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Northwest Trek News
Sep 08, 2021

Each weekend in October, “spooky” fall fun can be found at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. From a scavenger hunt to exploring the forest at night, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The park will be decorated with eerie spider webs, spooky glow-in-the-dark eyes and pumpkins everywhere! We encourage guests to wear their Halloween costumes any weekend of the month (we ask that adults leave their scary masks and face paint at home, please). Haunted Hike: Oct. 1-31 (Friday-Sunday), 9:30am-3pm Did you hear that? Something’s afoot at Northwest Trek. Walk our paths while you do an online scavenger hunt to …

Sep 01, 2021

Graceful arched antlers. Soft fuzzy velvet. And then – a touch of deep, blood-filled red. Welcome to the rut, that breeding season for animals like the bison, elk, caribou, bighorn sheep and deer that call our Free-Roaming Area home. If you know anything about rut, you’ll know that for Roosevelt elk and others in the deer family, it means sparring with huge antler clashes to vie for herd dominance. But there’s a less audible part of the rut that’s just as visually striking – and is essential to all that antler clashing. Losing velvet. Velvet (in animal terms) is the …

Aug 18, 2021

There’s a new bald eagle at Northwest Trek. Just outside the entry to the Eagle Passage habitat, a larger-than-life-size bird perches on a tall snag, wings spread. Like many an eagle, it stares into the distance, motionless. But this bald eagle won’t ever grow old or weaken. Cast in bronze, it immortalizes the iconic American birds that call the wildlife park home – and stands as a tribute to the human donors who made their habitat possible. “This is a project very dear to our hearts,” says Cathy Torgerson, president of the Northwest Trek Foundation which raised the $500,000 funding …

Aug 13, 2021

TACOMA/EATONVILLE– As a powerful heat wave hits the greater Tacoma area with temperatures nearing 100-degrees, keepers at both Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash. and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Wash. are finding ways to keep the animals cool. Like many kids on a hot day, the 3-year-old grizzly bears at Northwest Trek plunge, splash and wrestle in water. The bears have a 7-feet-deep pool all to themselves! “We love watching the bears enjoy their pool,” said keeper Haley Withers. “When the temperature is this high, we give them constant access to the water.” Withers also ensures …

Aug 12, 2021

Whenever Friday the 13th rolls around, even the least superstitious of us might look askance at a black cat or shiver at an owl hoot. But animal superstitions, although fun, can cause pretty bad luck for the wildlife who cross their paths. After all, we live in a world where 350,000 tourists can visit Scotland in one year just to try and spot the Loch Ness monster. If that same number of people all decided to hunt wolves or support the illegal trade in tiger parts, that would have a devastating effect on some amazing animals who are neither good …

Aug 10, 2021

OTHELLO, Wash.– Hundreds of endangered northern leopard frogs leapt back into the wild at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in Grant County last week. The releases were made possible by a partnership of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Oregon Zoo, Washington State University (WSU), and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. WDFW collected northern leopard frog eggs earlier this spring, and after months of growing at the Oregon Zoo and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, the frogs were ready for release. Once abundant throughout North America, northern leopard frogs are rapidly disappearing from their …

Aug 05, 2021

The scene was hushed with concentration. Eleven scientists and Northwest Trek staff members bent over rows of tables outside the Northwest Trek conservation center, far outside the public area at the Eatonville wildlife park. Birds chirped in the surrounding forest. But the real stars of the intense scientific focus were some 350 northern leopard frogs – most of whom were sleeping soundly under anesthetic. It was tagging and measuring day, an effort involving three different partner organizations, in careful preparation for releasing these endangered frogs back into the wild of eastern Washington. The goal? To help repopulate a vanishing species. …

Jul 27, 2021

Human athletes might be battling it out for medals at the Olympic Games in Japan this month, but here at Northwest Trek, we have our own incredible athletes to celebrate: our animals! Who can leap the furthest? Climb the highest? Who’s the fastest swimmer, the cleanest diver, the most agile? Check out our “gold medal” list for the winners – we might even have a couple of honorable mentions for effort! Climbing – Mountain goat No contest here: mountain goats are excellent climbers, hence the name. Swimming – Beaver They may not win the speed prize, but anyone who can …

Jul 22, 2021

Zookeepers and the animals they love What’s the animal you feel most deeply inside? The one you connect with, love, relate to, share traits with? For National Zookeeper Week 2021, we asked our longest-tenured keepers that very same question. Then our incredible staff photographer Katie Cotterill took portraits of both keeper AND animal, superimposing them in her camera as a double-exposure shot. The results are magic. (Curious about how she did it? Scroll to the bottom to find out.) Deanna, with Ellinor the mountain goat   Miranda, with Ahma the wolverine   Wendi, with Yakima the golden eagle   Dave, …

Jul 22, 2021

Welcome, Nettle! After a week of public voting, fans chose this plant as the name for the new mountain goat kid, born May 29 at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. The name was one of a slate of three names chosen by keepers after Northwest plants or locations, per park tradition. Nettle is a common plant found in many parts of the Free-Roaming Area, where all the park’s mountain goats live. Brinnon is a town along the eastern edge of the Olympic peninsula, while Briar is a general term for prickly, rambling shrubs. Over 900 votes came in online during the …