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Regular hours: 9:30 am – 6 pm
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Animal Wellbeing

A white wave shape.

Caring for animals at the aquarium is core to our marine conservation mission.

Nurturing wellbeing

Animals typically experience good wellbeing when they are healthy, safe, well-nourished, provided with choice and free from any pain, fear or distress. 

How do we know animals are well? We evaluate wellness for every animal at the Aquarium by looking at indicators, such as their activity level, what they choose to eat and how they interact with other animals (including humans) within their habitat. The values of these indicators inform us that animals at the Aquarium are healthy and well. Several species of fish and invertebrates at the Aquarium reproduce on their own, which is a further good indicator of animal wellness.

We want the animals in our care to be able to explore, learn and make their own choices. Our animal care teams provide activities and other opportunities for animals to satisfy their behavioral needs, optimize their level of mental stimulation and experience a rich, variable environment. The goal: to create stimulation, interest and, as much as possible, fun!

For most species at the Aquarium, animals and staff can learn to communicate with each other and develop trust over time. It’s important that our team listens to the animals as much as they listen to us. Through this work, our staff are able to highlight animals’ natural behaviors for visitors, and animals are able to participate in their own health care, such as getting on a scale to be weighed or presenting a flipper for a blood sample.

A sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium floating on its back in the sea otter habitat, holding and chewing on a s-shaped curved enrichment toy.

Curious to know more?

Learn more about the care we provide in these stories.

Nurturing wellbeing

Animal enrichment & training

Just like humans, animals do best when they have opportunities to explore, learn, make choices and experience new things.

Enrichment and training at the Aquarium
Opening August 29

Ocean Pavilion

Get your tickets today to experience our new Ocean Pavilion expansion!

Website maintenance

Please note: Our ticketing and membership systems will be offline for approximately two hours starting at 10pm Pacific on Wednesday, July 10. During the maintenance window, online ticketing and membership will not be available.

Thank you for understanding.

Support the Seattle Aquarium

Two sea otters at the Seattle Aquarium floating on the water in their habitat, holding onto each other demonstrating a rafting behavior.

With your help, the Seattle Aquarium builds connections with our community to inspire conservation and curiosity for marine life. When you make an end-of-year gift by December 31, you'll be joining us in protecting our shared marine environment—now and for generations to come. Thank you!

An adult sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium looking upwards with its front paws resting on its front.

Giving Tuesday

Make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit Seattle Aquarium

Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 thanks to a very generous anonymous donor!

Sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium laying on its back, raising its head and front paws.

Cyber weekend

Get 15% OFF all memberships!