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Tag: animal care

Jun 09, 2022

American badger sisters Poppy and Lavender recently had annual wellness exams with Northwest Trek’s animal care and veterinary team. Both sisters had their eyes checked, nails trimmed, X-rays taken, and received routine vaccinations. They also contributed to critical scientific research. During the exam, the veterinary team gathered a small tissue sample- a 4-millimeter biopsy- from the left ear of each sister. “This tissue will allow researchers to study the evolutionary history of badgers,” explained veterinary technician Tracy. Researchers are interested in studying the adaptations that lead to the badger’s underground and burrowing lifestyle. They reached out to Association of Zoos …

May 04, 2022

How do you vaccinate a wolverine or draw blood from a grizzly bear? It takes dedication, teamwork, patience – and a lot of trust. Northwest Trek keepers train many of the animals daily to voluntarily participate in their own healthcare — holding still to receive medical injections or X-rays, presenting paws for blood draws, allowing eye drops. The list goes on. And, most importantly, it’s all collaborative. “If they don’t want to participate, they don’t have to,” explained keeper Wendi, who has cared for animals at the wildlife park for 21 years. “It’s all positive reinforcement training. We must earn …

Apr 29, 2022

Wolverines are tough survivors. They are exposed to harsh, frozen Northwest mountain winters. They are agile climbers, strong diggers, and aren’t afraid of anything. At Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Ahma the wolverine has proved to be all those things and more in her 15 years of life. She is the second oldest wolverine in human care in the United States. And over the past few weeks, she has faced her biggest challenge yet: having surgery to remove both of her eyes after her animal care team noticed a significant change in her eye color and was diagnosed with a lens …

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 …

Feb 19, 2020

As any dog-owner knows, canine animals explore with their mouths. They lick. They chew things they shouldn’t. And sometimes, they eat things they shouldn’t. But it was still a surprise when Northwest Trek veterinary staff discovered that Darci the gray wolf had accidentally swallowed a rock. What was amazing was how it came out – and how Darci helped them every step of the way. X-rays and Crates “Hi, Darci, you’re okay. There’s a good girl,” called keeper Haley Withers, peeking through the window of a large metal crate in the back of a van. A black nose appeared at …

Oct 15, 2019

For Veterinary Technician Week 2019, we’re not just celebrating our wonderful vet techs – we’re introducing them! Vet techs assist veterinarians in every aspect of animal health care and they care deeply about our animals, often in very practical ways. We couldn’t care for our animals without them. Meet Tracy Cramer, our new full-time clinical veterinary technician at Northwest Trek. Why did you become a veterinary technician? I’ve always loved animals. I grew up with a lot of pets, everything from tarantulas to horses. We lived in rural Michigan, with woods behind our house. My friends and I would spend …

Oct 09, 2019

Examining three mountain goat kids in a row? That’s all in a day’s work for a wildlife park that’s looking after 10 goat kids until they go to their new homes. “All right,” said Dr. Allison Case, Northwest Trek veterinarian, checking off her notes. “We’ve done weight, we’ve done blood samples, fecal samples, dewormer, fly spray, vaccinations, hoof trim, antibiotic. We just have the rest of the physical and we’re done.” The goat kid with the yellow ear tag sleeping peacefully under anesthetic was just the first of three to have exams that day in the Northwest Trek veterinary clinic, …

Jun 07, 2019

You could call them the “bear” necessities. Healthy teeth are pretty important when you’re a 423-pound black bear that eats seven pounds of food every day. So when Northwest Trek Wildlife Park veterinarian Dr. Allison Case saw that Benton, one of the park’s two black bears, had a fracture in an upper canine, she decided it was time for a root canal. Just a little bare “During his regular physical check-up last month, I had the opportunity to closely examine his upper left canine and the root exposure,” Case said. “It’s a significant tooth, and we want to protect it …

Apr 29, 2019

For four-year-old Blakeley, it was a routine exam. But for the humans who care for her, it was a chance to share and pass on crucial veterinary knowledge and skills. The Northwest Trek river otter was scheduled for a regular triennial wellness check-up, and it was a great opportunity for lead veterinarian Dr. Allison Case and vet technician Sara Dunleavy to teach Brianna Smith, visiting vet tech student extern, some of the skills she’ll need in a career of caring for animals. And at the same time, it helped Case get a little closer to solving a mystery about Blakeley’s …

Mar 06, 2019

Northwest Trek keeper/veterinary technician Deanna Edwards cradled the massive head of Ellis the moose in her arms, taking care that his breathing was regular as he lay on the grass, anesthetized, in a Free-Roaming Area field. He made a low-pitched thrumming noise as he slept, sounding a bit like a machine of some kind had invaded the quiet of the forest. But, nope, it was just the normal vocalization of a sedated moose – and this forest “house-call” was all in a day’s work for Ellis’ dedicated veterinary and keeper team. Vet on the ground To Ellis’ rear, Northwest Trek …