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Zoo News
Dec 04, 2019

Olympia, Washington native comes from South Sound career of nonprofit “servant leadership.”   For Sarah Oliver, leadership is all about helping people achieve their mission. 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. The position oversees all … Continued

Dec 03, 2019

It’s a long way from Tacoma, Washington to Churchill, Manitoba: about 1,420 miles as the crow flies, at least eight hours by plane. There’s no road. In icy isolation on Canada’s Hudson Bay, it’s a world away from the lush, evergreen Puget Sound region. The thing the two towns have in common? Polar bears – … Continued

Nov 07, 2019

It looked like a regular school assembly – until they brought out the polar bear skull. On a gray November afternoon, the kids at Arlington Elementary School in Tacoma’s south end filed into the gym. Excited voices rose and fell as staff from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium connected technology on the stage. Then a … Continued

Nov 01, 2019

It’s a problem, just how many spots Kazu the tapir calf has. Not for him, of course – the spots are excellent camouflage. But for Dennis Parkhurst and Mason Patzer, carpenters at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the baby tapir’s watermelon-spotted coat presented a challenge: How to illuminate all those spots in a Zoolights display? … Continued

Oct 22, 2019

Puffins! Barn owls! Moon jellies! There was a parade of animals at Tacoma Public School’s Arlington Elementary on September 30, 2019 – not literally, but as class mascots for a new crop of Wildlife Champions. The school was kicking off year two of the science-in-nature partnership with Metro Parks Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, … Continued

Oct 15, 2019

For Veterinary Technician Week 2019, we’re not just celebrating our wonderful vet techs – we’re introducing them to you! Vet techs assist veterinarians in every aspect of animal health care, and they care deeply about our animals – often in very practical ways. We couldn’t care for animals without them. Meet Julie Lemon, full-time vet … Continued

Sep 06, 2019

  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

Jul 10, 2019

It took three staff members, six adult volunteers, three youth Zoo Guides and four classes of high schoolers to shovel sand for polar bears – but it was worth it. On a late spring day, Boris and Blizzard, the polar bears at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, shifted to their inside dens for the day … Continued

Jun 05, 2019

Looking for awesome gift ideas for Dad? You’ve come to the right place. Nothing beats a fun animal experience at the Zoo or Point Defiance Park, especially when it’s one Dad can share with the whole family.   Eye-to-Eye Shark Dive All Dads are brave, right? Give yours the thrill of getting up close to … Continued

May 15, 2019

On the steps of the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, there’s a little boy in a shark T-shirt. He’s clutching a blanket, and staring wide-eyed as an armadillo scuttles across the stage. He looks just like most of the other kids in the audience, who are equally enthralled. But six-year-old Keller is different in a really … Continued

Feb 14, 2019

At Arlington Elementary in South Tacoma, 25 kids are wiggling into blue rain jackets. As a teacher corrals them into line, they hop around excitedly, chatting to the four Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff helping them. “Are we going to the park?” “Are we doing science again?” When the Zoo staff smile and nod, … Continued

Jan 31, 2019

As part of the Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration, come every weekend of April for something totally new and wonderful! From filmmakers to performers and community science, we’ve got it all.   April 6-7: Lelavision music/dance When: 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm (30 mins each) Where: Baja Bay Vashon Island-based duo Lelavision combine musical sculpture, dance, circus … Continued

Jan 31, 2019

As part of the Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration, we’re having a special ocean storytime at 11am every Thursday in the Baja Bay area of the Pacific Seas Aquarium! Fun for for kids and adults. All activities free with Zoo admission. Join us!   April 4: Critter Club – Super Sea Turtles  When: 11am Where: … Continued

Nov 20, 2018

How do you get a 100-foot octopus onto an aquarium roof? No, it’s not the first line of a joke. It’s just one of the challenges faced by the Zoolights crew at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as they spend most of October and November prepping for the 31-year-old holiday lights show. But it’s a … Continued

Oct 15, 2018

For Veterinary Technician Week 2018, we’re not just celebrating our wonderful vet techs – we’re introducing them to you! Vet techs assist veterinarians in every aspect of animal health care, and they care deeply about our animals – often in very practical ways. We couldn’t do without them. (Meet our other vet tech, Julie.) Lauren … Continued

Jun 13, 2018

Amazing. That’s the word used to describe the outcome of the 2018 Point Defiance Park BioBlitz, a 24-hour survey of living things observed in the 760-acre park. By sheer numbers, the BioBlitz more than met its purpose of forging connections between people and their natural surroundings, said Metro Parks Tacoma’s Craig Standridge. In his role … Continued

Jun 13, 2018

A collaboration between the Zoo and Tacoma Public Schools’ Science and Math Institute (SAMi), the new Environmental Learning Center just north of the Zoo’s entrance is now open! It serves SAMi students and staff, as well as Zoo visitors and staff. The two-story shared-use building, constructed with Tacoma School District bond funds, serves a range … Continued

Jun 12, 2018

Through four years of dreaming, mentoring staff, caring for animals and watching a building rise, Neil Allen has kept one vision in sight for the Pacific Seas Aquarium, coming late summer to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. “There’s nothing like seeing little kids running up, pressing their noses against the glass and saying, ‘Wow,’ ” … Continued