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Tag: enrichment

Dec 28, 2019

The perfect holiday tradition.
Free with admission Dec. 29-30

Jul 31, 2019

Hard to believe, but it’s been a year exactly since our two grizzly cubs arrived as rescued orphans. Now well over a year old, Huckleberry and Hawthorne are much bigger, much stronger but just as lovable. The bear equivalent to teenagers, they are looking a lot more like adults, but still love to play like cubs. Our keepers are celebrating with a special enrichment at 1pm Saturday Aug. 3: yummy watermelon cake for both bears. We decided to honor the moment with a side-by-side comparison of our cubs, then and now. WEIGHT Then: Hawthorne weighed 90 lb, Huckleberry 80 lb. …

Dec 20, 2018

It’s a cold morning at Northwest Trek – a hushed, frozen stillness rising off the lake. But it’s not bothering Fern at all. The black bear has her head down, wrenching a branch off a fir tree to pad out her winter den. As she does, keeper Angela Gibson looks on in satisfaction: this is no ordinary holiday tree. It’s a piece of enrichment, carefully designed to improve Fern’s life – and it’s definitely working. “Enrichment is about providing the animals with experiences where they can express their natural behaviors and desires,” explains Gibson. “It creates opportunities for the animals …

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 …