Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium


ZOO: Best wishes for E.T.’s recovery

Re: “Ailing walrus takes swim at aquarium” (TNT, 5-21).

Everyone in Tacoma must have their fingers and toes crossed for E.T. the walrus to get well.

E.T. put Tacoma on the map when he came to Tacoma from Alaska in August 1982. Tacoma was fortunate to have a new Rocky Shores exhibit and a leading-edge zoo director. With the arrival of E.T., Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium became one of only three zoos in the United States to have a walrus.

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to feed young E.T. from a bottle filled with cream,

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TACOMA: Parks measure merits voter approval

As a proud Tacoma resident who’s passionate about our parks system, I echo the sentiment expressed in your April 6 editorial and would also like to voice my enthusiastic support for approval of Metro Parks’ Proposition 1, the bond measure on the April 22 ballot for parks improvements and safety upgrades.

Our treasured parks system is more than a century old, and we need to continue preserving and investing in it so that we and future generations can enjoy this incredible resource. All neighborhood parks would see improvements and upgrades from the measure, and it would provide critical, additional

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TACOMA: Pass bond issue for parks’ future

Tacoma has a joyous opportunity to make an investment in the future while honoring the rich legacy of conservation and education already established at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The time for action is now. Metro Parks Proposition 1 on the April 22 ballot needs voter approval.

Imagine a new aquarium in which you can see not only Northwest marine animals but also sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and other Pacific Rim species. Think of more space for polar bears and walruses where excited children can watch them from wonderful new vantage points. It’s all included Metro Parks Tacoma’s Proposition 1.

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ZOOLIGHTS: Tram could make event more accessible

Why does Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium not have trams (like Northwest Trek) to take small children, older people and those who can’t walk around to see the Zoolights?

I am 87 years old and unable to walk any distance, so I miss seeing the lights. Every year I hope to hear that the zoo has found a way of transporting people around the park.


AQUARIUM: Touch tank puts stingrays at risk

Re: “New at Point Defiance: Touch tank of stingrays” (TNT, 5-4).

Encouraging visitors to harass and handle captive animals is reckless and cruel. By nature, stingrays shun human contact, but in touch tanks they have no chance to escape the constant onslaught of groping hands. The mortality rate for rays in these invasive tanks is staggeringly high.

It’s clear that the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s mission is more about giving visitors a cheap thrill than protecting animals.

(O’Connor is a staff writer with the PETA Foundation.)


METRO PARKS: Local sea otter wows the world

Congratulations to the team at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for creating a wonderful video of Nellie the sea otter. Nellie stacks her set of three cups with adorable concentration. She looks at her trainer for approval of her skills. In the end Nellie does a cute high-five with the trainer along with her sea otter buddy.

The video has a worldwide audience of over one million. Nellie has given the world and our community a positive and cute bit of news!


BILLBOARDS: Shame on the zoo, too

Click Network has recently been lambasted for its choice to use billboards, in spite of a (strangely non-enforced) law regarding non-conforming billboards within Tacoma city limits. Rightly so. Tacoma citizenry clearly wants the billboards to go.

So why are we angry at Click, but no one is complaining about the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium billboard at the intersection of 6th and Sprague?

Whether the billboard is conforming or not, the zoo is clearly ignoring overwhelming public opinion and adding to the Clear Channel coffers. Shame on the zoo, too.


ZOO: Move elephants now to Tennessee sanctuary

Why is the elephant exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium inadequate for future elephants but fine for Hanako and Suki now? PDZA’s 10-year plan proposes phasing out the elephant exhibit due to the “need to expand the physical footprint”—unfortunately, after Hanako or Suki dies. Why wait?

Hanako and Suki were born genetically wired to walk great distances. Science has shown that movement is critical to their physical and psychological health. Yet they are caged in a one-acre pen devoid of a single living tree. Inside, they are locked in a tiny, barren stall.

The 2,700-acre Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

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