Northwest Trek WIldlife Park

Coming Soon: Skunk Kits at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

1 skunk

 

Here's a peek behind the scenes at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park: two male Striped Skunk kits were born this summer! The little ones will stay in quarantine for about a month before going out on exhibit, just to make sure they stay healthy during their early development.  

 2 skunk

 

 

3 skunk

 

 

4 skunk
Photo credits: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

 

 

Found commonly throughout North America, Striped Skunks are born hairless and with closed eyes. They open their eyes at around 22 days old, and nurse for about eight weeks. Young Skunks can spray at just eight days old. The awful-smelling secretion comes from glands under the tail, which are often removed in captivity to de-scent the animal. These omnivores are crepuscular (mostly active at dawn and dusk), and forage for a wide range of food: from plants to insects, eggs, small reptiles, and rodents. Their main predators are Great Horned Owls, which, unsurprisingly, have a very poor sense of smell.

 

 

See more photos after the fold.

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Orphan Opossum Finds a Home at Northwest Trek

Baby Opossum Close-up at Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Washington recently welcomed a rescued baby Virginia Opossum. Hand-raised, the tame animal will join the park's Animal Trailside Encounters team, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with local wildlife handled by a trained keeper. 

The Virginia Opossum is the only North American marsupial that lives north of Mexico. When frightened, these animals often pretend to be dead (i.e. playing possum) so curious predators lose interest in them. While this defense mechanism seems to be involuntary, don't be fooled into thinking Virginia Opossums are defenseless: they can also be quite feisty when cornered!

Baby Opossum at Northwest Trek 2

Baby Opossum at Northwest Trek 1


From Tadpole To Frog; Conserving A Vanishing Species

Frog face

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Washington just helped release over 1,200 endangered Oregon spotted frogs into the wild! They reared some of the endangered frogs from tiny tadpoles to full-fledged frogs, giving them a head start on survival. 

The native amphibian has lost ground to habitat loss from draining and development, disease and the introduction of invasive species such as the American bullfrog, and have been decimated by 80-90%. 

Oregon spotted frogs are highly aquatic.They are found in or near permanent still water such as lakes, ponds, springs, marshes and the grassy margins of slow-moving streams.

Before the frogs were released into the wild on October 7, each was weighed and measured at Northwest Trek. The frogs were released in the Dailman Lake area at Fort Lewis. The protected site contains one of the largest relatively intact wetlands remaining in the Puget Lowlands. State biologists will be able to track the Oregon spotted frogs using their ID tags. Their life expectancy in the wild is approximately 5-8 years.

Frog babies

Measuring

A frog in hand...

Release 2
Photo Credit: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park