Washington state is known for its natural beauty, large mountain ranges, the Puget Sound, and so much more. Sometimes it can be easy to forget just how unique the Pacific Northwest really is. Or just how unique it can get when rare animals make an experience. Here are some of the rarest animals that have been spotted in Washington State.


Yes, Hugh Jackman was caught running on all fours through Washington state! We kid, but a real wolverine was spotted in Pacific County during May 2020. That might not seem super cool but there are about 50 in Washington state and 300 in total in the lower 48. Not to mention, this sighting was the only time a wolverine has been seen in the Olympics. Truly wild!

Snowy Owl

A snowy owl got lost while delivering letters to future Hogwarts students and ended up roosting on a roof in Queen Anne in November/December 2020. It’s definitely a different environment than the arctic tundra that this stunning feathered creature normally resides in. As you might have guessed, a super rare sighting. But it did bring joy to many Seattleites and the homeowner whose roof it chose to hang out on.

Killer Whale

You might be scratching your head at this one because aren’t killer whales seen all the time in Washington? Yes, we are lucky to have a large concentration of the majestic sea creature but they are definitely endangered. Their overall population has been in decline since 1995 and as of July 2015, there were only 81 whales. However this year, a brand new and very cute baby whale was welcomed to the state’s waters.

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Black Bear

If you’ve lived in Seattle awhile you might remember May 2009 when a black bear was spotted running down Ballard Avenue. Now seeing bears in the city isn’t unheard of but it’s not every day that they run down a main drag. To make matters more intense, the bear evaded capture entirely. If he’s still kicking, we wish him well.

Grizzly Bear

You might assume that Washington just has all sorts of bears. Sadly Grizzly Bears are an endangered species in Washington. Now in good news, the first female grizzly bear in Washington was captured, collared, and released earlier this summer in July. To make matters a little bit sweeter she also had three cubs with her that were also relocated to Metaline Falls.

Pacific Snake-Eel

Not exactly a looker, this eel is known for living in the waters off Peru and as far north as California. Obviously, Washington is neither of those places and to make matters weirder, the eel was discovered buried in the sand in Long Beach. Maybe it wanted a taste of air? Nope, these bad boys normally live in 25-500 feet of water. Seems… fishy… Luckily the eel was still alive when it was found and was rehabbed.

Are you surprised? Do you feel lucky to have seen one or two of these creatures in the wild? Well, either way, it never hurts to keep your eyes peeled because you really never know just what creatures you’ll see.