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Northwest Trek News
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 …

Feb 06, 2020

Eatonville, Wash.—There is little that will get in the way of a veterinarian taking care of an animal in need. Heavy rain, cold temperatures and mud certainly did not stop Northwest Trek’s head veterinarian Dr. Allison Case from paying Nancy the moose a special visit. Keepers are constantly monitoring the animals’ behavior and observed Nancy having difficultly urinating. One call to Dr. Case and she was on her way out to the 435-acre Free-Roaming Area to check on Nancy. Keepers set up a canopy to keep Nancy dry and comfortable. A bed for Nancy was made out of hay bales …

Nov 04, 2019

Taking a one-year-old for his physical check-up is not usually that difficult – unless, of course, he happens to be a 450-pound grizzly cub. Last week, Northwest Trek veterinarian Dr. Allison Case had not one but two enormous grizzlies to examine – so naturally enough, she made a house call. On Thursday morning it was Hawthorne’s turn. Huckleberry had had his check-up on Wednesday, and all went well. Now, he was out in the bears’ forested habitat, intently chewing an elk hide treat, while Hawthorne lay peacefully on a cot bed in their sleeping area, anesthetized for the exam. “We’re …

Oct 21, 2019

With the grace of a ballerina and the timing of an opera diva, Carly the cougar pads into her den. Behind the scenes at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, the den has a mesh wall with a waist-high perch on one side, where keeper Haley Withers is waiting patiently outside with some meatballs. “Come on, girl,” she calls softly. Carly pauses. Looks the scene over. Then in one swift movement she’s up on the perch, positioning her tail near a small horizontal opening. It’s cougar-training time. Trust me – just hold still “To train any animal, you need their trust,” says …

Oct 15, 2019

For Veterinary Technician Week 2019, we’re not just celebrating our wonderful vet techs – we’re introducing them! Vet techs assist veterinarians in every aspect of animal health care and they care deeply about our animals, often in very practical ways. We couldn’t care for our animals without them. Meet Tracy Cramer, our new full-time clinical veterinary technician at Northwest Trek. Why did you become a veterinary technician? I’ve always loved animals. I grew up with a lot of pets, everything from tarantulas to horses. We lived in rural Michigan, with woods behind our house. My friends and I would spend …

Oct 09, 2019

Examining three mountain goat kids in a row? That’s all in a day’s work for a wildlife park that’s looking after 10 goat kids until they go to their new homes. “All right,” said Dr. Allison Case, Northwest Trek veterinarian, checking off her notes. “We’ve done weight, we’ve done blood samples, fecal samples, dewormer, fly spray, vaccinations, hoof trim, antibiotic. We just have the rest of the physical and we’re done.” The goat kid with the yellow ear tag sleeping peacefully under anesthetic was just the first of three to have exams that day in the Northwest Trek veterinary clinic, …

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 …