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Northwest Trek News
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 …

Oct 21, 2019

With the grace of a ballerina and the timing of an opera diva, Carly the cougar pads into her den. Behind the scenes at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, the den has a mesh wall with a waist-high perch on one side, where keeper Haley Withers is waiting patiently outside with some meatballs. “Come on, girl,” she calls softly. Carly pauses. Looks the scene over. Then in one swift movement she’s up on the perch, positioning her tail near a small horizontal opening. It’s cougar-training time. Trust me – just hold still “To train any animal, you need their trust,” says …

Oct 15, 2019

For Veterinary Technician Week 2019, we’re not just celebrating our wonderful vet techs – we’re introducing them! Vet techs assist veterinarians in every aspect of animal health care and they care deeply about our animals, often in very practical ways. We couldn’t care for our animals without them. Meet Tracy Cramer, our new full-time clinical veterinary technician at Northwest Trek. Why did you become a veterinary technician? I’ve always loved animals. I grew up with a lot of pets, everything from tarantulas to horses. We lived in rural Michigan, with woods behind our house. My friends and I would spend …

Oct 09, 2019

Examining three mountain goat kids in a row? That’s all in a day’s work for a wildlife park that’s looking after 10 goat kids until they go to their new homes. “All right,” said Dr. Allison Case, Northwest Trek veterinarian, checking off her notes. “We’ve done weight, we’ve done blood samples, fecal samples, dewormer, fly spray, vaccinations, hoof trim, antibiotic. We just have the rest of the physical and we’re done.” The goat kid with the yellow ear tag sleeping peacefully under anesthetic was just the first of three to have exams that day in the Northwest Trek veterinary clinic, …

Oct 01, 2019

Rubber boas usually don’t get a lot of attention. In the wild, this Western American snake stays out of the spotlight, active at night and burrowing during the day. Their smooth, light brown skin blends perfectly with the forest floor. But at Northwest Trek this month, the rubber boa in the Cheney Discovery Center was the center of some extraordinary care – and affection – from veterinary staff and keepers alike. “All right, girl,” murmured keeper Wendi Mello, crouching at the back of the rubber boa habitat and gently reaching inside. At her touch, the snake instantly started to curl …

Aug 27, 2019

It couldn’t fly, but it had all the tiny, angular cuteness you could possibly want. In a small meshed container in the Northwest Trek veterinary clinic, a little brown bat hung in folds of soft pink cloth, sleepily chomping a mealworm and getting ready to be an ambassador – a new lease on life, thanks to Northwest Trek staff. “One of our keepers found him on the floor of the exit breezeway,” explained keeper Wendi Mello, gently lifting the sleepy bat out of its temporary house. “It was injured and couldn’t fly, but we knew we could help.” Keepers brought …

Aug 19, 2019

For Bailey and Fairchild, the morning started like any other. Northwest Trek keeper Dave Meadows drove up, unloaded buckets of food from the truck and divided it into piles on the road in the Free-Roaming Area. The two mountain goat kids, now just over one year old, ambled up from the lakeside with Klahhane, Elwha and Rocky, and began munching. But today was going to be very different for the two female goats, who came to the wildlife park last summer as part of a multiagency effort translocating mountain goats to the Cascades (where they are native) from the Olympic …

Aug 13, 2019

It’s something you don’t realize about bald eagles until you’re two feet away from one: just how big they really are. It was a Thursday afternoon at Northwest Trek, and the veterinary clinic had a very special patient. Sequoia, a recently-arrived bald eagle, was getting a wellness exam in preparation for joining her fellow eagles Salish and Sucia in the new Eagle Passage exhibit. Sequoia was already under anesthetic, and keeper Wendi Mello carried her into the clinic, cradled like a child in gauntleted arms. Rescued from the wild with a shoulder injury that prevents her from fully flying, Sequoia …

Aug 13, 2019

In the raccoon habitat at Northwest Trek, McKenna and McChord are snuggled together, gently licking and nibbling each other’s gray-white fur. The pace is calm, the grooming serene. You would never know that one of these raccoons had cancer – and that well-being is exactly what their keepers and veterinarians are striving for. McKenna, the eight-year-old female of the duo, has bladder cancer, but thanks to the very best of therapies and ongoing care, she’s as content as she can be, hanging out with the animal she’s closest to. “We first noticed her straining, with some blood in her urine, …

Jul 25, 2019

As Jake Pool scoops up a log for the new Eagle Passage habitat at Northwest Trek, he does it with more care than you’d usually use with a bulldozer. This is precious cargo – in many ways. First, it’s a centuries-old trunk, hand-picked in the Free-Roaming Area from where it was cast aside by loggers long ago. It has survived a fire, and now nurses dozens of tiny seedlings and ferns. But most importantly, it’s going to become, along with other logs, a ramp for rescued bald eagles – part of an exhibit designed to make a sustainable home for …