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Author: Tessa LaVergne

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 …

Feb 22, 2022

This Black History Month, we sat down with Sunni, a zookeeper at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park who helps make the park the incredibly special place it is. We asked her about her experiences in zookeeping and what working with animals and wildlife means to her. Q: What is your favorite part of the job? A: I love working with and creating a relationship with the animals. I also enjoy creating fun and special moments with children on the Keeper Adventure Tours I lead. It’s wonderful watching them discover something new and cool and seeing their reaction to the animals. Q: …

Feb 18, 2022

The word “enrichment” is said dozens of times a day around Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. As in, “we have the enrichment ready for the otters” or “Aspen the moose really seemed to enjoy her enrichment today” or “we need to create the beavers’ enrichment this afternoon.” Providing enriching experiences is a vital part of providing high-quality animal care at Northwest Trek- but what exactly is enrichment? “Enrichment items are things like food, smells or toys that enhance the health and well-being of the animals in our care,” said Haley, animal keeper and coordinator of the Behavioral Husbandry Committee at Northwest …

Feb 10, 2022

Sequoia, a 4-year-old bald eagle at Northwest Trek, is nearing full maturity, gradually getting that signature smooth white head, dark black coat and white tail feathers. Bald eagles reach adulthood at 5 years old. Until then, their feathers go through a series of changes. Most notable: their dark brown belly and wings have specks of white and their “white bald head” is brown, unlike the iconic images of a fully-grown eagle. Sequoia’s head is a cookies-and-cream color now – a mix of brown and white feathers. Her eyes and beak are also changing, from brown to golden. Take a look …

Feb 07, 2022

The world’s best athletes are going for gold in the Olympic Games this month. But you don’t need to go to Beijing to see animals with incredible physical traits and abilities… you just need to visit Northwest Trek! SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATING Short track speed skaters can reach an average speed of 31 mph- that’s about as fast as a bobcat can run! SKI JUMPING Ski jumpers can travel over 300 feet in the air. For comparison, cougars can leap up to 40 feet horizontally (and that’s without flying off a jump!). FIGURE SKATING Wolverines have snowshoe-like paws that allow …

Feb 07, 2022

“If a big hungry moose comes to visit, you might give him a muffin to make him feel at home. If you give him a muffin, he’ll want some jam to go with it. When he’s eaten all your muffins, he’ll want to go to the store to get some more muffin mix…” You know the famous children’s book by Laura Numeroff. But… what if you give a moose a carrot? “If you give Birch a carrot, he listens really well!” explains keeper Jordan. “And chances are if you give him a carrot, he’ll want some lettuce to go with …

Jan 28, 2022

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park! There’s no concrete way to measure an animal’s love but many of the animals at Northwest Trek are coupled up, or longtime companions, and enjoy each other’s company. Of course, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples- it’s about celebrating friendship and family, too! Swans Trumpeter swans mate for life, and the current pair in Northwest Trek’s 435-acre Free-Roaming Area are no exception. Rescued with wing injuries that left them unable to fly, they are always by each other’s side, waddling or swimming …

Jan 28, 2022

Being native to the Pacific Northwest, the animals at Northwest Trek don’t seem to mind the colder winter weather. But the snowy owls at the park don’t just put up with it, they thrive in it. Tundra, a male, and Taiga, a female, embrace these cooler temperatures and it shows. “They’re more active at this time of year and we notice a big increase in their food drive,” said keeper Miranda Mauck. “Their favorite food is mice!” In the wild, snowy owls live near beaches and fields in the winter in Alaska and Canada… brrr! Now you see me, now …

Jan 12, 2022

Brrr! You can feel the chill in the air as the temperature drops. You’re likely pulling out your winter coats, if you haven’t already! Many of the animals at the wildlife park also have their winter coats ready and are well-prepared for the colder weather. Wolverines Wolverines are made for the cold- and our wolverines Rainier and Ahma are no exception. Wolverines are well-adapted for winter living, with extremely dense fur, large snowshoe-like paws that allow them to stay on top of deep snow and crampon-like claws that enable them to climb up and over steep cliffs and snow-covered peaks. …

Jan 11, 2022

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s Zoological Curator Marc Heinzman has been accepted into the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program. This national two-year program brings together twenty emerging leaders in the wildlife conversation field for intense training in developing well-rounded and successful conservation campaigns. “I’m extremely passionate about the conservation of wildlife, and this program will give me the skills and knowledge to be as effective as possible in working toward that goal,” said Heinzman. Acceptance into the program provides the opportunity to connect with other emerging conservationists from across the country and other parts of the world. Participants will work in …