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Northwest Trek News
Jun 09, 2022

American badger sisters Poppy and Lavender recently had annual wellness exams with Northwest Trek’s animal care and veterinary team. Both sisters had their eyes checked, nails trimmed, X-rays taken, and received routine vaccinations. They also contributed to critical scientific research. During the exam, the veterinary team gathered a small tissue sample- a 4-millimeter biopsy- from the left ear of each sister. “This tissue will allow researchers to study the evolutionary history of badgers,” explained veterinary technician Tracy. Researchers are interested in studying the adaptations that lead to the badger’s underground and burrowing lifestyle. They reached out to Association of Zoos …

May 20, 2022

Both the black bears and grizzly bears are well-awake from their winter naps and energetic in their habitats at Northwest Trek. The grizzly “brothers” are playful and can often be seen splashing in their 7-foot deep pool, wrestling one another, head-butting and searching for hidden treats keepers have left them. The black bears next door can also be seen walking or running through their habitat and playing with enrichment from the keepers. It’s an exciting time of year for both the bears and the visitors who get to see them! But, seeing bears in the wild, while exciting, requires you …

May 12, 2022

Down a peaceful side trail at Northwest Trek, just past the zipline, a tiny door is just visible in the grass. No, you’re not imagining things. It’s a fairy house, and there are at least a dozen more dotted along the same trail – just keep your eyes open. “I was inspired by a ‘gnome trail’ I hiked with my family,” says Rick Dietz, Northwest Trek’s Deputy Director. “I thought it would be a fun way to add some excitement to our trails and encourage people to explore them more.” Fairy Fun And the Trek Fairy Trail does make for …

May 04, 2022

How do you vaccinate a wolverine or draw blood from a grizzly bear? It takes dedication, teamwork, patience – and a lot of trust. Northwest Trek keepers train many of the animals daily to voluntarily participate in their own healthcare — holding still to receive medical injections or X-rays, presenting paws for blood draws, allowing eye drops. The list goes on. And, most importantly, it’s all collaborative. “If they don’t want to participate, they don’t have to,” explained keeper Wendi, who has cared for animals at the wildlife park for 21 years. “It’s all positive reinforcement training. We must earn …

Apr 29, 2022

The Cheney Discovery Center reopens May 3 at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and will be open daily from 11am-4pm. The recently remodeled building invites guests of all ages to discover a tiny world of reptiles and amphibians like a gopher snake, northern leopard frogs, rough-skinned newts and more. “There are new species and animals to meet and new educational puzzles and games to play,” said Education Curator Craig Standridge. “We are delighted to welcome guests back into this world of wonder to learn more about the smaller creatures of the Pacific Northwest.” NORTHERN LEOPARD FROGS New in the Cheney Discovery …

Apr 29, 2022

Wolverines are tough survivors. They are exposed to harsh, frozen Northwest mountain winters. They are agile climbers, strong diggers, and aren’t afraid of anything. At Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Ahma the wolverine has proved to be all those things and more in her 15 years of life. She is the second oldest wolverine in human care in the United States. And over the past few weeks, she has faced her biggest challenge yet: having surgery to remove both of her eyes after her animal care team noticed a significant change in her eye color and was diagnosed with a lens …

Apr 29, 2022

Go beyond the typical Mother’s Day gifts and give mom a memorable experience she can enjoy with the whole family this year. Get up close to a moose, groom a goat or touch a jellyfish! She won’t soon forget these amazing  experiences at Northwest Trek and our sister zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! 1. Go on a Wild Drive Uh-oh! There’s a traffic jam… a herd of bison are in the road! This Wild Drive is bound to be much more exciting than rush hour on I-5. Take your own personal vehicle on the paved roads through Northwest Trek’s peaceful 435-acre …

Apr 28, 2022

If Dr. Karen Wolf needs another skilled set of hands for a polar bear procedure, she knows who to call. And if Dr. Allison Case has a beaver or owl that needs attention while she’s out of town, she has a second clinic just a van-trip away. The two women are head veterinarians of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, respectively – and these sister zoos have veterinary teams with a long tradition of helping each other. “People don’t realize there’s this crossover,” explains Dr. Wolf of the unique veterinary partnership. “I have absolute confidence that …

Apr 25, 2022

Our Free-Roaming Area is a 435-acre Northwest paradise for herds of Roosevelt elk, bison, moose, caribou, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer and swan. In addition to the elegant trumpeter swans—the largest extant species of waterfowl, there is a varied and wide-ranging number of waterfowl species that—for at least part of the year—call the ponds and lakes at Northwest Trek their home. The Green-winged Teal is North America’s smallest dabbling duck. What is a dabbling duck you may wonder? A dabbling duck is a type of shallow water duck that feeds primarily along the surface of the water or by tipping …

Apr 20, 2022

It’s spring cleaning season at Northwest Trek and our maintenance staff recently used their big lift to retrieve small tree limbs that had fallen on top of the netting of Eagle Passage, while pressure washing around the area, too. So our animal care and veterinary teams took advantage of the opportunity to give annual health exams to bald eagles Sequoia, Sucia, Salish and Cheveyo. All four rescued birds traveled to the onsite veterinary clinic where they got a massive “hug” from Keeper Wendi. Because it was not necessary to anesthetize the bald eagles during these exams, animal care and veterinary …