Skip to main content

Northwest Trek News

Keeper + Horticulturalist = Innovation

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 …

May 07, 2018

Animal care

see all
Feb 14, 2018

When you need an annual physical, you take yourself to the doctor. If it’s time for your dog’s annual check-up, you go to the vet. But what do you do for a lynx? A bison? A black bear? At Northwest Trek, we want our animals to be as healthy as possible, and that means regular wellness exams, just like pets or people. But with a wild animal, a vet has to be creative – and collaborative – about checking health signs. “We do a wellness exam for every animal,” says Dr. Allison Case, Northwest Trek veterinarian. That means animals that …

Animals

see all
May 09, 2018

It’s baby animal season here at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. The first two bison calves of the season were born a few days ago, a perfectly timed entrance with Mother’s Day just around the corner. Animal caretakers at the wildlife park near Eatonville expect more calves among herds of American bison, Roosevelt Elk, woodland caribou, and Columbian black-tailed deer in the next few weeks, and one lamb is already getting nurture from its bighorn sheep mother on one of the wildlife park’s hillsides. Spring and early summer are traditionally a great time to visit the wildlife park, take a narrated …

May 03, 2018

The caribou at Northwest Trek know Dave Meadows’ voice. “Ca-a-ribou!” he calls. “Ca-a-ribou!” As around a dozen or so graceful animals canter up to him, Meadows opens a gate and lets them through. It’s spring – so it’s time for the caribou to go back out to roam, with Meadows as their caribou-whisperer. A keeper for Trek’s Free-Roaming Area, Meadows deals a lot with these gregarious members of the deer family. Rotating with other keepers, he goes out mornings and afternoons to feed them, check on them and lend a hand if any need veterinary care. And every fall, when …

Mar 02, 2018

There’s a new cat in town at Northwest Trek. Nuka, a young Canada lynx who recently arrived at the wildlife park, has just made her public debut and will move on and off exhibit as she settles into her new home here. She’s also playful – and a delight to care for, say Northwest Trek staff. “She’s so spunky,” said keeper Haley Withers, who helps care for Nuka. “When she knows we’re there, she runs over. And she loves birds – stalking them, chasing them.” She also likes stalking keepers, said fellow keeper Angela Gibson. “She hides behind things and …

Conservation

see all
Apr 25, 2018

On a clear spring day at Northwest Trek, Amy Newton is standing hip-deep in a chilly pond. Waterproof notebook and GPS in hand, she peers into the cloudy water. “Guys! We need your help over here – I think it’s a Pacific tree frog!” she calls. With the moon-walk gait of people who don’t want to squish anything, John Miller and Kim Bryant wade over and inspect. “Yeah, I think so,” pronounces Miller. “So cool,” adds Bryant, gently fingering the sloppy, Jello-like mass in the water. It’s Amphibian Egg Mass training day at Northwest Trek, and Miller, Newton and Bryant …

Mar 22, 2018

It’s kind of obvious that Rachael Mueller is passionate about recycling. Standing in front of the entire Northwest Trek staff at a monthly staff meeting, the wildlife park’s Conservation Program Coordinator flips through slides and speaks with an urgency most of us don’t associate with used tires and electrical wire. But Mueller has a mission – to protect the wild places she herself discovered as a child. And she’s helping Northwest Trek do that through recycling. What do we recycle? Pretty much everything, it seems. Mueller’s staff presentation is all about mixed recycling – paper, plastic, metal. But Northwest Trek …

Oct 13, 2017

Planting forest. Counting frogs. Healthy habitat makes for healthy wildlife, and that’s why it’s our goal at Northwest Trek to to improve and maintain wild habitat, both inside the park and in the broader community. Here’s what we’re doing right now – and how you can help. Habitat Restoration We strive to maintain quality habitat for wildlife both inside and outside of the wildlife park. On our five miles of nature trails we’ve cleared out pockets of diseased trees, replanting for a healthier and more diverse forest. We have plans for the restoration of a large wetland on 100 acres of …

Jun 13, 2017

Yes. They’re adorable. Fishers are a native carnivore in the weasel family. They climb trees but prefer to hunt on the forest floor. They eat small rodents but also fruit and mushrooms (though ironically, not much fish). And by hunting and carrying seeds, they keep our ecosystem balanced. But fishers also have incredibly soft, silky fur – and that’s been their greatest threat. That’s where we – and you – come in. We’re Bringing Fishers Back To Washington Northwest Trek has partnered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Park Service and Conservation Northwest to reintroduce fishers …

People

see all
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 …

Feb 14, 2018

She’s a staff member most visitors to Northwest Trek will never see – yet she’s vital to the well-being of every single animal in the Eatonville wildlife park. She’s had a career that’s included everything from ski racing to cattle driving. She’s Dr. Allison Case, head veterinarian at Northwest Trek, and her life is a unique intersection of three things: a passion for wildlife, a passion for the outdoors and a love of learning. “I like studying, finding out what’s wrong,” says Case, who became Trek’s full-time vet in 2017 after 11 years of dividing her time between the wildlife …