Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Meet Sven The Arctic Fox

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA is now home to a new rescued Arctic fox named Sven. Guests can meet the three-year-old fox in the newly renovated fox habitat in the zoo’s Arctic Tundra area.

“We are delighted to provide a home to Sven and know our guests will fall in love with him,” said Malia Somerville, the zoo’s curator of marine mammals and birds.

State wildlife officials seized Sven in Oklahoma, where owning an Arctic fox is illegal. Before coming to Point Defiance Zoo, he was cared for at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility.


Continue reading "Meet Sven The Arctic Fox" »

Red Wolf Pups Born: Recovering The Iconic Species

Five healthy red wolf pups were born at Point Defiance Zoo’s off-site facility in Eatonville in early May. Adorable and growing fast, the pups are the latest success in the story of recovery for this critically endangered and iconic American species.

The pups are the offspring of 4-year-old Terra, and 6-year-old Banjo. The red wolves, unlike other Zoo animals, are cared for with little human contact and sometimes moved to other zoos to assist in their species’ national recovery program.

Continue reading "Red Wolf Pups Born: Recovering The Iconic Species" »

Clouded-leopard Cub Pounce N’ Play

Watch Rakhan play and pounce around in one of his outdoor exercise yards with his Point Defiance Zoo care team. The growing clouded leopard cub will explore the Cats of the Canopy habitat once he gets a little older and becomes more confident in climbing.

In Case You Missed It, find his ZooBorns Debut here:


Clouded Leopard Zoomies!

A four-month-old clouded leopard cub named Rakhan (pronounced Rah-kaan) recently arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The cub joins the zoo on a breeding recommendation through the Species Survival Plan®.


“Clouded leopards are highly endangered, and cubs like Rakhan help keep zoo populations healthy and genetically diverse,” said Telena Welsh, the zoo’s curator of Asian animals. “Breeding clouded leopards in zoos is a crucial way to keep this species from being completely wiped out.”

Continue reading "Clouded Leopard Zoomies!" »

Point Defiance Zoo Keepers Name Armadillo Pup “Segway”

The one-month-old pup is bonding well with mom and growing more every day

TACOMA, Wash.—The one-month-old Southern three-banded armadillo pup at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium now has a name - Segway!


“Born to parents Vespa and Scooter, the name Segway seemed to fit right in with the family,” said assistant curator Maureen O’Keefe. 

The female pup has quadrupled in size since she was born in late October and is now about the size of a softball, weighing 14 ounces (she was just 3 ounces at birth). She has also opened her eyes and is moving around her den more every day.

Continue reading "Point Defiance Zoo Keepers Name Armadillo Pup “Segway”" »

First Healthy Armadillo Pup Born At Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

TACOMA, Wash.-- Southern three-banded armadillos Vespa and Scooter welcomed a female pup into the world in late October, making them both first-time parents. The pup is the first healthy armadillo pup born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in its 116-year history.


“She is healthy and the perfect little replica of her parents,” said the zoo’s head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome this pup into our animal family,” added assistant curator Maureen O’Keefe.

Keepers monitored mom Vespa’s behavior around the clock leading up to the birth.

Continue reading "First Healthy Armadillo Pup Born At Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium" »

Big Celebration For The Orangutans At Prague Zoo

On Saturday, November 13, Prague Zoo’s baby orangutan Kawi celebrated his first birthday. Keepers treated him and the other orangutans to special birthday enrichment.

"He is among our most popular animal personalities," said Prague Zoo Director Miroslav Bobek. “Kawi was born last November 17th."


The Sumatran orangutans got a birthday surprise from keepers. Throughout the day, visitors received a lot of interesting information about the lives of apes at the Prague Zoo and about orangutans in Sumatra. Winners of an art competition for the best portraits the birthday boy were also announced.

Continue reading "Big Celebration For The Orangutans At Prague Zoo" »

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s Tamandua Pup Has A Name!

After an initial respiratory illness, the now nearly 5-week-old Tamandua pup, born April 23 at Tacoma, Washington’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, is on the mend. She’s also got a name! The pup continues to nurse from her mom Terra and receives additional supplemental feedings to ensure she continues to grow and gain weight. Terra is a wonderful mother and continues to bond with her adorable pup behind-the-scenes.


Keepers have named the one-month-old tamandua pup “Liana.” Liana (pronounced lee-aa-nuh) means a woody climbing plant that hangs from trees. The name is fitting: tamanduas are excellent climbers, using their long prehensile tail for balance and support. A public debut for Liana has not yet been set- she will make appearances once she’s a bit older, and strong and confident enough. Liana is still nursing from mom regularly and has grown to 1.8 lbs. The tiny pup weighed just over a half pound when born – so she’s more than doubled in size.


Terra The Tamandua Gives Birth To Second Pup


Terra the Southern tamandua gave birth to a healthy female pup on Friday, April 23 behind the scenes at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater area. The pup, like all of its species, was born with very little fur, and with its eyes closed for the first day. It’s Terra’s second pup, and only the second tamandua ever born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The pup weighed just over half a pound and can fit onto a human palm.


Continue reading "Terra The Tamandua Gives Birth To Second Pup" »

Terra The Tamandua Gets Routine Ultrasounds And Treats… Pup Expected In April!

On March 3rd Point Defiance Zoo announced some exciting news! Terra the Tamandua is enjoying whipped cream for two (again). Terra and Gonzo are expecting a baby early this summer. Keeper Sara occupies the adorable pregnant mom with a tasty treat while Zoo veterinarian Dr. Kadie performs a routine ultrasound. Check out those tiny tamandua feet shown in the ultrasound!

Just a few weeks later, Terra and her growing pup appear to be doing very well! Terra’s baby bump is filling out as expected. The tiny pup is active in utero with a strong heartbeat. They anticipate Terra will give birth around the end of April. Stay tuned for pupdates!

📷 Assistant Curator Maureen: Keeper Jessie occupies the adorable pregnant tamandua with a tasty treat while Zoo Head Veterinarian Dr. Karen performs a routine ultrasound.