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Northwest Trek News
Sep 01, 2021

Graceful arched antlers. Soft fuzzy velvet. And then – a touch of deep, blood-filled red. Welcome to the rut, that breeding season for animals like the bison, elk, caribou, bighorn sheep and deer that call our Free-Roaming Area home. If you know anything about rut, you’ll know that for Roosevelt elk and others in the deer family, it means sparring with huge antler clashes to vie for herd dominance. But there’s a less audible part of the rut that’s just as visually striking – and is essential to all that antler clashing. Losing velvet. Velvet (in animal terms) is the …

Aug 13, 2021

TACOMA/EATONVILLE– As a powerful heat wave hits the greater Tacoma area with temperatures nearing 100-degrees, keepers at both Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash. and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Wash. are finding ways to keep the animals cool. Like many kids on a hot day, the 3-year-old grizzly bears at Northwest Trek plunge, splash and wrestle in water. The bears have a 7-feet-deep pool all to themselves! “We love watching the bears enjoy their pool,” said keeper Haley Withers. “When the temperature is this high, we give them constant access to the water.” Withers also ensures …

Aug 12, 2021

Whenever Friday the 13th rolls around, even the least superstitious of us might look askance at a black cat or shiver at an owl hoot. But animal superstitions, although fun, can cause pretty bad luck for the wildlife who cross their paths. After all, we live in a world where 350,000 tourists can visit Scotland in one year just to try and spot the Loch Ness monster. If that same number of people all decided to hunt wolves or support the illegal trade in tiger parts, that would have a devastating effect on some amazing animals who are neither good …

Jul 27, 2021

Human athletes might be battling it out for medals at the Olympic Games in Japan this month, but here at Northwest Trek, we have our own incredible athletes to celebrate: our animals! Who can leap the furthest? Climb the highest? Who’s the fastest swimmer, the cleanest diver, the most agile? Check out our “gold medal” list for the winners – we might even have a couple of honorable mentions for effort! Climbing – Mountain goat No contest here: mountain goats are excellent climbers, hence the name. Swimming – Beaver They may not win the speed prize, but anyone who can …

Jul 22, 2021

Zookeepers and the animals they love What’s the animal you feel most deeply inside? The one you connect with, love, relate to, share traits with? For National Zookeeper Week 2021, we asked our longest-tenured keepers that very same question. Then our incredible staff photographer Katie Cotterill took portraits of both keeper AND animal, superimposing them in her camera as a double-exposure shot. The results are magic. (Curious about how she did it? Scroll to the bottom to find out.) Deanna, with Ellinor the mountain goat   Miranda, with Ahma the wolverine   Wendi, with Yakima the golden eagle   Dave, …

Jul 22, 2021

Welcome, Nettle! After a week of public voting, fans chose this plant as the name for the new mountain goat kid, born May 29 at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. The name was one of a slate of three names chosen by keepers after Northwest plants or locations, per park tradition. Nettle is a common plant found in many parts of the Free-Roaming Area, where all the park’s mountain goats live. Brinnon is a town along the eastern edge of the Olympic peninsula, while Briar is a general term for prickly, rambling shrubs. Over 900 votes came in online during the …

Jul 15, 2021

It’s not every day you get asked to name someone else’s kid. But Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is inviting the public to help name theirs – a mountain goat kid, born May 29 in the Free-Roaming Area. The female kid was born to mom Bailey, one of five goat kids that arrived at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in fall 2018 under a multi-agency project to relocate non-native mountain goats from Washington’s Olympic Mountains to the North Cascades where their populations were depleted. Northwest Trek partnered with Woodland Park Zoo and Oregon Zoo to provide permanent homes to goat kids without …

Jul 05, 2021

At Northwest Trek, fall is a magical time. A palette of bronze sweeps the hillsides. Golden light streams through the trees. Dust rises from bison, rolling and sparring. And through the forest comes an eerie, haunting whistle – the sound of elk bugling. The rut – mating season – runs September-October. Out in the Free Roaming Area, male elk, bison and bighorn sheep vie for dominance and select their mates. The perfect way to experience this magic up close? An Elk Bugling Tour. This year, we get you off-road and up to the action in the keeper Jeep, with just …

Jun 28, 2021

Summer’s here – that means sun, splashing and celebrating Independence Day. Over at Northwest Trek’s Eagle Passage, though, we’re thinking about eagle feathers. From grooming to shedding to collecting and honoring, the feathers of America’s iconic symbol are important to all of us – and are helping give the two-year-old habitat a new summer look, too. Cheveyo’s Pool Well, it’s not her pool exclusively, of course. But the brand-new bathing pool in Eagle Passage is on Cheveyo’s side of the walkway by design, giving the one-winged eagle “warrior” (the meaning of her name, in Hopi) first dibs on splashing, bathing …

Jun 17, 2021

It’s a cool, wet spring morning at Northwest Trek, and keeper Wendi is cleaning out the fisher habitat. She scoops some poop, then bends down intently. “Aha!” she exclaims, and reaches out a gloved hand. It’s a banana slug, long, mottled and yellow – and Wendi scoops it up in all its slimy glory. Slug Fest is coming, and Northwest Trek is getting ready. Slug Hunting “Fifty to sixty degrees and raining, that’s prime slug hunting time,” explains Wendi. One of the Wetlands keepers, she’s taking part in the staff’s Longest Slug Contest for the ever-popular annual Slug Fest event, …