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Northwest Trek News
Oct 13, 2020

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 11-17, and we’re celebrating our wonderful veterinary technicians with a virtual thank-you card. Keepers, curators and veterinarians all weighed in to thank our superhero vet tech Tracy Cramer, plus keeper Deanna Edwards who’s also a licensed vet tech, for all they do to care for animals and help staff: prepping for procedures, monitoring animal vitals and taking samples, working with keepers to help animals take part in their own health care, giving therapies, endless administrative support and generally being awesome. “Our veterinary technicians (also known as veterinary nurses) are invaluable. They do a tremendous …

Oct 02, 2020

Animals, Costumes and Fun at Point Defiance Zoo & Northwest Trek  It’s time to have some spooky fun while staying safe at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Both zoos are getting in the fall spirit, with pumpkin enrichment for animals and costumes encouraged for everyone in October! Whether you want to visit the Zoo or Northwest Trek in person or join in on the festivities online, we’re here to help you have a healthy and enjoyable Halloween. Haunted Hike When: Fri.-Sun., Oct. 16-Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park What: Let’s get …

Aug 06, 2020

It’s now a reality: Most Puget Sound-area schools are now all-online this fall. Many parents and educators are scrambling to supplement and engage students in core areas like science. Enter Online Wildlife Academy, a brand-new program launching Aug. 11 at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Using the common Zoom platform, Online Wildlife Academy offers a fun, interactive, online lesson delivering key science concepts via something most kids love: Animals. The lessons weave animal videos from Northwest Trek with real-time discussions, Q&A and facts about animal and ecosystem biology, all delivered live on Zoom by a wildlife educator at Northwest Trek. Online …

Jul 30, 2020

I had my howls all ready to go. When Northwest Trek keepers agreed I could try playing some music to our gray wolves, I was stoked. I’m primarily a writer in our marketing department – I run our websites and write blog stories, emails and more. But I’m also a classically-trained musician and have, in the last few years, developed a unique voice improvising on double bass using a looping pedal to create my own harmonies. I especially love taking this music outside, incorporating natural sounds like whalesong and birdsong. Playing music for actual wolves took this to a whole …

Jul 17, 2020

9:30am It’s pretty good when your work day starts with a furry fan club as excited as Rainier and Ahma. Keeper Alex Cruz arrives for the “late” shift at Northwest Trek’s Forest+Wetlands habitat at 9:30am. After checking email and chatting with the keepers who’ve been on shift since 7:30am, she makes her way up to two wolverines who are very keen to see her. “I’m their primary trainer right now, and usually the first person in to see them in the morning,” explains Cruz, setting two tubs of raw meat onto a barrel and picking up a pan and brush. …

Jul 16, 2020

It’s 11am, and Ed Cleveland is hoisting 50-pound bags of bear chow into a small storage shed. In a mask. On an 80-degree day. As he catches his breath, he jokes with fellow keeper Deanna Edwards, who’s restocking the keeper truck for a midday feed. Then he takes a long, assessing look at stock levels and heads back to the office to book in a major delivery. For Cleveland, a 62-year-old with a long Santa Claus beard and quiet smile, it’s just one part of being head keeper at Northwest Trek – a place he’s worked at for 36 years, …

Jul 16, 2020

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park opened on July 17, 1975. Today, the park embodies the vision of Dr. David T. “Doc” and Connie Hellyer, who donated their land to Metro Parks Tacoma in the early 1970s to preserve it as a wildlife park. If the Hellyers were alive today to walk through the park, they would see 185 animals, including eagles, bison, grizzlies and wolves enjoying the land they left behind just for them. They would also see many of the same towering trees. The Hellyers knew their lake-and-forest-studded land in the shadow of Mount Rainier was something special, and they …

Apr 17, 2020

In honor of National Volunteer Week, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park employees thank the park’s irreplaceable volunteers for their time and energy all year-round. In 2019, 190 volunteers at Northwest Trek logged a total of 9,115 hours. They volunteered in many departments, including animal care, veterinary, conservation, education, horticulture, and maintenance, as well as with the Northwest Trek Foundation Board and on special events. “We are so grateful for every single one of our volunteers who helps to make the park thrive,” said volunteer coordinator, MacKenzie Shaefer. Highlighting our volunteers Terri Terault, Animal Care Volunteer Terri Terault has volunteered at Northwest …

Mar 18, 2020

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park recently became the classroom for local middle school students. Northwest Trek’s education experts created lesson plans about the different types of enrichment the animals can receive for the students from Columbia Crest A-S.T.E.M Middle School in Ashford. Animal enrichment is an important part of animal care. It creates a more stimulating environment for the animals while encouraging natural behaviors. The keeper staff at Northwest Trek provide a variety of enrichment that challenge the animals both physically and mentally. In February, Jessica Moore, the Education Curator at Northwest Trek, visited the Columbia Crest students in their classroom. …

Feb 26, 2020

EATONVILLE, Wash.—Beep. Beep. Beep. The alarm rings, it’s time to get up. One by one, eleven young adults hop out of bed. They look out the window: another rainy day in Washington state,  something they’ve adjusted well to since they first arrived over a month ago. They are far from home, some raised in the Midwest and others on the East Coast. They slowly wake up, eat breakfast, then throw on their boots, khaki pants and grey fleece jackets and head out the door to see what the day has in store for them. They are part of the AmeriCorps …