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Author: Rosemary Ponnekanti

Apr 08, 2020

We may be closed due to recent restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), but our keepers and veterinary team are still at Northwest Trek every day caring for our animals. From enrichments to treats, check-ups to antler rubs, here’s how we’re #closedbutstillcaring. Here’s the video: And the gallery: Click on any image to start the slideshow. Mouse over to see captions (desktop).

Feb 19, 2020

As any dog-owner knows, canine animals explore with their mouths. They lick. They chew things they shouldn’t. And sometimes, they eat things they shouldn’t. But it was still a surprise when Northwest Trek veterinary staff discovered that Darci the gray wolf had accidentally swallowed a rock. What was amazing was how it came out – and how Darci helped them every step of the way. X-rays and Crates “Hi, Darci, you’re okay. There’s a good girl,” called keeper Haley Withers, peeking through the window of a large metal crate in the back of a van. A black nose appeared at …

Jan 31, 2020

Our raccoon McChord has chosen the outcome of this weekend’s Super Bowl! There were two bags set out in his exhibit, each filled equally with some of his favorite foods: eggs, carrots, apples and sweet potato. At first, we thought he’d chosen the 49ers…. but he tackled them to the ground and the Chiefs ran away with the win! ​

Jan 13, 2020

Zoo attendance records smashed They came in waves, breaking records for the second year running to experience the wonders of the state-of-the-art Pacific Seas Aquarium in its first full year of operation at sister zoo Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Visitors by the thousands came to meet sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and more in the new aquarium and to celebrate the births of animals, including eight endangered red wolf pups and an endangered Malayan tapir calf. Last year, 825,937 guests walked through the turnstiles, the largest total in Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s 114-year history. “We’re delighted that …

Dec 19, 2019

What would you ask Santa for these holidays if you were a moose? Or a bald eagle? Of course we can’t know what our animals are thinking, and we do give them plenty of holiday enrichment treats at Winter Wildland. But we can definitely make some fun guesses based on what they enjoy doing or eating! Here’s a Northwest Trek wish-list for Santa from some of our animals. Let’s hope the guy in the red suit comes through… Moose Dear Santa, The holidays are here, and apparently you give gifts on request. Well, here is my request: Peace and quiet. …

Dec 19, 2019

  For 10-year-old Maya, it was a story come to life. The tall, quiet girl with long brown hair had always loved birds – especially owls – reading many books about them. Now, on a cold December morning, she was standing with her classmates of Arlington Elementary School in front of two real live snowy owls at Northwest Trek. One swiveled his head 180 degrees, and Maya gasped with delight. It was the Wildlife Champions field trip to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and for many of them – including Maya – it was their very first time seeing animals like …

Dec 03, 2019

Running over snow. Digging through frost. While other animals (like us!) might prefer to sleep inside during winter, wolverines are made for the cold – and our wolverines Rainier and Ahma are no exception. “Wolverines are made for winter conditions,” says keeper Miranda Mauck. “They have fur that sheds frost and massive paws for walking on snow. I can’t wait to see our two when it snows!” Wolverines naturally live in mountainous areas, like the North Cascades. With a scientific name of “gulo gulo” (“gluttonous glutton,”) they’ll eat anything and fight anything – especially in winter. Their powerful jaws and …

Dec 03, 2019

On a misty fall morning at Northwest Trek, Cheveyo cocks her white feathered head and eyes a pile of meat. Gold feet spread wide for balance, she stretches one glorious wing. On her other shoulder is a small feathered nub. Then she hops down and grabs the food in swift, fierce bites. One of four rescued bald eagles to find homes in the new Eagle Passage exhibit, Cheveyo is the only one who simply cannot fly. But as her Hopi name describes, she’s still very much a spirit warrior. Injured, survived, rescued “Cheveyo was rescued in New York state with …

Nov 15, 2019

It was a glorious day to be a fisher. In the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, just south of Randle, Washington, fall leaves crackled underfoot and the November air was crisp. As a crowd of humans watched in hushed silence, the door lifted on a crate – and the first of four new Cascades fishers darted out into the ferns. The latest chapter in the recovery of a species was being told. “We are here today as partners in bringing fishers back to Washington,” explained Jeff Lewis, conservation biologist for the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. “Individually, as a species, …

Nov 04, 2019

Taking a one-year-old for his physical check-up is not usually that difficult – unless, of course, he happens to be a 450-pound grizzly cub. Last week, Northwest Trek veterinarian Dr. Allison Case had not one but two enormous grizzlies to examine – so naturally enough, she made a house call. On Thursday morning it was Hawthorne’s turn. Huckleberry had had his check-up on Wednesday, and all went well. Now, he was out in the bears’ forested habitat, intently chewing an elk hide treat, while Hawthorne lay peacefully on a cot bed in their sleeping area, anesthetized for the exam. “We’re …