Exit133 is about Tacoma

Farewell, E.T. the Walrus

We were sad to hear of the passing of one of Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's best loved personalities - we got the sad news that E.T. the walrus passed away yesterday at the ripe old age (for a walrus) of 33.

E.T., the wondrous walrus who came to Tacoma as an orphan in 1982 and quickly became a cherished member of the community, died this afternoon at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. He did not recover from anesthesia following a two-hour surgery to drain a severely infected pharyngeal pouch.

E.T. had been ill for several weeks, and stopped eating more than two weeks ago. 

Zoo Deputy Director John Houck described E.T. as a superb ambassador for his species. He was a crowd favorite with kids and adults alike, for his winning personality, and especially his many and varied vocalizations. A YouTube video of his oratory skills went viral a couple years ago, with 2.8 million views to date. The zoo shared more of E.T.'s vocal antics in this video:

The Zoo is inviting anyone who wants to express their condolences and remembrances of E.T. to post on the zoo’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Ptdefiancezoo; to visit the zoo and write messages on a giant banner; or to send cards to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, WA 98407. If you would like to make a more substantial gesture in memory of E.T., the The Zoo Society is accepting donations to the Dr. Holly Reed Conservation Fund in his honor at www.pdza.org/donate or by calling The Zoo Society at 253-404-3651. More information about E.T. is available at www.pdza.org/ET or in the announcement of his passing.

We know more than one kid (and a few adults) for whom a visit to the zoo isn't complete without stopping by to see E.T. He will be missed, but will live on in many a story - Do you have an E.T. memory?

Do you want to help the folks at Exit133 pay our bills and keep up with of all things Tacoma? Do you want to see even more coverage? Exit133 has always been free to read and comment, and it will stay that way. However, over the years, readers have contributed to the bank account to help us keep up our coverage of goings-on around town. Contribute and this message disappears!

Support Exit133


Shirley Skeel

This guy had class. In spades. A little sad that he never saw the big wide ocean, but hopefully realized he had hundreds of friends in all of us.  Sorry to be sentimental, but if you met him, you would be too.

July 17, 2015 at 9:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 0

Paula Simon

E.T.was and always will be in my heart. He is what we want in all of our lives.To live with those we love, to be happy, joyful, smart, and giving. There will be no other than you E.T. I will miss you. Thank you my friend, For giving me the opportunity to have known you. Sincerely, Paula.

July 20, 2015 at 2:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Post A New Comment

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Potentially Related Articles