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Northwest Trek News

Rescued moose calves make public debut

Three orphaned moose calves, named Atlas, Luna, and Callisto, will make their public debut at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Friday (Jan. 27). The moose, all born last spring, were rescued after being orphaned in Alaska. They arrived at Northwest Trek in August and have been living off-exhibit and adjusting to their new Eatonville home. “Our veterinarian and animal care team have built strong bonds with these calves, getting to know them as a group and as individuals,” Zoological Curator Marc Heinzman said. “These trusting relationships will help us continue to provide the best possible care for them as they grow …

Jan 26, 2023

Animals

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Jan 26, 2023

Three orphaned moose calves, named Atlas, Luna, and Callisto, will make their public debut at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Friday (Jan. 27). The moose, all born last spring, were rescued after being orphaned in Alaska. They arrived at Northwest Trek in August and have been living off-exhibit and adjusting to their new Eatonville home. “Our veterinarian and animal care team have built strong bonds with these calves, getting to know them as a group and as individuals,” Zoological Curator Marc Heinzman said. “These trusting relationships will help us continue to provide the best possible care for them as they grow …

Jan 12, 2023

Brrr! You can feel the chill in the air as the temperature drops. You’re likely pulling out your winter coats, if you haven’t already! Many of the animals at the wildlife park also have their winter coats ready and are well-prepared for the colder weather. Wolverines Wolverines are made for the cold- and our wolverines Rainier and Ahma are no exception. Wolverines are well-adapted for winter living, with extremely dense fur, large snowshoe-like paws that allow them to stay on top of deep snow and crampon-like claws that enable them to climb up and over steep cliffs and snow-covered peaks. …

Jan 09, 2023

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park! There’s no concrete way to measure an animal’s love but many of the animals at Northwest Trek are coupled up, or longtime companions, and enjoy each other’s company. Of course, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples- it’s about celebrating friendship and family, too! Swans Trumpeter swans mate for life, and the current pair in Northwest Trek’s 435-acre Free-Roaming Area are no exception. Rescued with wing injuries that left them unable to fly, they are always by each other’s side, waddling or swimming …

Jan 06, 2023

Will the wolves be howling at the moon? If you look to the sky on Jan. 6, you will see the first full moon of 2023. The full moon in January is traditionally known as the “Wolf” Moon. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the names for full moons come from a number of places, including Native American groups, colonial Americans or other traditional North American names passed down through generations. The name of the January moon is derived from wolves, which tend to howl more often in the winter months. So why do wolves howl? To find their pack …

Nov 18, 2022

Our three 10-year-old gray wolves were given a clean bill of health at their triennial examinations in early November. Northwest Trek Head veterinarian Dr. Allison Case led the exams with the assistance of veterinary technician Tracy and keepers Haley, Carly, and Aynsley. On average, gray wolves weigh 75 to 110 pounds. At their exams, Canagan, the resident male wolf, weighed 103 pounds, and females Tala and Darci both weighed 83 pounds. Each wolf received a complete checkup: full physical exam, blood and urine analyses, vaccinations, X-rays, nail trims, and a dental cleaning. And, of course, Dr. Case ensured the wolves …

Oct 17, 2022

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 16-22, 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 04, 2022

Huckleberry, the 4-year-old grizzly bear, recently had an examination with his veterinarian and animal care team to perform an annual checkup on his right ankle. Keepers first noticed Huckleberry walking on his tippy toes and avoiding putting his heel on the ground in 2020. After a diagnostic exam, Northwest Trek’s head veterinarian Dr. Allison Case determined that Huckleberry had developed moderate arthritis in his ankle. Since then, he’s been treated with anti-inflammatory medications and joint supplements as needed. Dr. Case scheduled an annual examination to perform another in-depth check this fall to provide further treatment for the bear. “X-rays show …

Aug 03, 2022

Nettle nestled herself along the steep hillside within Northwest Trek’s 435-acre Free-Roaming Area, as if she knew it was time for her annual exam. It’s an easy adventure for a one-year-old mountain goat – and not so simple for those who care for her. But Veterinarian Dr. Allison Case, Veterinary Technician Tracy and Keeper Deanna are used to doing what it takes to ensure the animals at Northwest Trek receive exceptional care. “It’s a very physical job,” Dr. Case said. After Keeper Deanna tries to entice Nettle off the hillside with some food, Dr. Case darts her with an anesthetic. …

Conservation

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Oct 07, 2022

Once upon a time there were two wolf species: red wolves and gray wolves. Neither of them were “big and bad,” but they were often feared by humans. Over time, more and more were hunted. By 1940 gray wolves were decimated in the American wild and by the 1970s, so were red wolves. It was time for the story’s hero to step in. “Humans have a long history of blaming predators for problems, like wolves and grizzly bears,” says Marc Heinzman, zoological curator at Northwest Trek. “But scientific data shows that’s just not true in all cases.” While it’s true …

Aug 10, 2022

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are partnering with scientists from Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCSC) to test the effectiveness of a promising new bat-saving treatment to help wild bats survive the effects of white-nose syndrome. White-nose syndrome has killed millions of hibernating bats in eastern North America and was first discovered in Washington in 2016. State wildlife officials have confirmed white-nose syndrome in King, Chelan, Kittitas, and Pierce counties. The fungus that causes white-nose syndrome has also been confirmed in Lewis, Mason, Snohomish, and Yakima counties. “If this innovative probiotic spray is effective, …

