Thursday, June 24, 2010

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

 Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is one of the few institutions in the United States that exclusively display currently and previously native wild animals of the region. Apart from walking in a forest with exhibits for bears, mustelides, raptors and other species, visitor can take a tram tour through a free roaming area where they can see various hoofed animal species in semi-natural conditions.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, owned by Metro Parks Tacoma, opened to the public in July 1975 to offer the public, especially children, the opportunity to see and learn about native wildlife in a natural setting. The land was donated to Metro Parks Tacoma by Dr. David and Mrs. Connie Hellyer in 1971.

The Free Roaming Area Exhibit located in the heart of the park encompasses 176 hectares of rolling landscape with native forest, meadows, wetlands, ponds, creeks and two lakes. It is enclosed by a 2.5 meter high chainlink perimeter fence with two strands of electric wire on top to keep large predators like the native cougar from climbing in.

Three-unit propane-powered, 90 passenger trams transport park visitors on 55-minute naturalist-narrated tours through the Free Roaming Area where they see and learn about native hoofed animals such as moose, elk, bison, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, deer, caribou, all living freely within the exhibit's meadows, forest and wetlands.