Skip to main content

Northwest Trek News

Grizzly cubs make their debut!

Who could resist a buff-colored grizzly bear cub named Huckleberry? Or a chocolate-colored “brother” bear named Hawthorne? They’re the names chosen for our energetic, engaging cubs, who are ready to make their public debut on Thursday, Sept. 20. The two will be out in their forested habitat – one at a time – beginning at 9:30 a.m. Look for Hawthorne from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Huckleberry from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily in their newly renovated – and cub-proofed – exhibit space. A bit of patience might be needed, though: The active, playful cubs run hard and …

Sep 19, 2018

Animals

see all
Sep 19, 2018

Who could resist a buff-colored grizzly bear cub named Huckleberry? Or a chocolate-colored “brother” bear named Hawthorne? They’re the names chosen for our energetic, engaging cubs, who are ready to make their public debut on Thursday, Sept. 20. The two will be out in their forested habitat – one at a time – beginning at 9:30 a.m. Look for Hawthorne from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Huckleberry from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily in their newly renovated – and cub-proofed – exhibit space. A bit of patience might be needed, though: The active, playful cubs run hard and …

Sep 14, 2018

NOTE: Survey now closed. Thanks for voting!   Will it be Hawthorne, Kenai or Sitka for the chocolate-colored grizzly bear cub from Alaska? Bandera, Glacier or Huckleberry for the buff-colored cub with darker-colored legs from Montana?   We want your help to name our two grizzly bear cubs that arrived last month after they were orphaned in the wild.   Can’t wait to see them? We haven’t set a date yet, but stay tuned: The cubs will soon make their public debuts in our forested grizzly bear habitat. And that’s when we’ll reveal the winning names.   Northwest Trek keepers suggested …

Sep 14, 2018

As Mountain Goats are Moved From the Olympics, Zoos Provide Homes for Goat Kids Without Known Mothers   PORT ANGELES – As state and federal agencies move non-native mountain goats from Olympic National Park to the northern Cascade Mountains, Northwest Trek is partnering with Woodland Park Zoo and Oregon Zoo to provide permanent homes to goat kids without known mothers.   “Our plan is to translocate nanny-kid pairs when possible,” said Rich Harris, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife statewide mountain goat manager. “But when young goats cannot be paired up with their mothers, experience from other mountain goat translocation …

Aug 15, 2018

How do you give two grizzly bear cubs their first physicals? With equal measures of intense preparation, precision timing, and the caring and compassion that can be provided only by an expert team of veterinary and animal-care staff members. Oh, and you need two adorable grizzly bear cubs, too. Check. Check. And check! Fortunately the pair, one orphaned in Alaska, one orphaned in Montana, have a new permanent home at Northwest Trek. Both were so young they needed human care to survive. Following their first full physicals in our Veterinary Clinic this week, Dr. Allison Case declared both to be …

Aug 15, 2018

How do you give two grizzly bear cubs their first physicals? With equal measures of intense preparation, precision timing, and the caring and compassion that can be provided only by an expert team of veterinary and animal-care staff members. Oh, and you need two adorable grizzly bear cubs, too. Check. Check. And check! Fortunately the pair, one orphaned in Alaska, one orphaned in Montana, have a new permanent home at Northwest Trek. Both were so young they needed human care to survive. Following their first full physicals in our Veterinary Clinic this week, Dr. Allison Case declared both to be …

Jun 19, 2018

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s two new snowy owl siblings received their first wellness exams at Northwest Trek. The exams included a complete hands-on physical inspection from beak to toe, including radiographs, weight, eye and ear exams, and blood work. And keeper Wendi Mello, veterinarian Dr. Allison Case and technician Sara Dunleavy even included a beak trim and claw clipping. All of these tests provide a good picture of overall health and allow veterinary and animal care staff to monitor any changes over time. Both snowy owls are in great condition and received extra TLC following their exams.  

