Northwest Trek has closed its gates to the public so employees can clean up the wildlife park and repair exhibits damaged by the snow, ice and wind storms that battered the region over the past week.
The park hopes to reopen for the Presidents’ Day weekend in mid-February, the park announced in a press release issued today.
“It looks like a battle zone out there now, with downed trees, damaged exhibits and plant debris strewn everywhere,” said Dave Ellis, Northwest Trek’s deputy director. “It’s the worst storm damage I’ve seen in over 25 years.”
Thousands of large tree branches have fallen down on exhibits, viewing pavilions, fences and pathways because of the heavy snowfall, ice storm and high winds.
The park reports that the wolf, cat, raptor and bear exhibits were “severely damaged.” The storm damage also has taken out nearly four miles of fencing around the park’s 435-acre free-roaming area.
All the animals have been accounted for and are safe.
“Thankfully, no animals or staff were hurt,” Ellis said.