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Washington’s Top Zoos and Wildlife Parks

Lions and tigers and bears—oh my! These Washington state zoos have a focus on conservation and educating the public while also giving visitors a front-row view of its furry and feathered friends.

Note: Most zoos are offering modified visitation at this time.

Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle

Founded in 1899, 92-acre Woodland Park Zoo not only engages its visitors in extraordinary experiences with animals, but it helps to to save animals and their habitats in the wild through more than 35 wildlife conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest and around the globe. The award-winning zoo manages 900 animals representing more than 250 species—the largest number of live animals in Washington.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Tacoma

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is a nonprofit that promotes conservation, education and recreation through the display of native wildlife—like bobcats, bears, gray wolves, badgers, otters and many more—in their habitats and is home to more than 40 species. The new Wild Drive premier tour allows you to cruise by roaming herds of Roosevelt elk and mountain goats from the comfort and safety of your own car.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Tacoma

The Northwest’s only combined zoo and aquarium, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is the sister zoo of Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. The zoo, which welcomes 700,000 visitors a year, just launched a brand‐new way to connect with its animals: Zoo For You. Led by a trained staff member, the experiences take small groups from single households beyond the public areas to feed, groom and learn about animals. Zoo For You guests will also get hands‐on insights into how zookeepers and aquarists care for the animals. Book Zoo For You here.

Cougar Mountain Zoo

Issaquah

Fifteen miles outside of Seattle, Cougar Mountain Zoo, which was founded in 1972, specializes in educating guests on the threatened, endangered and unique species that reside at the zoo. Come for the animals; stay for the views: The zoo is found on the north-facing slope of Cougar Mountain, allowing picture-perfect panoramas of Cascade Mountain range and Lake Sammamish. 

Cat Tales Wildlife Center

Spokane

Cat Tales Wildlife Center offers a safe and secure home for rescued big cats and various other wildlife. Cat Tales was founded in 1991 as a zoological park; just last year, it shied away from that label in pursuit of being called what is has always been: a nonprofit sanctuary and wildlife rescue.

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