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Northwest Trek News
Jul 14, 2021

“I love working here. It’s a unique place, and I love the challenges that come with it.” – Dave, assistant curator and Free-Roaming Area keeper, Northwest Trek 8am Dave 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 …

Jul 08, 2021

“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, Forest+Wetlands keeper, Northwest Trek 7:30am Wendi 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 Wendi, that’s all part of the job. As one of the keepers in the Forest/Wetlands habitat, she cares for otters, beavers, badgers, wolverines, …

Jul 05, 2021

At Northwest Trek, fall is a magical time. A palette of bronze sweeps the hillsides. Golden light streams through the trees. Dust rises from bison, rolling and sparring. And through the forest comes an eerie, haunting whistle – the sound of elk bugling. The rut – mating season – runs September-October. Out in the Free Roaming Area, male elk, bison and bighorn sheep vie for dominance and select their mates. The perfect way to experience this magic up close? An Elk Bugling Tour. This year, we get you off-road and up to the action in the keeper Jeep, with just …

Jul 02, 2021

“The reason I love it here is because we care for native wildlife. If you go hiking in the Northwest, you’ll never see a lion or zebra, but you might see elk or black bear. Teaching people how to live conflict-free with wildlife – that’s what’s so cool about this job.” – Haley, carnivore keeper, Northwest Trek 10:30am Haley’s hot and sweaty. She’s been whacking weeds in the wolf habitat for two and a half hours, and now it’s time to clean out grizzly bear dens. “We wear many hats,” she says with a small smile, of herself, fellow keeper …

Jun 29, 2021

Focusing intently, Jessica stares into the swirling depths of a big black water tank. Summer sun reflects off the surface, air bubbles stir up the mid-layer and the bottom is in deep shadow. On first glance it’s nearly impossible to see that the tank contains over 100 plump, wriggling tadpoles. But Jessica – an animal keeper at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park – suddenly dives her bare arm into the water with a small net scoop. “There you are!” she says, pleased, and gently deposits one tadpole into a shallow net pen floating at the surface. It’s vet check-up time for …

Jun 28, 2021

Summer’s here – that means sun, splashing and celebrating Independence Day. Over at Northwest Trek’s Eagle Passage, though, we’re thinking about eagle feathers. From grooming to shedding to collecting and honoring, the feathers of America’s iconic symbol are important to all of us – and are helping give the two-year-old habitat a new summer look, too. Cheveyo’s Pool Well, it’s not her pool exclusively, of course. But the brand-new bathing pool in Eagle Passage is on Cheveyo’s side of the walkway by design, giving the one-winged eagle “warrior” (the meaning of her name, in Hopi) first dibs on splashing, bathing …

Jun 07, 2021

Northwest Trek’s springtime baby animal boom is on! A mountain goat kid, three elk calves and three bighorn sheep lambs were all born in May at the wildlife park and can be spotted in the 435-acre Free-Roaming Area. More animal births are still expected as well. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the mountain goat kid was born to 3-year-old mom, Bailey. Zoological Curator Marc Heinzman said keepers are closely monitoring the new family. “Keepers have seen the kid nursing and spending time moving around with its mother Bailey,” said Heinzman. “The pair is spending a lot of their time up …

May 21, 2021

Working as a horticulturist at a wildlife park comes with all kinds of job duties, some a little more unusual than others. Northwest Trek’s lead horticulturist Jake Pool plants hundreds of trees a year inside the park, monitors the health of all the trees for the safety of the animals and guests, and helps design animal habitats (like using a fallen tree and turning it into a climbing log for the raccoons). And, sometimes he picks plants for the park’s porcupine. Recently, Pool collected a variety of plants and flowers from the park’s grounds for Thistle the porcupine. Pool found …

May 11, 2021

Seattle-Tacoma represent! More than 550 observers took part in this year’s City Nature Challenge spanning King and Pierce counties, including Everett, Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Snohomish and any place in between! Between April 30 and May 3, community scientists submitted more than 7,000 nature observations and identified more than 1,200 species showing the world the incredible biodiversity in the region’s home turf. That’s the region’s all-time record! “This year we had more observers participate, more observations made and more species identified in the Seattle-Tacoma area than we have since our region joined City Nature Challenge in 2017! We’ve also heard from participants that …

May 10, 2021

“It’s your turn tomorrow!” Northwest Trek head veterinarian Dr. Allison Case yelled to Hawthorn the grizzly bear. Hawthorn, out in his habitat, was peeking inside his den, curiously watching as keepers and veterinary staff circled around his buddy Huckleberry, who was laying anesthetized on the den floor ready for his wellness exam. There were only a few more nudges at the den door before Hawthorne was distracted by a tub filled with food and a big, berry-flavored popsicle left just for him. “I’m going to need a few people to help me move Huckleberry!” called out Dr. Case. Instead of …