Aug 04, 2022

Update, August 18th: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park released 124 endangered Northern leopard frogs earlier this week at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in Grant County. Keepers at Northwest Trek raised the frogs for 3 months from eggs through tadpole stage to froglets. This is a multi-agency partnership to help save this species that faces challenges like habitat loss, disease, non-native species, and climate change. By giving the frogs a head start and raising them free of predators, they are given a better chance of survival in the wild with the hope of establishing a new population of northern leopard frogs …

Jun 17, 2022

More than 650 observers took part in this year’s City Nature Challenge spanning King and Pierce counties, including Everett, Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Snohomish and any place in between! Between April 29 and May 2, community scientists submitted 7,705 nature observations and identified more than 1,200 species showing the world the incredible biodiversity in the region’s hom e turf. That’s the region’s all-time record! “This year we had more observers participate, more observations made and more species identified in the Seattle-Tacoma area than we have since our region joined City Nature Challenge in 2017,” said Zach Hawn, conservation engagement coordinator at …

People

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Dec 14, 2022

Imagine this: you’re driving to Northwest Trek and see the sun peeking through the clouds and illuminating Mt. Rainier. You’re welcomed with a still, frosty winter morning at the wildlife park when you arrive. You are greeted with the sounds of eagles screeching and gray wolves howling. Even better, you’re walking into a Winter Wildland Wonderland created by the Northwest Trek staff. It’s the start of a perfect day filled with the magic of nature. On a recent December afternoon, staff members spent time doing what might look like arts and crafts to an outsider. But to the keepers and …

Nov 08, 2022

“All right – who’s ready to go into the park and do some science?” “YEAH!!!!” The yell was impressive – but so was the quiet focus that followed as Ms. Hastler’s first grade class lined up to put on their yellow waterproof “science jackets.” It was the very first in-the-park science week for Wildlife Champions at Lister Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington, and the 16 first-graders were bubbling with excitement. Zoo volunteer Brittany (left) and educators Sam Hain and Liz Hines help Lister students put on their “science jackets” for the outdoor lesson. “What kind of animals do you think we’ll see …

Oct 24, 2022

It’s one of the most festive events of the year — Pumpkin Chomp & Stomp at Northwest Trek. Guests can see Halloween decorations throughout the wildlife park, take a Haunted Hike, and watch animals play with PLENTY of pumpkins. The horticulture team at Northwest Trek grows many of the pumpkins. This year, they produced about 30 pumpkins and 400 various hybrid gourds. “Every year, we give pumpkins to our animals as part of the Pumpkin Chomp & Stomp event,” horticulturist Jake explained. “But a few years ago, I noticed that some of the carving pumpkins weren’t very nutritious.” In 2018, Jake researched pumpkin …

Oct 17, 2022

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 16-22, 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 …

plants

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Jan 14, 2021

What a windstorm! Tuesday night’s strong gusts hit Northwest Trek hard. Fallen trees and branches covered nearly every road and pathway in the park and fences had to be rebuilt. But, with great team effort and the help of a few leaf blowers, the park will open just in time for the 3-day weekend ahead (it even has dry weather in the forecast!). It was all hands on deck this week, as employees from each department surveyed the forested paths, picking up branches while maintenance staff worked tirelessly to clear trees. “Thank you all for pitching in so we can …

Jun 22, 2020

Tomatoes. Apples. Almonds. Pumpkin. Coffee. Tea. Chocolate. All pretty important, right? And they all have one thing in common: they need pollinators. Around 1,000 plants that humans use for food, drink, fiber, spices or medicine need to be pollinated by a very special group of animals called pollinators. Bees, butterflies, wasps, moths, hummingbirds, bats and even some kinds of beetles, flies and ants are incredibly necessary to produce much of the food humans need to survive. As pollinators forage for nectar, they transfer pollen from male to female flowers to allow the plant to reproduce – and feed humans. But …

Trails & Tours

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Sep 14, 2022

Need to get out in nature? Get up close to animals? And eat great food? We have the answer: a Northwest Trek day trip. Combine a morning or afternoon visit to the wildlife park with a half-day hike, picnic and local dinner outside, and you’ve got the makings of an awesome family day or romantic date. Keep reading to build your perfect itinerary. Step 1: Animals up close You can spend a morning or afternoon at Northwest Trek, getting up-close to grizzlies, bald eagles, cougar and more. There’s plenty of guaranteed parking. Wander the paved paths and learn all about …

May 12, 2022

Down a peaceful side trail at Northwest Trek, just past the zipline, a tiny door is just visible in the grass. No, you’re not imagining things. It’s a fairy house, and there are at least a dozen more dotted along the same trail – just keep your eyes open. “I was inspired by a ‘gnome trail’ I hiked 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 explore them more.” Fairy Fun And the Trek Fairy Trail does make for …

Aug 18, 2021

There’s a new bald eagle at Northwest Trek. Just outside the entry to the Eagle Passage habitat, a larger-than-life-size bird perches on a tall snag, wings spread. Like many an eagle, it stares into the distance, motionless. But this bald eagle won’t ever grow old or weaken. Cast in bronze, it immortalizes the iconic American birds that call the wildlife park home – and stands as a tribute to the human donors who made their habitat possible. “This is a project very dear to our hearts,” says Cathy Torgerson, president of the Northwest Trek Foundation which raised the $500,000 funding …

Jul 05, 2021

At Northwest Trek, fall is a magical time. A palette of bronze sweeps the hillsides. Golden light streams through the trees. Dust rises from bison, rolling and sparring. And through the forest comes an eerie, haunting whistle – the sound of elk bugling. The rut – mating season – runs September-October. Out in the Free Roaming Area, male elk, bison and bighorn sheep vie for dominance and select their mates. The perfect way to experience this magic up close? An Elk Bugling Tour. This year, we get you off-road and up to the action in the keeper Jeep, with just …