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Author: Rosemary Ponnekanti

Sep 14, 2022

Need to get out in nature? Get up close to animals? And eat great food? We have the answer: a Northwest Trek day trip. Combine a morning or afternoon visit to the wildlife park with a half-day hike, picnic and local dinner outside, and you’ve got the makings of an awesome family day or romantic date. Keep reading to build your perfect itinerary. Step 1: Animals up close You can spend a morning or afternoon at Northwest Trek, getting up-close to grizzlies, bald eagles, cougar and more. There’s plenty of guaranteed parking. Wander the paved paths and learn all about …

Jun 15, 2022

It’s a cool, wet spring morning at Northwest Trek, and keeper Wendi is cleaning out the fisher habitat. She scoops some poop, then bends down intently. “Aha!” she exclaims, and reaches out a gloved hand. It’s a banana slug, long, mottled and yellow – and Wendi scoops it up in all its slimy glory. Slug Fest is coming, and Northwest Trek is getting ready. Slug Hunting “Fifty to sixty degrees and raining, that’s prime slug hunting time,” explains Wendi. One of the Wetlands keepers, she’s taking part in the staff’s Longest Slug Contest for the ever-popular annual Slug Fest event, …

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 …

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 …

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 …