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Zoo News

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Dec 20, 2019

A new year, and a new decade, have everyone- even the animals at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium- making New Year’s reZOOlutions. Which animal’s 2020 resolution do you best identify with? Click any image to start viewing!  

Dec 19, 2019

What would you ask Santa for these holidays if you were a walrus? Or a tiger? Of course we can’t know what our animals are thinking, but we can definitely make some fun guesses based on what they enjoy doing or eating! Here’s a Zoo wish-list for Santa from some of our animals. Let’s hope … Continued

Dec 18, 2019

If the sharks and fish noticed an unusual animal in the South Pacific Aquarium, they didn’t let on. In the steamy aquarium, on a December Tuesday when Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was closed, two tamanduas were wandering past the Outer Reef, along the lagoon and over to stingray beach. It was Terra and her … Continued

Dec 09, 2019

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s two new walruses Mitik and Pakak are adjusting well to their new home in Rocky Shores, even exploring different areas of the exhibit than other walruses before them. “They seem to be getting along well. They’re wrestling around a lot and practicing behaviors they will need as they grow up,” … Continued

Nov 15, 2019

They were rescued as orphans in the same week. They spent the next three months of their lives together, snuggling with keepers and each other. And now, after seven years, they’ll be together again. Young male walruses Mitik (pronounced Mitt-ick) and Pakak (Puck-uck, or Puck for short) have arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium … Continued

Oct 25, 2019

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the zoo, we bring you – Halloween in the Aquarium! Arms covered with suckers. Backs covered with eyes. Lumpsuckers, tentacles, vacuum mouths and just plain scary faces. (Plus a white crab nicknamed “Casper.”) If you’re looking for weird, cool or slightly icky, our Pacific Seas … Continued

Oct 09, 2019

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

Oct 01, 2019

Kulu loves playing with a hose waterfall. Basa gives a deep sigh if she’s not in the mood for something. Cumulatively, they’ve lived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for 16 years. 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 … Continued

Sep 09, 2019

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

Sep 03, 2019

Big news: Our new baby tamandua is a girl, and her name is Chiquita! And since her weight was low at birth and she was slow to gain weight despite nursing, she’s getting extra veterinary and keeper care around the clock to help her grow and thrive. “She’s doing very well,” said head veterinarian Dr. … Continued

Aug 29, 2019

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

Aug 21, 2019

In the Budgie Buddies exhibit early one morning, there’s a sudden hush. It’s the sound of 100 brand-new budgies, all perched in a row on the roof, and all stopping their chatter in one unified moment. Then abruptly, they dive in perfect formation, like a flashing school of fish, and swoop back up to restart … Continued

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 before he does, he needs a name. Members of the public were invited to vote on one of five names chosen by keepers in the … Continued

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. The baby tamandua – a small, arboreal species of anteater native to South America – … Continued

Aug 14, 2019

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

Aug 08, 2019

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

Aug 07, 2019

Even internet celebrities need their mom and dad sometimes. Butternut, the beaver kit born in April at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, will make her public debut at 2 p.m. Aug. 10 & 11 – but she’ll have mom Nutmeg and dad Walnut out there to keep her company as she meets her adoring fans. … Continued

Jul 29, 2019

At 8 a.m. the check-up line was assembled. Two veterinarians, two veterinary technicians, a curator and two Rocky Shores keepers all stood poised at three long tables in the seabird underwater viewing area at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Carefully lined up on the tables were a scale, spare leg bands, clippers, vials, syringes primed … Continued

Jul 26, 2019

Two orphaned California sea lions have splashed into the Rocky Shores pools at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, taking the zoo’s total sea lion count to five. Eloise and Boomer arrived last week accompanied by zoo veterinarian Dr. Kadie Anderson and staff biologist Sheriden Ploof. Born last summer, the pups have been cared for by … Continued

Jul 17, 2019

UPDATE: Sad news – our hero rat Chiku passed away in November from a large invasive tumor. We will miss her. Turns out, when you give physicals to giant pouched rats, some things are easy – like examining their long curved front teeth. Getting a blood sample from those tiny veins? Not so easy. But … Continued

Jul 17, 2019

UPDATE: Sad news – our hero rat Chiku passed away in November 2020 from a large invasive tumor. We will miss her. They’re fuzzy. They’re cute. They’re smart. Three HeroRATS have arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – the first zoo in North America – and they’re ready to show us how their species … Continued

Jul 16, 2019

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

Jul 15, 2019

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

Jun 26, 2019

UPDATE Oct. 2020: We continue to collaborate with the University of Washington in dyeing polar bear hair and taking samples. 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 … Continued

Jun 10, 2019

What kind of shark are you: Relaxed? Intense? Take the quiz and find out! Loading…

May 30, 2019

CHICK UPDATE: Our penguin chicks have gone behind the scenes to grow bigger and learn to swim. They’ll be back out in a few weeks when they’ve lost their downy feathers, ready to demonstrate their expert swimming skills.   Peck. Peck. Peck. A tiny beak hammers away from the inside of an egg shell, cracks … Continued

May 16, 2019

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

May 14, 2019

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

May 13, 2019

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

Apr 29, 2019

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