Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Visit a red wolf habitat, watch polar bears swim and see elephants in a simulated forest environment at this unique zoo and aquarium.

The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is home to one of the Northwest's most comprehensive collections of regional and international animals. Learn how this unique facility has helped to save the country’s red wolf population. Explore exhibits that recreate environments in Southeast Asia, the Arctic tundra and the Andes Mountains. Touch stingrays and small sharks in the South Pacific Aquarium.

Stop at the zoo’s Arctic Tundra exhibit to see polar bears swimming in a saltwater pool. This exhibit simulates a coastal environment similar to Point Hope in Alaska. Look for Arctic foxes, large muskox and reindeer.

The Asian Forest Sanctuary is an incredible 5-acre (2-hectare) complex that recreates a southern Asian environment. Head to one of the many viewing points to look for clouded leopards, a type of wildcat naturally found in the Himalayan foothills. Spot white-cheeked gibbons, Malayan tapirs and Indian crested porcupines.

Watch brightly colored fish swimming in the facility’s massive South Pacific Aquarium and catch one of the daily shark-feeding sessions. Find the North Pacific Aquarium to see ratfish, salmon and jellyfish. Interact with more than 100 budgies in the open-air, walk-through Budgie Buddies exhibit and go for a fun camel ride.

Learn how the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium was instrumental in the recovery of the red wolf, which was facing extinction in the late 20th century. Due to ongoing efforts by this facility and other organizations, the red wolf population has grown from 14 to over 250.

Visit during the holiday season to see the zoo’s famous Zoolights event, during which over half a million lights illuminate the grounds. The decorations include 3-D animal light displays, such as a 22-foot (7-meter) wide rock crab.

The remarkable Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is located within Point Defiance Park, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from the center of Tacoma, Washington. Ample parking is provided at the facility as well as next to the Point Defiance Park entrance.

Get up-close with more than 300 different animal species at this imaginative zoo and aquarium.

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