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Tag: keeper

Jul 17, 2021

looking after animals? It’s kinda wild. Learn what our keepers do. July 21-22.

Aug 10, 2020

EATONVILLE, Wash.– Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is reopening its Keeper Adventure Tours on Friday, Aug. 14, with timed online tickets and enhanced safety protocols designed to help guests connect up close with wildlife while staying safe and healthy. Timed online tickets will go on sale Aug. 10. The 90-minute Keeper Adventure Tours take guests aboard an open-air Jeep on paved roads rarely traveled, on gravel tracks and occasionally off-road to see bison, moose, mountain goats, elk, deer, swans and more in the park’s 435-acre Free-Roaming Area. If guests book now, they can see Northwest Trek’s baby animals and experience the …

Jul 17, 2020

9:30am It’s pretty good when your work day starts with a furry fan club as excited as Rainier and Ahma. Keeper Alex Cruz arrives for the “late” shift at Northwest Trek’s Forest+Wetlands habitat at 9:30am. After checking email and chatting with the keepers who’ve been on shift since 7:30am, she makes her way up to two wolverines who are very keen to see her. “I’m their primary trainer right now, and usually the first person in to see them in the morning,” explains Cruz, setting two tubs of raw meat onto a barrel and picking up a pan and brush. …

Jul 16, 2020

It’s 11am, and Ed Cleveland is hoisting 50-pound bags of bear chow into a small storage shed. In a mask. On an 80-degree day. As he catches his breath, he jokes with fellow keeper Deanna Edwards, who’s restocking the keeper truck for a midday feed. Then he takes a long, assessing look at stock levels and heads back to the office to book in a major delivery. For Cleveland, a 62-year-old with a long Santa Claus beard and quiet smile, it’s just one part of being head keeper at Northwest Trek – a place he’s worked at for 36 years, …

Oct 01, 2019

NOTE: Sadly, our rubber boa passed away soon after this story was published. She had received the best of care and will be missed. Rubber boas usually don’t get a lot of attention. In the wild, this Western American snake stays out of the spotlight, active at night and burrowing during the day. Their smooth, light brown skin blends perfectly with the forest floor. But at Northwest Trek this month, the rubber boa in the Cheney Discovery Center was the center of some extraordinary care – and affection – from veterinary staff and keepers alike. “All right, girl,” murmured keeper …

Jul 17, 2019

“I love working here. It’s a unique place, and I love the challenges that come with it.” – Dave Meadows, Free-Roaming Area keeper, Northwest Trek 8am Dave Meadows swings into the keeper truck with the ease of someone who’s been doing it for 25 years. As he pulls slowly through the gate into the Free-Roaming Area, he’s already on duty. Alert eyes scan the road ahead and forest to either side. It’s something he’ll be doing constantly over the next two hours, whether he’s driving around the 435-acre habitat, pulling out feed buckets or taking radio calls from fellow keepers. …

Jul 08, 2019

“People think that being a zookeeper is just playing with animals all day long. Actually, it’s caring for them and making their lives meaningful. And getting visitors to connect with them. That’s amazing to do.” – Wendi Mello, Wetlands keeper, Northwest Trek 7:30am Wendi Mello arrives at Northwest Trek for the early shift. On this mid-summer morning it’s a fine time to be working outside in a forest, but in winter it’s dark, cold and frequently icy. But for Mello, that’s all part of the job. As one of the keepers in the Forest/Wetlands habitat, she cares for otters, beavers, …

Jul 02, 2019

“The reason I love it here is because we care for native wildlife. If you go hiking in the Northwest, you’ll never see a lion or zebra, but you might see elk or black bear. Teaching people how to live conflict-free with wildlife – that’s what’s so cool about this job.” – Haley Withers, carnivore keeper, Northwest Trek 10:30am Haley Withers is hot and sweaty. She’s been whacking weeds in the wolf habitat for two and a half hours, and now it’s time to clean out grizzly bear dens. “We wear many hats,” she says with a small smile, of …

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 …

May 03, 2018

The caribou at Northwest Trek know Dave Meadows’ voice. “Ca-a-ribou!” he calls. “Ca-a-ribou!” As around a dozen or so graceful animals canter up to him, Meadows opens a gate and lets them through. It’s spring – so it’s time for the caribou to go back out to roam, with Meadows as their caribou-whisperer. A keeper for Trek’s Free-Roaming Area, Meadows deals a lot with these gregarious members of the deer family. Rotating with other keepers, he goes out mornings and afternoons to feed them, check on them and lend a hand if any need veterinary care. And every fall, when …