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Tag: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Nov.
22nd

After 25 years, Zoolights brightens dreary nights

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Even in the rain and cold, visitors flock to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium this time of year. There’s something about half a million lights that can brighten spirits even on the dreariest of nights.

Today, as Zoolights opens once again, it’s likely that some of the adults pushing strollers or shepherding young children were among those who visited the event in its 1987 inaugural season. A quarter century later, Zoolights has become an enduring Sound Sound tradition for many families during the holiday season – and an important revenue source for the zoo.

Favorite attractions from the past are back: the spectacular “flame tree” near the entrance, displays featuring Mount Rainier and the Narrows bridges, scuba-diving Santa feeding the sharks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and a 100-foot-wide octopus lurking atop the North Pacific Aquarium. New this year for an additional cost: zip line/challenge courses – one geared to children 5 and up and another for those 8 and older.

Zoolights began as an ingenious way to boost attendance during the traditionally slack time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. What began as a relatively modest display of 30 figurines and five miles of lights that drew 21,000 visitors has evolved – a lot.
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Sep.
2nd

Red wolves’ spiffy new digs

Now that my nieces are all grown up, I don’t get to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as much as I used to. In fact, the last time I went was in 2004, when the zoo opened its Sumatran tiger exhibit.

So I was pleasantly surprised Wednesday at the opening of Red Wolf Woods, the lovely new exhibit for the zoo’s mated pair of red wolves, Ocean Blue and Graham, and three other animals. The landscaping at the zoo seems lusher than I remember – with welcome signage on the plants. I was able to swing over to the Asian Forest Sanctuary and see the incredibly cute new tiger cubs, Bima and Mali, as they romped around and nursed on mother Jaya. If you haven’t seen them yet, go soon. They’re getting big fast.

Back at Red Wolf Woods, the mated pair in the new 7-acre exhibit seemed to be enjoying themselves, loping gracefully all around the natural setting, which includes a flowing stream, trees and grassy knolls. The crowd that came to see them at the opening didn’t seem to intimidate the pair, which exhibited playful behavior that looked a lot like courtship. That’s good news for zookeepers, who hope the pair will have a litter this spring. Read more »