on July 8, 2007
I love this zoo!It continues to grow, and recently has built some new natural settings for the animals. Also, a second beluga whale named Qannick was just acquired. This zoo is large enough (29 acres) to offer many different animals for viewing, but is small enough to let you get close to them. It is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Northwest. Peacocks roam freely, and I always encounter at least one with his magnificent tail spread wide...and posing for pictures. Other favorites of mine are the otters...I love watching them playing and rolling in the water. The polar bears are also entertaining, and you will often see them playing ball. Both the otters and the bears have above and below water viewing areas. The children are especially fascinated with this underwater view of the animals at play. For photos, my favorite animal is the beautiful Sumatran Tiger that roams free in his natural savannah. He is most active just before closing time (he knows it's time for dinner!).Zookeepers give regular presentations-- be sure to pick up a printed schedule as you enter. Keepers often roam the zoo grounds with animals to give you a close-up encounter. These impromptu encounters are always memorable....something different. There are too many other zoo animals to name, but they are all wonderful!The South Pacific Aquarium features dozens of brightly colored tropical fish and eels swimming in a 24,000-gallon Lagoon. Down deeper there are more than 20 sharks in a 240,000-gallon Outer Reef environment. You may get to watch staff biologists feed the sharks or dive with them.In the North Pacific Aquarium you'll see the fascinating and beautiful creatures of Puget Sound such as: salmon, rockfish, jellyfish, bay pipefish, giant Pacific octopus, and more. Enjoy the exhibit from above, or explore the lower level of this aquarium where marine animals are housed in the Around the Sound exhibit gallery.Stop by the Marine Discovery Center inside the North Pacific Aquarium and see what a sea star or sea urchin feels like.Outside the aquarium building, take time to stop by the North Pacific Tidepool to view sea urchins and anemones. These exhibits are newly renovated. The zoo has a gift shop, cafés, stroller -wheelchair - umbrella rentals, picnic areas, Assisted Hearing Devices, first aid, and free parking.The zoo and the aquarium are just some of the things to see in Point Defiance Park. Before or after your zoo visit, be sure to see the Rose Gardens or take the leisurely 5-mile Drive on the park perimeter.Hours vary with the seasons from 9:30am to 6pm in summer (4pm in winter).Admission: Adults (13-64) $10 - Seniors (65+) $9 - Youth (5-12) $8 - Toddlers (3-4) $4.Directions: From I-5...Take Exit 132 (Highway 16 West). Exit at 6th Avenue, and turn left. Take the next right to Pearl Street, which leads into the park. Signs will lead you to the Zoo parking area.
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