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Northwest Trek News
Sep 06, 2019

  The San Diego Zoo, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park are partnering to provide a virtual adventure television channel in Mary Bridge Children’s hospital patient rooms. The new channel is being provided by San Diego Zoo Global as part of its children’s hospital network that airs at almost 200 facilities. This collaborative effort between children’s hospitals and zoos and aquariums has been made possible by a generous gift from noted philanthropist Denny Sanford and a grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services. San Diego Zoo Kids Channel provides family-friendly, …

Aug 29, 2019

Six heads bent over a piece of paper on the Northwest Trek path. The atmosphere was intense. “All right, team – our first mission is Bears,” said Lauren Bentson, camp director at the Tacoma Nature Center. “That’s where our clues are, and our lockbox. Do we have a name?” “El Panthero!” called out one of the group. Others nodded. “Okay,” said Bentson. “Are you excited?” “Yeah!” came the reply. For the Wildlife Biologist campers from the Nature Center, it was time for a Wild Escape. Escape Rooms without walls “Wild Escape is a new program for kids or adults to …

Aug 26, 2019

It’s that perfect time of year – summer in the Pacific Northwest. But if you’re looking for ways to cool off, look no further than Northwest Trek. Not only do we have animals that love to beat the heat (the moose swim in the lake, the grizzly cubs splash in the pool and the elk just hang out in the shade), we have plenty of tips for humans too! Here are seven ways you can cool off this summer at Northwest Trek. 1. Feel the breeze on our Keeper Adventure Tour Jeep Our Keeper Adventure Tours get you off road …

Jul 17, 2019

“I love working here. It’s a unique place, and I love the challenges that come with it.” – Dave Meadows, Free-Roaming Area keeper, Northwest Trek 8am Dave Meadows swings into the keeper truck with the ease of someone who’s been doing it for 25 years. As he pulls slowly through the gate into the Free-Roaming Area, he’s already on duty. Alert eyes scan the road ahead and forest to either side. It’s something he’ll be doing constantly over the next two hours, whether he’s driving around the 435-acre habitat, pulling out feed buckets or taking radio calls from fellow keepers. …

Jul 08, 2019

“People think that being a zookeeper is just playing with animals all day long. Actually, it’s caring for them and making their lives meaningful. And getting visitors to connect with them. That’s amazing to do.” – Wendi Mello, Wetlands keeper, Northwest Trek 7:30am Wendi Mello arrives at Northwest Trek for the early shift. On this mid-summer morning it’s a fine time to be working outside in a forest, but in winter it’s dark, cold and frequently icy. But for Mello, that’s all part of the job. As one of the keepers in the Forest/Wetlands habitat, she cares for otters, beavers, …

Jul 02, 2019

“The reason I love it here is because we care for native wildlife. If you go hiking in the Northwest, you’ll never see a lion or zebra, but you might see elk or black bear. Teaching people how to live conflict-free with wildlife – that’s what’s so cool about this job.” – Haley Withers, carnivore keeper, Northwest Trek 10:30am Haley Withers is hot and sweaty. She’s been whacking weeds in the wolf habitat for two and a half hours, and now it’s time to clean out grizzly bear dens. “We wear many hats,” she says with a small smile, of …

Jun 18, 2019

For Northwest Trek guests, the Keeper Adventure Tour through the Free-Roaming Area is a mix of off-road thrills and up-close animals. But for keeper Deanna Edwards, it’s a way to share a passion for wildlife – combined with friendliness, unflagging animal care and some serious driving skills. “I’m always doing new things, like this track here,” she says, gunning the tour jeep up a muddy track into a perfect three-point-turn. “That’s one of the great things about the Free-Roaming Area. I’m also in keeper mode, playing Where’s Waldo with the animals and making sure they’re all okay. But what I …

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 …