend. Red … Continued
UPDATE: Now over. Thanks for visiting! Q: Where in the world would you find an elephant, a sea turtle and an axolotl all together? A: In Species in the Sand, the new sand sculpture this summer at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! Beginning mid-May, our sculpting team led by Tacoma native Sue McGrew will return … Continued
On the stage at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, two dogs are waiting to ride a “hot air balloon” (actually, a basket and beach ball on a cable). One, with dark brown patches and a blue bandanna round his neck, sits patiently – then hops inside confidently. The other dog, lighter brown with a purple … Continued
It’s like being inside a cloud of excited children who’ve all been given a bright yellow jacket and two cups of coffee. We’re inside Budgie Buddies on a sunny spring morning – perfect budgie weather, says keeper Ariel Woodruff. She and fellow keeper Heather Burns have been doing the spring cleaning before this popular habitat … Continued
Ocean biofacts and touch tank. Bring your curiosity.
Slater Museum, University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Warner St., Tacoma. Free.
It’s magical enough to stand inside the Pacific Seas Aquarium and gaze at shimmering scales, cruising sea turtles or impossibly long wolf eels. But with x-ray vision, a whole new underwater world reveals itself. Thanks to our veterinary team, who regularly take radiographs of our Pacific Seas Aquarium animals to check on their health and … Continued
In a corridor surrounded by pipes, tanks and equipment, three women crouch over a tub. One – an intern veterinarian – carefully handles a Q-tip swab. The second – a veterinarian – readies a microscope slide. The third – an aquarist – has her gloved hands submerged, gently holding a china rockfish. A fourth aquarist … Continued
Zoological Aide Katie Schachtsick holds a long-handled back-scratcher and applies just the right amount of pressure as she rubs it across the black-and-white hide of endangered Malayan tapir Yuna. It’s clear Yuna enjoys the attention – and the back rub – leaning into the scratcher and then moving her stout legs down, getting into a … Continued
Cross your paws. And think of tiger cubs! Our endangered female Sumatran tigers, 5-year-old Kali and 4-year-old Kirana, could be pregnant. Both were artificially inseminated Jan. 30 with sperm from 14-year-old Mohan. We won’t know for a few weeks if a pregnancy resulted, but if successful, tiger cubs would be born in May. But it … Continued