EATONVILLE, Wash.—Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park! There’s no concrete way to measure an animal’s love but many of the animals at Northwest Trek are coupled up, or longtime companions, and enjoy each other’s company. Of course, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples- it’s about celebrating friendship and family, too!
Trumpeter swans mate for life, and the current pair in Northwest Trek’s 435-acre Free-Roaming Area are no exception. Rescued with wing injuries that left them unable to fly, they are always by each other’s side, waddling or swimming together every day of the week. The pair have produced 16 cygnets to their species over the last few years.
Golden Eagles also mate for life. Northwest Trek has two of the majestic birds, Yakima and Hayward. The saying “opposites attract” is true for them. Keepers say Yakima has an outgoing personality and Hayward is shy, but the two are regularly seen perched near each other or working together to build a nest.
Moose Spruce and Aspen, both born in 2016, may someday mate. Spruce, a male was born at Northwest Trek and Aspen, a female was orphaned in the wild in Idaho as a calf and rescued. Roughly the same age, they’ve grown up together since they were 3 months old. The wildlife park participates in the Species Survival Plan® breeding program for moose, and its keepers and veterinary staff are well versed in their care.
Born in 2011, raccoons McChord and McKenna were rescued as orphans, growing up together at a wildlife rehabilitation center. They moved together to their forever home at Northwest Trek and have been inseparable ever since. On any given day, they can be seen roaming their habitat or just snuggling together in their den to sleep. Their companionship has recently played a big role for McKenna; she was diagnosed with cancer in August.
“Conspecific enrichment (spending time with another animal of the same species) is so important for this species, and especially for McKenna,” explains Northwest Trek veterinarian Dr. Allison Case. “The companionship, the contact. It’s critical for a full life.”
Feel the Love on Wild Child Weekends:
Come celebrate all of the animals at Northwest Trek Friday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. During the month of February, up to two kids 12 years old or under get in free with each adult general admission on weekends.