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Northwest Trek News
Aug 06, 2020

Are you missing your family and friends? Do you want to wish them a socially distanced “Happy Birthday!” or “Congrats!”? Animal lovers can now share a special message with a wild touch, all from the comfort of your own couch! Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park are now offering “Animal Shoutouts.” Anyone can send a customized video greeting to a friend or loved one, complete with a favorite animal. “Perhaps now, more than ever, we need opportunities for fun and positive connections with each other and with animals and nature,” said Conservation Engagement Curator Wendy Spaulding. …

Jul 30, 2020

I had my howls all ready to go. When Northwest Trek keepers agreed I could try playing some music to our gray wolves, I was stoked. I’m primarily a writer in our marketing department – I run our websites and write blog stories, emails and more. But I’m also a classically-trained musician and have, in the last few years, developed a unique voice improvising on double bass using a looping pedal to create my own harmonies. I especially love taking this music outside, incorporating natural sounds like whalesong and birdsong. Playing music for actual wolves took this to a whole …

Jul 21, 2020

We all love summer in the Pacific Northwest, but there’s no doubt that some days get pretty hot. Humans are pretty creative in finding ways to beat the heat – splashing, shade, cool clothes – and our Northwest Trek animals do it too! Grizzly bear Our grizzly “cubs” Huckleberry and Hawthorne just love the pool in their huge forested habitat. They plunge, paddle, splash and dive, playing underneath the waterfall and generally having a lot of fun! When the cubs were small, our maintenance staff put a false bottom in the pool to keep it safely shallow while they learned …

Jul 06, 2020

It’s summer – and that means baby animal time at Northwest Trek! Book a Wild Drive Premier Tour and head out to our Free-Roaming Area meadows to look for bison and elk calves, black-tailed deer fawns and maybe even a bighorn sheep lamb or two. “It’s my favorite time of year!” said Jessie Knust, assistant naturalist, who has guided tours around the Free-Roaming Area for 5 years. How hard is it to spot little ones? Well, it depends on the animal. Bison calves Bison calves are the easiest, says Knust. With their rust-orange coats and hefty size (a bison already …

Jul 01, 2020

Omak was a Colorado guy who came to Northwest Trek as a youngster in 2014. Nuka swung into town in 2018, a female originally intended to be his mate. Now, finally, both Canada lynxes are together on exhibit – but just as companions. And they’re getting along extremely well. “Nuka and Omak were first introduced behind the scenes and over time became comfortable together” said Withers. “Guests can often see them on opposite sides of the habitat, but they don’t seem to mind sharing the space. Sometimes they even share enrichment items!” Change of Plan Originally, the plan was to …

Jun 19, 2020

Our Bear Tracks event had to be cancelled this year due to Covid-19 restrictions – but that didn’t stop our keepers from giving black bears Benton and Fern a fun camping experience! Even without guests watching, the bears really enjoyed exploring this “camp picnic” keepers set up for them, complete with their own unique way of using a cooler. Why do we do this? Well, for starters, it’s great enrichment for our bears. Offering things or experiences that encourage their natural behaviors (think sniffing, foraging, digging) is excellent for their physical and mental well-being. For this experience, our keepers carefully …

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 10, 2020

How are you coping in quarantine? Staying home and isolated during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t easy, and it’s really important to take care of yourself and those you live with. Luckily, our animals and keepers are experts in caring! Here are 10 Animal Tips to help you stay well at home. Click on any image to start the gallery.

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).

Mar 19, 2020

“Caaaribou!” sings Northwest Trek Free-Roaming Area keeper Dave Meadows. The morning sun seeps through the trees and the birds are chirping. It’s an exciting day in the park. It’s the day the woodland caribou will leave their behind-the-scenes winter home and join the other animals in the 435 acre Free-Roaming Area. Each fall during elk breeding season or “rut”, the bull elk battle over dominant status and mating rights. To keep the caribou safe, the caribou are taken to their own large, forested space, away from the rutting elk. On this sunny March day, Meadows calls the caribou. They know …