New series goes behind the scenes at our Animal Care Center

Visitors to our Ocean Pavilion will experience underwater life on the other side of the planet. They’ll witness tropical reef ecosystems that face similar challenges to our local waters and meet extraordinary creatures who represent what’s at stake if we don’t work together to regenerate a healthy ocean. 

As the Ocean Pavilion rises along our waterfront, we’re welcoming and caring for its future residents in our new state-of-the-art offsite Animal Care Center. 

Introducing Animal Care Stories

Our new series takes viewers behind the scenes to see how our dedicated animal care team is preparing for the Aquarium’s historic expansion. 

In the first three episodes, our team begins to move animals from the existing Aquarium piers to the Animal Care Center. The team shares their diligent planning efforts and their excitement about the role each animal will play in Ocean Pavilion ecosystems.




It Takes An (Aquatic) Village

At the Aquarium and the Animal Care Center, experts work together across multiple teams. 

  • Animal care team: Aquarists are specialists on the fish and invertebrate species in their care. Nimble, observant and deeply committed, they get to know Aquarium residents on an individual level by caring for them every day.
  • Veterinary team: Every animal at the Aquarium—from tiny to very large—receives attentive and compassionate medical care from our full-time veterinary team. The approximately 110 species who will call the Ocean Pavilion home will receive the same excellent standard of care as our current residents.
  • Water quality team: Our expert water quality team carefully monitors animals’ environments around the clock. They use special instrumentation to track the level of dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and other conditions in Aquarium habitats. As animals travel to the Animal Care Center, the team uses technology to monitor their trip in real time and does additional testing upon arrival for a holistic picture of water quality.

The animals we care for are individuals with their own quirks and personalities. My favorite task is feeding; you’re making that connection and providing hands-on care.

Makayla T., aquarist working at the Animal Care Center


Beyond Ocean Pavilion

Even after the Ocean Pavilion opens, the Animal Care Center will provide space for important conservation work. Its facilities will allow us to grow our species recovery programs, including our participation in the global ReShark coalition, dedicated to recovering threatened shark and ray species, and our program to restore pinto abalone in the Salish Sea. It’ll also be home to our plastic pollution research and rehabilitation efforts for stranded or injured marine animals, like Shi Shi the sea turtle. 

Rendering depicting guests viewing different animal habitats in the future Ocean Pavilion.
The Animal Care Center provides vital space to care for new animals that will live in Ocean Pavilion habitats, like those pictured above. The center also supports our broader animal care and conservation work.

Support the Seattle Aquarium

Your support connects people to the ocean in a way not otherwise possible and inspires bold action to care for animals and protect our shared marine environment.