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Northwest Trek News
Aug 19, 2019

For Bailey and Fairchild, the morning started like any other. Northwest Trek keeper Dave Meadows drove up, unloaded buckets of food from the truck and divided it into piles on the road in the Free-Roaming Area. The two mountain goat kids, now just over one year old, ambled up from the lakeside with Klahhane, Elwha and Rocky, and began munching. But today was going to be very different for the two female goats, who came to the wildlife park last summer as part of a multiagency effort translocating mountain goats to the Cascades (where they are native) from the Olympic …

Aug 13, 2019

It’s something you don’t realize about bald eagles until you’re two feet away from one: just how big they really are. It was a Thursday afternoon at Northwest Trek, and the veterinary clinic had a very special patient. Sequoia, a recently-arrived bald eagle, was getting a wellness exam in preparation for joining her fellow eagles Salish and Sucia in the new Eagle Passage exhibit. Sequoia was already under anesthetic, and keeper Wendi Mello carried her into the clinic, cradled like a child in gauntleted arms. Rescued from the wild with a shoulder injury that prevents her from fully flying, Sequoia …

Aug 13, 2019

In the raccoon habitat at Northwest Trek, McKenna and McChord are snuggled together, gently licking and nibbling each other’s gray-white fur. The pace is calm, the grooming serene. You would never know that one of these raccoons had cancer – and that well-being is exactly what their keepers and veterinarians are striving for. McKenna, the eight-year-old female of the duo, has bladder cancer, but thanks to the very best of therapies and ongoing care, she’s as content as she can be, hanging out with the animal she’s closest to. “We first noticed her straining, with some blood in her urine, …

Jul 31, 2019

Q: What does it take to move bald eagles into a new home? A: An expert keeper and animal care team – and plenty of patience. It was the week of the Eagle Passage Grand Opening, and two of Northwest Trek’s new bald eagles were ready to move in. Quiet, please Early one morning, before the park filled with guests and noise, veterinarian Dr. Allison Case gathered with curator Marc Heinzman, keepers Wendi Mello and Miranda Mauck and a team of keepers and interns. All were ready to gather up the eagle pair from where they had been living behind …

Jul 31, 2019

Hard to believe, but it’s been a year exactly since our two grizzly cubs arrived as rescued orphans. Now well over a year old, Huckleberry and Hawthorne are much bigger, much stronger but just as lovable. The bear equivalent to teenagers, they are looking a lot more like adults, but still love to play like cubs. Our keepers are celebrating with a special enrichment at 1pm Saturday Aug. 3: yummy watermelon cake for both bears. We decided to honor the moment with a side-by-side comparison of our cubs, then and now. WEIGHT Then: Hawthorne weighed 90 lb, Huckleberry 80 lb. …

Jul 25, 2019

As Jake Pool scoops up a log for the new Eagle Passage habitat at Northwest Trek, he does it with more care than you’d usually use with a bulldozer. This is precious cargo – in many ways. First, it’s a centuries-old trunk, hand-picked in the Free-Roaming Area from where it was cast aside by loggers long ago. It has survived a fire, and now nurses dozens of tiny seedlings and ferns. But most importantly, it’s going to become, along with other logs, a ramp for rescued bald eagles – part of an exhibit designed to make a sustainable home for …

Jul 17, 2019

“I love working here. It’s a unique place, and I love the challenges that come with it.” – Dave Meadows, Free-Roaming Area keeper, Northwest Trek 8am Dave Meadows swings into the keeper truck with the ease of someone who’s been doing it for 25 years. As he pulls slowly through the gate into the Free-Roaming Area, he’s already on duty. Alert eyes scan the road ahead and forest to either side. It’s something he’ll be doing constantly over the next two hours, whether he’s driving around the 435-acre habitat, pulling out feed buckets or taking radio calls from fellow keepers. …

Jul 11, 2019

They’re smart, strong and full of personality – and they’re back at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Brother-and-sister wolverines Rainier and Ahma, both born at Northwest Trek, have returned home, and they will make their official public debut July 13-14 in a newly renovated, 10,800-square-foot habitat. You can meet their keepers at Keeper Chats 11:30am and 1:30pm Saturday July 13 and Sunday July 14 They’ll be visible at different times as they get used to their new home – come back later if you don’t see them at first. They have plenty of trees, boulders and logs to climb and explore, …

Jul 10, 2019

You could see 500 bats – or you could see three. Either way, every one of the 49 Northwest Trek staff, interns and volunteers that gathered for the twilight Bat Counts on June 28 and July 5 was vital. Armed with data sheets, click counters and plenty of comfy chairs, the bat counters were helping the wildlife park study its native population of bats – a study that in turn is crucial to helping scientists better understand and protect these tiny mammals. Plus, it’s becoming a Trek tradition. Bat Spotting “Is that –?!” “No, it’s a bird.” I slumped back …

Jul 08, 2019

“People think that being a zookeeper is just playing with animals all day long. Actually, it’s caring for them and making their lives meaningful. And getting visitors to connect with them. That’s amazing to do.” – Wendi Mello, Wetlands keeper, Northwest Trek 7:30am Wendi Mello arrives at Northwest Trek for the early shift. On this mid-summer morning it’s a fine time to be working outside in a forest, but in winter it’s dark, cold and frequently icy. But for Mello, that’s all part of the job. As one of the keepers in the Forest/Wetlands habitat, she cares for otters, beavers, …