At 4-months-old, Willow the Moose calf is growing fast. Keepers at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, near Eatonville, Washington, estimate she weighs between 120 and 130 pounds. Her legs are still long and spindly, but her body is filling out.
Willow is nearly weaned from her mother’s milk and is growing more independent each day.
She moves farther away from mom, Connie, in search of the foliage that makes up the bulk of her herbivore diet. She also has a hearty appreciation for the grain that keepers leave out to supplement the browse (branches and leaves) moose like to munch on.
She still has a quite a bit of growing to do. An adult female moose can weigh around 800 pounds.
The young moose was a most special surprise for Northwest Trek staff in 2015. She was born on July 17, the wildlife park’s 40th birthday. ZooBorns shared news of her birth in an article from early September: "First Moose Born in Fifteen Years at Northwest Trek"
Willow’s name was chosen by members of the public who gave it the most votes from a slate of prospective names selected by wildlife park keepers.
Every visit to Northwest Trek includes a 50-minute, narrated tour of the 435-acre Free-Roaming Area, which is home to Willow and her mom, Connie; two other moose, Ellis and Nancy; plus herds of American bison and majestic Roosevelt Elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer, a pair of trumpeter swans and other animals.
In addition to the chance to see Willow during the tram tour of the Free-Roaming Area, visitors also can walk forested pathways past natural exhibits with many other native Northwest animals, including black and grizzly bears, wolves, foxes, Canada lynx, bobcats, beavers, river otters, owls – and, fittingly this week, a turkey vulture.
Northwest Trek recently concluded their “Help Out for Half Off” food drive on Thanksgiving Weekend. Visitors who brought two or more items of shelf-stable food to donate received half off general admission. The drive was to benefit Pierce County Washington’s non-profit Emergency Food Network, which distributed 15.3 million pounds of food in 2014. Northwest Trek visitors donated over 2,200 pounds for the month of November.
For the month of December, Northwest Trek has a new promotional event: Up to 4 children (ages 12 & younger) admitted FREE with each general adult admission.
For more information about the Moose calf – and to see photos of Willow – go to www.nwtrek.org/moose. For more information about Northwest Trek, go to www.nwtrek.org.