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Northwest Trek News
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 13, 2020

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 11-17, and we’re celebrating our wonderful veterinary technicians with a virtual thank-you card. Keepers, curators and veterinarians all weighed in to thank our superhero vet tech Tracy Cramer, plus keeper Deanna Edwards who’s also a licensed vet tech, for all they do to care for animals and help staff: prepping for procedures, monitoring animal vitals and taking samples, working with keepers to help animals take part in their own health care, giving therapies, endless administrative support and generally being awesome. “Our veterinary technicians (also known as veterinary nurses) are invaluable. They do a tremendous …

Oct 01, 2020

To an outsider, it didn’t look unusual. As two keepers stood still inside the Forest & Wetlands habitat at Northwest Trek, they watched an old beaver slowly make his way into the pool. Sniffing everywhere, he walked slowly but steadily. Then he swam with front paws and whiskers outstretched to feel for the underwater entrance to his lodge before slipping inside. “There you go!” called one keeper encouragingly. R.B. Beaver, affectionately known as “Papa” for his role in the Northwest Trek beaver family, had just successfully shown that he could live a comfortable, capable life – without his eyesight. Eye …

Sep 30, 2020

Congratulations, McKenna! Our resilient raccoon has been fighting cancer for over a year now, and October sees her 15th round of successful oral chemotherapy. What’s more, she’s living a full, comfortable life, says Dr. Allison Case, Northwest Trek veterinarian. “It’s just mind-boggling,” says Dr. Case, who confirmed McKenna’s bladder cancer in summer 2019, and has treated her ever since with monthly doses of oral chemotherapy drugs. “She just keeps going. Usually in cases like this, the oncologists would be estimating her to live another three, six, maybe nine months. With McKenna they are so surprised – it’s just terrific.” It’s …

Jul 02, 2020

Even America’s most iconic symbol needs vaccinations to stay healthy. At Northwest Trek this spring, all four bald eagles received their annual shots against West Nile virus, keeping them – and the human population – safer from the disease. But the vaccination visit to Eagle Passage was also a great opportunity for the veterinary team to check up on Sucia, Salish, Sequoia and Cheveyo, getting weights, trimming beaks and nails and making sure everyone was doing well. The fun part for us? Veterinarian Dr. Allison Case decided to put on a chest Go-Pro while she worked, giving fans an eagle-eye …

Jun 17, 2020

UPDATE 7/14/20: We are saddened to report that Macklin unexpectedly passed away yesterday from internal complications. He will be deeply missed.   Northwest Trek Wildlife Park has a new fisher in the Forest & Wetland habitat, just in time for the park’s reopening on June 18. Macklin is an 8-year-old male fisher from British Columbia – and he also tells an incredible story of conservation and care. Bringing back fishers Fishers, furry mammals in the weasel family, are native to the Northwest and historically ranged from the Cascades to Canada. But deforestation and demand for their thick, silky fur had …

Apr 17, 2020

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 …

Apr 17, 2020

While Northwest Trek Wildlife Park may be closed to the public, the animals in the park continue to receive exceptional care. “Despite the concerns of the world, our animals are healthy and doing well,” said Zoological Curator Marc Heinzman. “Our head veterinarian and animal care team continue to work onsite and provide our animals with a high level of care every day during our temporary closure. “ Staff planned in advance for the pandemic, and currently have a surplus of essential food, medicines and medical supplies for the animals. That includes six months of meat, a year of fish, a …

Apr 08, 2020

We may be closed due to recent restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), but our keepers and veterinary team are still at Northwest Trek every day caring for our animals. From enrichments to treats, check-ups to antler rubs, here’s how we’re #closedbutstillcaring. Here’s the video: And the gallery: Click on any image to start the slideshow. Mouse over to see captions (desktop).

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 …