Animal aficionados unite! April 8th is National Zoo Lovers Day. Celebrate your animal-loving instincts by visiting one of our state’s wonderful zoos and sanctuaries.
Here are a few of our favorite places (and animals):
Soar like a Steller’s Sea Eagle to Woodland Park Zoo
Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo exhibits over 1000 animals, representing almost 300 species.
Visit the award-winning Northern Trail and see two Steller sea eagles. These impressive raptors weigh twice as much as bald eagles and have a wingspan between 6 and 8 feet. Birds may have lost their teeth 116 million years ago, but healthy beaks matter, too. Steller sea eagles use their sharp, bright orange beaks to kill, tear, and swallow their prey.
This animal lover’s paradise is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Northwest. The Rocky Shores exhibit features walruses (and their 14-inch tusks!). Believe it or not, walrus tusks are actually extremely long upper canine teeth. We know our teeth aren’t tools, but it’s not the same for walruses. In the wild, they use their tusks to form and maintain holes in the ice and to help them climb in and out of the water.
Spokane’s Cat Tales park features 36 big cats consisting of lions, tigers, leopards, pumas and bobcats.
The “King of Jungle” has teeth fit for any royal meal. Lions can open their jaws to up 10½ centimeters wide, giving them one of the animal kingdom’s biggest bites.
Come meet the whole pack at this Olympia-based sanctuary. Wolf Haven features gray wolves, red wolves, and the very rare Mexican gray wolves.
Adult wolves have 42 chompers and pack a powerful punch. Their jaws can exert 1500 pounds of pressure per square inch! They use their sharp teeth and strong jaws to take down caribou, elk, deer, moose, and bison.
Originally used as a movie shoot location, Olympic Game Farm is the perfect place to flash your Hollywood smile. Don’t leave without paying a visit to the farm’s famous waving bears.
Bears eat a largely vegetarian diet so they use their teeth to pull berries off bushes and crunch nuts like acorns. When the salmon run, they’ll use their claws and teeth to catch the slippery fish.
Get out there and go wild this Zoo Lover’s Day! What are your favorite animal hot spots?