Point Defiance: 100 Years and Beyond  
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Hare & Hare report to park commissioners - 1911
Animal Facts and Fodder
 

   
Asian elephants (2)
Sumatran tigers (2)
Clouded leopards (2)
Bali mynah (3)
Red wolves (3)
Malayan tapirs (2)
Asian short-clawed otters (3)
Siamangs (2)
White-cheeked gibbons (2)
Lowland anoa (dwarf water buffalo) (2)
Radiated tortoises (2)
ABOUT THE ANIMALS AT THE ZOO

Beluga whales
• Belugas are called the “canary of the sea” due to their repertoire of vocalizations.

Polar bears
• Polar bear hairs are hollow to trap and radiate body heat.
• Don’t expect a soft cuddle with a polar bear. Their oily hair helps repel water. It varies in color from white to creamy yellow to light brown.
• Male polar bears grow up to 9 feet long and weigh as much as 1,500 pounds. Females weigh as much as 500 pounds and measure 8 feet long.

Muskox
• The male emits a strong musky odor during the mating season.
• Rival muskox charge each other at a gallop, smashing their heads together. Fortunately, their skulls are protected by massive helmets of horn, or bosses.

Reindeer
• Caribou are known in Europe and Asia as reindeer. Unlike other deer, both sexes bear antlers. Males lose them in the spring; females lose them when they give birth in June.

Arctic fox
• If you see an Arctic fox in winter, it will be white. Find one in summer, and it will be blue-gray or gray-brown, making the change to blend in with its environment.

Nurse sharks
• Nurse sharks get their name from their ability to round up, or “nurse,” small fish into a feeding ball.
• Nurse sharks produce only one or two young every two years. As a result, population recovery for this species is very slow.

Octopus
• A giant octopus, largest of all octopuses, has a 31-foot arm span. All octopi have eight long tentacles with suckers.

Sumatran tigers
• Sumatran tigers are powerful swimmers and often chase prey into deep water.
• Sumatran tigers are the smallest and darkest of the tiger subspecies. They have orange coats with narrow, black stripes.
• Sumatran tigers generally live 10 to 12 years in the wild, but 18 to 20 years in zoo captivity.

Malayan tapirs
• The stocky Malayan tapir weighs from 550 to 700 pounds and measures approximately 6 to 8 feet long.
• Malayan tapirs can live for 30 years.

Small-clawed otters
• Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest of the world’s 19 otter species. They’re about 2-feet long, and a third of that is their tale.
• Asian small-clawed otters are playful, like to sun themselves on rocks or take relaxing swims.
• Small-clawed otters become mates for life. Both parents care for their young.

Asian elephants
• An elephant’s nostrils are located at the end of its trunk, which is used for breathing, eating and drinking.
• Asian elephants weigh about 11,000 pounds and stand about 10 feet high at the shoulder.
• Asian elephants are full grown at about 20.
• Asian elephants drink by sucking water into their trunks and squirting it into their mouths. They also use their trunks to gather grasses and shove them into their mouths.
• Elephants can pick up small objects, using small, fingerlike projections on the tip of their trunks.
• Elephants really do walk on their tiptoes. A large foot pad cushions their steps.

Peacocks
• Males are the beautiful ones, using their feathers to dazzle the girls.

Red wolves
• A red wolf’s sense of smell is 100 to 10,000 times greater than a human’s.

Harbor seals
• Harbor seals can grow 6 feet long and weigh 375 pounds.
• A harbor seal can stay under water for five minutes. Mating includes bubble-blowing, “necking” and playful biting.

Walrus
• A walrus can weigh 1,300 to 3,300 pounds.

Sea otters
• Sea otters spend about eight hours a day diving and eating.
• Grooming is extremely important for otters. They twist, roll and dive after eating to clean their fur.
• Sometimes sea otters hold hands while sleeping, so they don’t float away from each other. They also wrap kelp around themselves to prevent getting washed onto shore.
• To get air in their fur, otters float belly down, blowing bubbles and rubbing them into the fur.
• Sea otters are the only mammals other than primates to use tools.

Tufted puffins
• Brightly colored bills are the tufted puffins’ most striking feature.
• Males and females carry the same markings.
• A puffin’s bill is and more colorful in the summer nesting season.
• Tufted puffins use the sharp claws on their webbed feet to burrow 3 to 4 feet into the steep hillsides or cliffs.
• Tufted puffins are built for swimming, not flying. They use their wings as underwater oars, and their feet as rudders.

Aardvark
• The aardvark has fur on its nostrils to keep dust out when it digs for food.
• Aardvarks can weigh from 110 to more than 175 pounds.

Penguins
• Penguins have up to 80 feathers per square inch. The tightly-packed feathers protect them from wind and cold.
• Penguin parents usually take turns sitting on and turning the eggs.
• All penguins have the same body temperature of 100 to 102 degrees – whether they live in warm or cold climes.
• Penguins live about 20 years.

Bald eagles
• The bald eagle is the U.S. national bird. It’s the only eagle unique to North America.
• A bald eagle’s wingspan can reach 71/2 feet.

Beavers
• Beavers can weigh 30 to 60 pounds.
• Beavers can close their noses while swimming underwater, and a clear eyelid protects their eyes from water and debris.
• Beavers are rodents. Their large front teeth, which are always growing, stay trimmed by gnawing on bark.
• Beavers have a danger warning system; they slap their tails against the water, creating a powerful noise.

Boa constrictors
• The boa constrictor averages 6 to 12 feet in length, and weighs 30 to 40 pounds.
• A boa kills its prey by wrapping its coils around the victim and squeezing, leading to suffocation.

Source: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

 
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