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Tag: animals

Jun 29, 2021

Focusing intently, Jessica stares into the swirling depths of a big black water tank. Summer sun reflects off the surface, air bubbles stir up the mid-layer and the bottom is in deep shadow. On first glance it’s nearly impossible to see that the tank contains over 100 plump, wriggling tadpoles. But Jessica – an animal keeper at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park – suddenly dives her bare arm into the water with a small net scoop. “There you are!” she says, pleased, and gently deposits one tadpole into a shallow net pen floating at the surface. It’s vet check-up time for …

Jun 28, 2021

Summer’s here – that means sun, splashing and celebrating Independence Day. Over at Northwest Trek’s Eagle Passage, though, we’re thinking about eagle feathers. From grooming to shedding to collecting and honoring, the feathers of America’s iconic symbol are important to all of us – and are helping give the two-year-old habitat a new summer look, too. Cheveyo’s Pool Well, it’s not her pool exclusively, of course. But the brand-new bathing pool in Eagle Passage is on Cheveyo’s side of the walkway by design, giving the one-winged eagle “warrior” (the meaning of her name, in Hopi) first dibs on splashing, bathing …

Jun 07, 2021

Northwest Trek’s springtime baby animal boom is on! A mountain goat kid, three elk calves and three bighorn sheep lambs were all born in May at the wildlife park and can be spotted in the 435-acre Free-Roaming Area. More animal births are still expected as well. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the mountain goat kid was born to 3-year-old mom, Bailey. Zoological Curator Marc Heinzman said keepers are closely monitoring the new family. “Keepers have seen the kid nursing and spending time moving around with its mother Bailey,” said Heinzman. “The pair is spending a lot of their time up …

May 21, 2021

Working as a horticulturist at a wildlife park comes with all kinds of job duties, some a little more unusual than others. Northwest Trek’s lead horticulturist Jake Pool plants hundreds of trees a year inside the park, monitors the health of all the trees for the safety of the animals and guests, and helps design animal habitats (like using a fallen tree and turning it into a climbing log for the raccoons). And, sometimes he picks plants for the park’s porcupine. Recently, Pool collected a variety of plants and flowers from the park’s grounds for Thistle the porcupine. Pool found …

May 10, 2021

“It’s your turn tomorrow!” Northwest Trek head veterinarian Dr. Allison Case yelled to Hawthorn the grizzly bear. Hawthorn, out in his habitat, was peeking inside his den, curiously watching as keepers and veterinary staff circled around his buddy Huckleberry, who was laying anesthetized on the den floor ready for his wellness exam. There were only a few more nudges at the den door before Hawthorne was distracted by a tub filled with food and a big, berry-flavored popsicle left just for him. “I’m going to need a few people to help me move Huckleberry!” called out Dr. Case. Instead of …

May 04, 2021

Go beyond the typical Mother’s Day gifts and give mom a memorable experience she can enjoy with the whole family this year. Swim with sharks, get up close to a moose or touch a jellyfish! She won’t soon forget these amazing experiences at Northwest Trek and our sister zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! Swim with Sharks Experience the thrill of getting up close to more than a dozen massive sharks underwater while learning about their biology and how we can protect them in the wild. Up to 4 people from the same household can dive together at the same …

Apr 20, 2021

If Dr. Karen Wolf needs another skilled set of hands for a walrus procedure, she knows who to call. And if Dr. Allison Case has a beaver or owl that needs attention while she’s out of town, she has a second clinic just a van-trip away. The two women are head veterinarians of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, respectively – and these sister zoos have veterinary teams with a long tradition of helping each other. “People don’t realize there’s this crossover,” explains Dr. Wolf of the unique veterinary partnership. “I have absolute confidence that if …

Feb 26, 2021

Bobcats Tanner, 8, and Tahoma, 4, are getting along so well, they are now able to share the bobcat habitat at Northwest Trek together! Tahoma arrived at Northwest Trek in 2020, after being raised illegally as a pet. Since his arrival, keepers have slowly introduced the two cats to each other, first just visually through a fence before eventually allowing them to be together. “We wanted to give Tahoma time to adjust to his new surroundings before introducing him to Tanner,” said keeper Haley Withers. “When they did meet, Tanner climbed up into a tree while Tahoma stayed on ground …

Feb 18, 2021

No, they don’t belong in a witches’ brew. Nor are they conclusive proof of nearby magic. But they do have superpowers of killing and healing, plus the ability to charm humans at a single, big-eyed glance. For a creature just four inches long, rough-skinned newts have a lot of personality – and Ricotta and Gnocchi are no exception. Recently arrived at the Cheney Discovery Center (currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions), the two little newts aren’t related, though they live in the same fern-filled habitat and occasionally climb over each other. They also like interacting with humans, drinking in the …

Feb 18, 2021

As the daylight returns in February, do you get the urge to start cleaning out the cobwebs, tossing the junk and scrubbing the house? Emily Santiago does – but it’s a rather unusual kind of housekeeping. Because the lead naturalist at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park has spent hours this winter sprucing up the parks’ Mason bee “hotel”, a process of cleaning tunnels, sorting cocoons and removing predators that ensures our native pollinator bees have the best chance of a healthy, productive spring. “We’ve done this every year since we got our Mason bees,” says Santiago, as she sets up her …