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Northwest Trek News
Jun 17, 2019

It’s a cool, wet spring morning at Northwest Trek, and keeper Wendi Mello 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 Mello 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 Mello. One of the Wetlands keepers, she’s the lead for collecting banana slugs for the ever-popular Tank o’ Slugs at the …

Jun 05, 2019

Dads deserve to get a bit wild every so often – and Northwest Trek is the perfect place to do it! Bring Dad out to see our bison, moose, mountain goat kids and grizzly cubs, and buy him a gift he’ll never forget. Keeper Adventure Tour Hop into the Jeep with one of our keepers and get off-road in the Free-Roaming Area to see bison, elk, mountain goats and more – all close enough to sniff! Hear stories, watch what our keepers do and take the best moose selfies ever. Tours run 10:30am and 1pm daily through Sept. 1.   …

May 29, 2019

Soar like an eagle on a zip line Our bald eagles are coming this summer to Eagle Passage, and you can swoop with the same grace and speed (well, almost) on one of our five exhilarating zip line course, from Super Kid (ages 5 and up) through Sensation (ages 18+). Book here.   Build like a beaver at Kids’ Trek Beavers are nature’s engineers, reshaping their environment to build dams and lodges. Build a fort of branches in our Kids’ Trek playground and test out your engineering skills! Then come visit our beavers in the Forest+Wetland habitat, resting, swimming or …

May 13, 2019

It’s not for the faint of heart. You have to talk to strangers, spend hours outside or even wade through cold ponds. But volunteering at Northwest Trek is infinitely rewarding – for yourself and for the planet. Richard Richard Nichols is standing beside a cart on the Bear Bridge. He’s been a volunteer at Northwest Trek for a year, and he knows exactly what to say when a family wanders along, the father looking around uncertainly. “Tram?” says Nichols, succinctly. The father nods. Nichols points down to the Discovery Tram Tour station. “That way, sir. Keep going and you’ll find …

Apr 10, 2019

Katherine Miles sits on the Northwest Trek tram, her face glued to the window. Like any other kid, she’s mesmerized by the fluffy white mountain goat kids squeezed onto a single log by the lake. But unlike a lot of other kids at the wildlife park, she’s also nestling a weighted lap pad on her lap, and her headphones aren’t channeling anything but silence. Twelve-year-old Katherine is one of the first visitors to make use of Northwest Trek’s new sensory-inclusive tools – and the difference it’s making to her Trek experience is huge. “It’s like night and day,” says mom …

Feb 11, 2019

Maybe it was the bison. Maybe it was the towering evergreens and tranquil lake. Or maybe it just felt like home. But when Mike and Amelia Sharpe first visited Northwest Trek to see if they wanted to get married there, the decision was instant. “We looked at each other and we knew,” says the couple, who not only held their wedding at Northwest Trek in July, 2017 but went back for an anniversary visit in 2018. “We didn’t look anywhere else.” Northwest Beauty A big part of it was that the wildlife park felt like home. Native Washingtonians, Mike and …

Oct 24, 2018

Experiencing a Northwest Trek Virtual Field Trip   You could almost touch the anticipation. Twenty first-graders from Tacoma’s Roosevelt Elementary waved excitedly to the face on the big screen in the front of their room – and as teacher Kaylin Gasparach toggled with the screen windows, the face waved back. It was Wendi Mello, keeper at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and as the class gasped, the owl on her arm slowly turned its head and blinked. Mello – and the owl – were taking the class on a raptor adventure full of science, learning and animals – a Northwest Trek …

Oct 15, 2018

The look on Tymbre Green’s face was irreplaceable. As she stared out into the wet green woods of the Northwest Trek gray wolf habitat, two wolves loped up and nosed around a fallen log. With swift precision, one snapped up something in her jaws and began to munch. It was a pumpkin – one that Tymbre herself had just hidden in the log with a keeper, while the wolves were safely behind the scenes. Even more impressive? It was a pumpkin that one of Tymbre’s classmates – now third-graders at the local Weyerhaeuser Elementary School in Eatonville – had planted …

Oct 15, 2018

For Veterinary Technician Week 2018, we’re not just celebrating our wonderful vet techs – we’re introducing them to you! 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 do without them. Sara Dunleavy, full-time clinical veterinary technician at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park How long have you been a vet tech – and when did you begin at Northwest Trek? Sara: I’ve been a licensed veterinary technician for 12 years – and started here six months ago. What inspired you to do this work? …

May 07, 2018

Jake Pool had a problem most gardeners wouldn’t even imagine: His baby plants were getting ripped up by wolves. Gray wolves, to be precise. Because Pool is the horticulturalist here at Northwest Trek, and he doesn’t just have the usual Northwest garden challenges of slugs and deer. He’s got bigger animals to deal with. Luckily, he also has animal keepers to help find solutions. “Keepers design enrichment to give animals opportunities to express natural behavior,” says keeper Angela Gibson, who looks after the canines, bears and big cats at Northwest Trek. “For wolves these behaviors include territorial marking, caching, tracking …