Skip to main content
Northwest Trek News
  Blog Home

Tag: canines

Jan 25, 2021

Will the wolves be howling at the moon? If you look to the sky on Jan. 28, you will see the first full moon of 2021. The full moon in January is traditionally known as the “Full 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. It was thought the wolves howled due to …

Oct 22, 2020

Inflammatory bowel disease is no fun. Diarrhea, vomiting, unpleasant gut sensations, even pain or fever. But if you’re an American red wolf, there are worse implications: That inflammation in your intestines might cause you to lose weight, get stressed and maybe even fail to reproduce. For an endangered species with less than 300 like you left on the planet, that’s a big worry. That’s exactly why Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium veterinarians have been investigating IBD in red wolves. Head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf first discovered that red wolves do, in fact, develop the disease, just like people and pets. …

Oct 08, 2020

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 …

Jul 30, 2020

I had my howls all ready to go. When Northwest Trek keepers agreed I could try playing some music to our gray wolves, I was stoked. I’m primarily a writer in our marketing department – I run our websites and write blog stories, emails and more. But I’m also a classically-trained musician and have, in the last few years, developed a unique voice improvising on double bass using a looping pedal to create my own harmonies. I especially love taking this music outside, incorporating natural sounds like whalesong and birdsong. Playing music for actual wolves took this to a whole …

Jul 21, 2020

We all love summer in the Pacific Northwest, but there’s no doubt that some days get pretty hot. Humans are pretty creative in finding ways to beat the heat – splashing, shade, cool clothes – and our Northwest Trek animals do it too! Grizzly bear Our grizzly “cubs” Huckleberry and Hawthorne just love the pool in their huge forested habitat. They plunge, paddle, splash and dive, playing underneath the waterfall and generally having a lot of fun! When the cubs were small, our maintenance staff put a false bottom in the pool to keep it safely shallow while they learned …

Dec 19, 2019

With under two weeks until Christmas, staff at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park are as busy as Santa’s elves creating unique holiday gifts for the animals. The weekend after Christmas, Dec. 28 and Dec. 29, is “Winter Wildland” at Northwest Trek. At the annual event, animals will be given their holiday-themed treats and gifts, known as “enrichments.” Enrichments are created to challenge animals’ brains and bodies, providing them with the environmental stimuli necessary for their well-being. “During Winter Wildland, our keepers create festive themed enrichments that are made from materials that our animals do not have the chance to interact with …

Nov 27, 2019

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s three gray wolves were given a clean bill of health at their triennial exams last week.   “Tala weighs 39.1 kilograms or about 86 pounds,” said head veterinarian, Dr. Allison Case.   On average, gray wolves weigh 75 to 110 pounds. That meant 7-year-old Tala, a gray wolf with a white coat, was already on the right track to a healthy doctor’s appointment.   Dr. Case made sure Tala’s exam was as comfortable as possible. She put down a warm blanket, gave her eye drops and sprayed her tongue with water.   “It’s all about the …