May 30, 2018

It was a fairly routine wellness exam in the Northwest Trek veterinary clinic this week – but with a very special guest. “See, I’m just extending the wing out here to look at his plumage,” says Trek veterinarian Dr. Allison Case, gently unfolding the white underfeathers of Teklus, the barn owl. Reaching with one finger, Dorothy “Doro” Oliver leaned over the peacefully-sleeping bird in awe. “He’s so soft,” she whispered. For Teklus – the Lushootseed word for owl, pronounced “tukloose” and shortened to “Tuck” by staff – it was just an ordinary exam. But for Oliver – celebrating a birthday …

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 …

Conservation

see all
Jul 16, 2018

The mission began at sunset. After a quick briefing to receive assignments and equipment, 26 staff and volunteers spread silently out to their locations. In the entrance breezeway, near the tram garage and underneath trees, they hunkered low on the ground as darkness grew. They waited, breath hushed. And then, with a chattering and creaking overhead, the mission began: The Great Trek Bat Count of 2018. As bats began to fly out from their roosts into the night to hunt, the humans sitting quietly below them began to click their counters, one for each outgoing bat. One staff member had …

Jun 05, 2018

Some was sprinkled around the base of a tree. More was scattered over the floor of the tram garage. But it was just outside one of the veterinary clinics, under a wide overhanging awning, that Michelle Tirhi got really excited. “Look at all that!” she exclaimed, sweeping her eyes around the concrete floor. “And it’s all fresh! We could just scoop up some right now.” Bending down, she picked up a tiny black sliver the size and shape of a rice grain and held it up triumphantly. Bat poop. Or guano, to be precise. Tirhi, the District II wildlife biologist …

Jun 04, 2018

Amazing. That’s the word used to describe the outcome of the 2018 Point Defiance Park BioBlitz, a 24-hour survey of living things observed in the 760-acre park. By sheer numbers, the BioBlitz more than met its purpose of forging connections between people and their natural surroundings, said Metro Parks Tacoma’s Craig Standridge. In his role as community engagement coordinator at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, he oversaw the April 27-28 event, as well as the previous one in 2011. “There was an overwhelming level of participation and enthusiasm,” he said. “It showed there is a real craving for this type …

Jun 04, 2018

Deep in the forests of Mount Rainier National Park, a female fisher holes up in the crook of a towering Douglas fir, protecting and feeding her newborn kits. Far below and several miles away, a propeller spins faster and faster, generating the speed needed to hurl a small aircraft down an airstrip and into the Northwest skies. The plane’s belly and wings bristle with antennae as it heads off on a mission to pinpoint the fisher’s location using signals from a transmitter implanted before her release. This is a fisher reconnaissance mission, funded with the donations made by Northwest Trek …

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 …

Trails & Tours

see all
Jul 24, 2018

Bison grunt and snort. A caribou calf nurses noisily, its mother calmly munching on grass. The sweet scents of the meadow mingle with more earthy smells as herds of animals pass by. And Northwest Trek Wildlife Park guests are amazingly in the middle of the action, getting closer to the animals of the Free-Roaming Area than ever before aboard a specially equipped Jeep. They’re on a brand new Keeper Adventure Tour. This intimate experience, which takes wildlife park guests on the paved roads rarely traveled, on gravel tracks and occasionally even off-road, opens to the public on Thursday, July 26. …

Jul 03, 2018

Down a peaceful side trail at Northwest Trek, just past the zipline, a tiny door is just visible in the grass. Silver-spattered with a curtain of moss, it shimmers under the nettle leaves like a mirage. No, you’re not imagining things. It’s a fairy house, and there are twenty more dotted along the same trail – just keep your eyes open. “I was inspired by a ‘gnome trail’ I hiked recently with my family,” says Rick Dietz, Northwest Trek’s Deputy Director. “I thought it would be a fun way to add some excitement to our trails and encourage people to …