Five Fox Kits, Young Moose Now on Exhibit
December 2, 2013
Once-orphaned animals becoming crowd favorites as they settle into new homes
A young female moose munches on foliage near the Baker Research Cabin, just yards away from a group of curious children.
An 8-month old fox kit skitters across the forest floor, its long bushy tail flowing behind it. The fox pauses, looks at onlookers, and dashes into a clump of bushes.
Its four siblings huddle nearby.
The young moose and fox kits are the newest animals on exhibit at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. All were orphaned and rescued by wildlife officials. They’ve been behind the scenes at
Northwest Trek while they grew a bit and exhibit spaces were readied for them.
Their debut on public exhibit comes just in time for the busy holiday season, when kids will be out of school and families are seeking outings for out-of-town guests.
Moose long have been part of the animal landscape at Northwest Trek, and often are sighted in the 435-acre Free-Roaming Area by visitors on tram tours of the grounds.
Now, there is a moose in the center section of the wildlife park, just a short walk away from the main entrance. Moose sightings are never guaranteed, she could be hidden in the foliage. But there’s a good chance of spotting her from the railing looking into her new exhibit.
The young female, about 18 months old, arrived at Northwest Trek in the summer of last year after she was found abandoned underneath a house in Idaho.
She was one of three orphaned moose brought to the wildlife park near Eatonville in the spring and summer of 2012. The other two, a male from Idaho and a female from Alaska, were released in the Free-Roaming area in April.
This moose, however, required extra care and has been living behind-the-scenes at Northwest Trek while zoological staff worked on an appropriate space for her.
The five fox kits, three males and two females, arrived at Northwest Trek in May following their rescue by wildlife officials in Idaho.
They were orphaned after a rancher shot and killed their mother as she was stealing chickens near Rexburg. The rancher didn’t know about the kits until later and cooperated in their rescue.
Idaho wildlife authorities freed them from a 40-foot-long irrigation pipe in which they’d been hidden.
“We’re excited to bring these young animals into our exhibit spaces, where the public will be able to watch them grow,” Zoological Curator Heidi Hellmuth said. “The stories of these animals, and the wild counterparts that they represent, fit nicely into our conservation mission at Northwest Trek.”
Northwest Trek is currently open Fridays through Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, go to www.nwtrek.org.