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Author: Tessa LaVergne

Mar 19, 2021

Northwest Trek will be open daily for spring breaks and there will be plenty to see and do! Both wild animals and the animals at Northwest Trek become much more active in spring as it warms up and plants grow and natural food sources become more abundant. Active Bears The black bears at Northwest Trek are slowly waking up from torpor, a state in which a bear’s body temperature, respiratory rate and metabolic rates all decrease to conserve energy. The bears had little activity outside of their dens over the last few months, including eating. The grizzly bears went into …

Feb 26, 2021

Bobcats Tanner, 8, and Tahoma, 4, are getting along so well, they are now able to share the bobcat habitat at Northwest Trek together! Tahoma arrived at Northwest Trek in 2020, after being raised illegally as a pet. Since his arrival, keepers have slowly introduced the two cats to each other, first just visually through a fence before eventually allowing them to be together. “We wanted to give Tahoma time to adjust to his new surroundings before introducing him to Tanner,” said keeper Haley Withers. “When they did meet, Tanner climbed up into a tree while Tahoma stayed on ground …

Jan 27, 2021

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 26, 2021

EATONVILLE, Wash.—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 …

Jan 25, 2021

Will the wolves be howling at the moon? If you look to the sky on Jan. 28, you will see the first full moon of 2021. The full moon in January is traditionally known as the “Full Wolf Moon.” According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the names for full moons come from a number of places, including Native American groups, colonial Americans or other traditional North American names passed down through generations. The name of the January moon is derived from wolves, which tend to howl more often in the winter months. It was thought the wolves howled due to …

Dec 16, 2020

A rainy and cold December morning couldn’t stop dedicated volunteers from planting trees at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Recently, 10 employees from Columbia Bank volunteered to help the park’s horticulturist plant 260 native trees around the parking lots. Dressed in rain coats, hats and boots, the volunteers stood in a socially-distanced circle and listened as horticulturist Jake Pool explained the process of planting and why it’s so important to have new trees in the park. “In the 13 years I’ve worked at Northwest Trek, this is by far the worst year I’ve seen for tree loss,” said Pool. “Just this …

Dec 16, 2020

Reindeer tend to steal the spotlight in December, but this year it’s their close relative, the caribou, that are turning heads at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. For the first time ever, the caribou are staying out in the park’s 435-acre Free-Roaming Area during the fall and winter months. In past years, the caribou were separated from the other animals in their own 15-acre forested enclosure during the fall and winter. “That’s the time of year when rut, also known as breeding season, can cause the larger and stronger elk to be more aggressive,” said Keeper Dave Meadows. “So we’d move …

Dec 03, 2020

A poem about birds next to a snowy owl habitat? A tree poem planted in a forest? That’s Poetry in the Park at Northwest Trek! This December, guests can wander around the wildlife park to find poetry signs right next to native Northwest animals and plants in a partnership with Tahoma Audubon Society, who installs Poetry in the Park elsewhere in Tacoma during the year. The park is also filled with festive decorations like evergreen gnomes, white pumpkin “snowmen”, giant snowflakes on trees and a trail of animal cutouts showing just how animals (and us) need trees to live, year-round. …

Nov 23, 2020

Just as humans get excited for a full plate of food- so do animals. Some of Northwest Trek’s woodlands and wetland animals were recently given their own Thanksgiving feast. Their dinner plate: a cornucopia. Skunk Skunks are omnivores and eat a variety of foods seasonally, including vegetable material and up to their weight in insects every week. For Milton the skunk’s feast, keeper Wendi Mello gave him a mixture of blueberries, pears, yams, omnivore and insectivore chow and a handful of mealworms. Mealworms are his favorite food, said Mello. She added that Milton also likes cranberries (how festive!) and eats …

Nov 19, 2020

The black bears at Northwest Trek are slowing down and getting ready for their winter naps, also known as torpor. During torpor, a bear’s body temperature, respiratory rate and metabolic rates all decrease to conserve energy. The bears can maintain this low-energy sleeping state for days, weeks or even months without having much activity outside of their den, including eating and going to the bathroom. Northwest Trek’s black bears, Benton and Fern, typically go into torpor from November until February or March. They do have periods of activity during the winter months, where they will eat, defecate/urinate and remake their …