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Northwest Trek News
Dec 20, 2021

What a year this has been! Northwest Trek Wildlife Park won top honors in Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ 2021 Exhibit Award for Eagle Passage, head-started and released hundreds of endangered northern leopard frogs back into the wild, welcomed a new moose calf and celebrated the birth of a mountain goat kid, among so many other moments. Thanks for being here on this journey with us. Enjoy our best photos of 2021, taken by staff photographer Katie Cotterill. Northwest Trek won a national award for the Eagle Passage exhibit. Northwest Trek welcomed a five-month-old moose calf named Birch to the …

Dec 06, 2021

Just in time to burn off some of that winter break energy, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is opening daily for a week at the end of December (Dec. 26-Jan. 2) for the return of “Winter Wildland.” Guests to the wildlife park are invited to watch in delight as animals play with holiday-themed treats and enrichments. Guests can walk the paved pathways laced with winter magic and decorations and see native Northwest animals like bald eagles, grizzly bears, gray wolves and river otters. For weeks, Northwest Trek staff have been busy as Santa’s elves, making festive cardboard cutouts and wrapped gifts, …

Nov 18, 2021

A moose is on the loose. Quick, look for his ears popping out from behind the ferns. A five-month-old moose calf named Birch ambled into Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s 435-acre Free-Roaming Area Wednesday and will make his public debut this weekend. Birch arrived in early November from Alaska Zoo and has been adjusting to his new Eatonville home off-exhibit. He recently met his new buddy Aspen, a 5-year-old female moose. “We’re delighted to welcome another generation of moose and provide a new companion for Aspen,” said zoological curator Marc Heinzman. Aspen will teach Birch how to be a moose here …

Nov 17, 2021

On Friday, November 5, federal, state, tribal and partner biologists released five fishers from Alberta, Canada into the lush, coastal forest near Lake Ozette, the latest event in a nearly two decades-long project to restore the native species to Washington State. Fishers- a member of the mustelid or weasel family roughly the size of a housecat that feeds on rodents, hares and even porcupines- were extirpated from Washington by the 1930s due to over-trapping, poisoning and fragmentation of their forest habitat. This latest fisher release is part of an ongoing partnership led by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the National …

Nov 10, 2021

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is now home to a healthy, five-month-old Alaskan moose calf named Birch. He will soon join Aspen, the wildlife park’s 5-year-old resident female moose, in the 435-acre Free-Roaming Area alongside Roosevelt elk, American bison, trumpeter swans, caribou, bighorn sheep and mountain goats. “It’s exciting to welcome another generation of moose to Northwest Trek, and to provide a new companion for Aspen,” said zoological curator Marc Heinzman. “Once Birch grows into adulthood, he will be a thrilling sight for our visitors as he grows his rack of antlers each year.” Birch arrived at Northwest Trek from the Alaska …

Oct 26, 2021

You could say we’re a bit batty for bats at Northwest Trek. We appreciate what bats offer our ecosystems — and because of that, we work hard to protect them. Northwest Trek is home to one of the largest wild bat colonies in the South Puget Sound region. The bats roost under the eaves of many of our buildings and around the wildlife park, including in all the bat boxes we’ve put on trees. Protecting bats is important Bats keep us all healthy. Pacific Northwest bats are insectivores, consuming their own body weight in bugs every night. If we didn’t …

Oct 21, 2021

They were literally jumping up and down as soon as they got off the buses. “Animals! We’re going to see animals!” It was the first-ever field trip for Beyond the Bell, a groundbreaking new partner program offering after-school activities and childcare to Tacoma students. But Friday October 8 was a no-school data day – and so Beyond the Bell was bringing any K-5 child who signed up on a field trip to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, all day long. And every single one of the 155 students was incredibly excited. Beyond the Bell is a comprehensive program for Tacoma elementary …

Oct 20, 2021

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 17-23, and we’re celebrating our wonderful veterinary technicians with a virtual thank-you card. Keepers, curators and veterinarians all weighed in to thank our superhero vet tech Tracy Cramer, plus keeper Deanna Edwards who’s also a licensed vet tech, for all they do to care for animals and help staff: prepping for procedures, monitoring animal vitals and taking samples, working with keepers to help animals take part in their own health care, giving therapies, endless administrative support and generally being awesome. “Our veterinary technicians (also known as veterinary nurses) are invaluable. They do a tremendous …

Oct 06, 2021

Black cats, pumpkins, ghosts… skulls and skeletons. They’re all symbols of the Halloween season. We asked Northwest Trek’s Head Veterinarian, Dr. Allison Case, to give us an “inside” look at a few of the wildlife park’s animals and their not-so-spooky skeletons. Dr. Case regularly takes radiographs or X-rays of the animals to check on their health and care for them. Tolmie the Porcupine There’s a lot more under the prickly surface of a porcupine’s quills that you can see in an X-ray. “During a routine wellness exam, I’ll look at the animal’s joints, shape of the heart, liver and intestines …

Oct 05, 2021

Fat Bear Week is a celebration of success and survival, where brown bears in the Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska are matched against each other in a “march madness” style online voting competition to see who is crowned the Fat Bear Week Champion of 2021. No, it’s not fat shaming- it’s highlighting the resilience and adaptability of brown bears. Fat Bear Tuesday (Oct. 5) is when the winner is announced. While the grizzly bears at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park aren’t in the competition, we think they’re worth celebrating too. Huckleberry and Hawthorne, both 3 years old, still have …