The point defiance zoo and aquarium is stationed in Tacoma, Washington and is owned by the Metro Parks, Tacoma. There are over 9000 animals of over 367 animal species. The zoo also has quite some red wolves as they were actively involved in the preservation of the species at a point when they were almost extinct.
The zoo was founded in 1905 while the aquarium was founded in 1935. At first, the Point Defiance aquarium was separate from the zoo and was opened on the waterfront in 1936. However, most of the buildings in the zoo were destroyed, and a new one had to be built. The new one has sandstone walls and large viewing windows. It contains big cats and large white-cheeked gibbons. In the 1960s, the aquarium was then merged with the zoo. The North Pacific aquarium was built in 1963 on the zoo grounds. A breeding program for red wolves was opened in 1967 which was renovated and rebuilt in 2010. Due to a bond measure worth $9 million that was passed in 1977, the zoo was able to build the Arctic tundra in 1981. The bond also allowed for the construction of the Rocky shores in 1982. The south aquarium was built in that same year due to contributions from another bond smaller than the first one. Other financial aid over time allowed the zoo to add some major areas of exhibits like the animal hospital, an animal theatre, Asian forest sanctuary, and a large part of the kid’s zone. The aid also allowed for the expansion of the zoo’s entrance. In the year 2008, Animal avenue was constructed while the red wolf area was renovated and expanded in the year 2010. The animal avenue was an addition to the kid’s zone. It was also opened for the public’s viewing that same year. In the year 2011, the cats of the canopy were built.
The main work done by the zoo is the conservation of red wolves. The Zoo was concerned with the Red wolves being an endangered species and as such sought to protect them. In the year 1997, the zoo was able to breed red wolves collected in the year 1969. The zoo was approved by the AZA and was allowed to start a Species Survival Plan. This way, the once-endangered red wolves were successfully bred so much that they flourished. In the year 1987, some red wolves were released. By 2002, there were over 100 red wolves in the Wild and 300 red wolves in zoos.
If you are looking for other attractions in the area, check out Lemay- American Car Museum, which is located about twenty minutes south of the Zoo.