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Holly Reed Memoriam

Dr. Holly Reed, long time veterinarian at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, will be missed ...

Our beloved friend and colleague, Dr. Holly Reed passed away at home surrounded by family on November 17, 2012 after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. Many will be surprised to hear of her passing, as Holly preferred to focus on family, friends, and her great love of zoo medicine rather than her herself.

Receiving her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of California-Davis, Dr. Holly Reed joined the staff of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in 1995 after five years as staff veterinarian at Paramount's Kings Island Wild Animal Habitat in Ohio. She served as the veterinary advisor for the red wolf and polar bear SSPs and volunteered her expertise to other regional facilities, including Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Seattle Aquarium and Woodland Park Zoo. Holly’s commitment to animal care took her around the world. Most notable were her veterinary contributions to Polar Bear International, the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Project in Papua New Guinea, and Asian elephant conservation in Sumatra.

Holly will be most remembered for her incredible kindness and selfless nature, her deep compassion for people and animals alike, and her passion for zoo medicine. She has served as a mentor, inspiration, and dear friend to many in the zoo vet community. Always an optimist who saw the best life had to offer, Holly smiled to the very end. Her last words to a colleague were "I love you all”. We love you too Holly. You will be with us always.

Holly is survived by her son, Carson, and her husband, Dr. Jim Reed.

Donations in Holly’s name can be made to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Fund (

Allison L. Case, DVM
Staff Veterinarian
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium


Karen Wolf, MS, DVM, Dipl. ACZM | Head Veterinarian
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium | Metro Parks Tacoma



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Yulee, FL 32097 USA

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