Otterly Divine: Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo
River otters were among the highlights during my last visit to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo.

My second visit to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo could have been titled “Otters. Otters. And More Otters.” Our daughters are addicted to otters. They even have matching otter tattoos, with outstretched arms toward the other. My visit with Mallory included spending extra time at the otter exhibit (to be fair, they are adorable animals and very animated).

My previous visit was during the 2015 Christmas season. We saw some different animals during that trip.

The otters were cute to watch. They moved in tandem. When one decided to go for a swim, several others followed. They seemed to be intrigued with humans, as much as we were enjoying watching them.

Woodland Park Zoo
Something has the otters’ attention.

River otters are found in Alaska, Canada and throughout the Lower 48 states. They are related to badgers, minks, weasels, wolverines and skunks. I cannot see an otter and a skunk getting together at a family reunion to reminisce.

River otters average 2.5-5 feet long (head to tip of tail) and can weight up to 30 lbs. They will travel long distances over land to find food.

Woodland Park Zoo
River otters are common throughout the United States.

So, after our lesson in otters, we moved on to see other exhibits. What do you think we found? With our family, if we see a squirrel, we must acknowledge and embrace it. The gray squirrels in Seattle are fast. They don’t spend much time in one place, so getting photos of them has been a challenge on each trip there. Until now. A gray squirrel was enjoying a meal inside the kangaroo exhibit, so it must have relaxed a little. I was able to get a couple dozen of pics before we decided it was time to move along.

Woodland Park Zoo
The “elusive” gray squirrel of the Pacific Northwest.

By the way, the kangaroo didn’t seem to mind the squirrel’s company. It sat there watching as its bushy tailed friend enjoyed its lunch.

Woodland Park Zoo
A kangaroo sat by itself, away from the others.

As always, if a penguin is nearby, we will find it. Fortunately, Woodland Park Zoo has its penguin exhibit near the front entrance. We also enjoy spending a great deal of time watching penguins. They are beautiful animals.

Woodland Park Zoo
Our family loves penguins.

Lisa lives for big cats; tigers, specifically. I looked to get some cats in action. But, the tigers weren’t game for it; they thought lounging on cozy rocks would be better.

While we didn’t see the tigers in action, a lion was proud to show off his mane and growl.

Woodland Park Zoo
King of the jungle.

Woodland Park Zoo has some great Pacific Northwest animal exhibits. Wolves, elk and bears highlight the group.

Wolves once roamed everywhere but tropical environments. Today, they are located in the northern United States and Canada. Mexican gray wolves have been reintroduced in the southwestern U.S. They once roamed from that area throughout Mexico.

Woodland Park Zoo
A gray wolf at the zoo.

The zoo is home to the gray wolf. Gray wolves typically live 10-15 years in the wild. Zoos can extend a wolf’s life another 10 years. The wolves at Woodland Park Zoo were roaming in a pack. It was impressive to watch them together. However, Mallory and I joked that it had to be difficult to be near the elk exhibit. They could see lunch, but couldn’t get to it. Thank goodness for the zoo’s meal delivery service.

As we walked along the area, we were amused by a couple of brown bears sitting with their backs toward us. They appeared to be looking at the water hole. Just imagine the conversation that could be taking place between them. “Isn’t it your turn to go fishing?”

Woodland Park Zoo
A couple of bears appear to be watching the world go by in their neck of the woods.

We saw some beautiful birds at the aviary. Mallory fed a few of the little ones. We love interactive exhibits with the animals.

Woodland Park Zoo
Mal feeding a bird.

One of my favorite animals to observe is the Komodo dragon. Everyone I’ve seen at zoos tend to lay under the heat lamp. But, they are interesting giant lizards. They strike a fearful appearance. Their claws are intimidating.

Woodland Park Zoo
I love the look of a Komodo dragon.

Mallory and I had a great visit to the Woodland Park Zoo. It’s amazing how a difference in a couple of degrees temperature-wise can affect animals and their activity. We recommend visiting the zoo when in Seattle.

For more information about the Woodland Park Zoo, please visit