Learn how to spot wildlife with these tips you can use in your neighborhood, on a hike or at the zoo

Discover Badge


Your Zoo is an Urban Forest

There are hundreds of animal species that call Woodland Park Zoo home—animals we care for whose wild cousins are native to different habitats around the world. This includes species ranging from orangutans of the Asian tropical forest and penguins from the Pacific coast of South America to hippopotamuses and ostriches of the African savanna and tree kangaroos from Papua New Guinea.

But there is another community of animals that relies on the green spaces found right here at home—on our zoo grounds and in neighboring parks and forested areas throughout our living Northwest. We share so much of our green spaces with local, native wildlife. You may have seen them in your own neighborhoods or in nearby parks and habitats around our region. Or maybe you haven’t noticed them at all—but if you take a moment to stop, look and listen, they’re there!

Get to Know Your Zoo

Set on 92 acres, Woodland Park Zoo offers a lush canopy that is made up of more than 90,000 plants, trees, flowers, shrubs and other greenery representing more than 1,300 species. Since the 1950s, we have increased the zoo’s tree cover by four-fold—and it has become an essential part of Seattle’s urban forest. Not only do the zoo’s animals use the trees for shade, climbing and sometimes even food, but lots of wildlife lives here too!


Aeiral view of Woodland Park Zoo


Our footprint has been a home to wild creatures great and small. Some of the small ones are animals you probably recognize and might see in your own neighborhoods—like garter snakes, tree frogs, squirrels, raccoons or rabbits. And some of the bigger ones—like deer, otters and coyotes—live right on the edges of our zoo grounds and in the immediate surrounding areas.

Local Wildlife

Woodland Park Zoo’s urban green space is also a welcoming oasis for hundreds of native and migratory wild birds. Everything from ducks, songbirds and hummingbirds to herons, hawks and eagles live within the zoo’s canopy and raise their young here. Some are here all year round, while others stop over briefly or stay just for a few months to find shelter and to feed as part of their migration patterns.

Learn More

If you want to discover more about the kinds of wildlife that share our habitat, birdwatching can be a great way to start. Why birds? Simply put, because no matter where you are, birds are probably there too! They’re almost everywhere on Earth, from backyards and schoolyards to big cities and distant forests. They’re a constant reminder of the habitats we share—including the urban oasis that is Woodland Park Zoo.

Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Seattle Parks & Recreation
Humane Certification

Donor Login

5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103   |  206.548.2500  |   zooinfo@zoo.org