Do you have a favorite animal? I am sure you do too. What is it? What interests you about them? Why do you love them more than any other type of animal?
My six-year-old son is obsessed with cats. Absolutely loves them, tells me he is half cat. My daughter adores owls. She lost her favorite stuffed owl once, and we scoured the internet to find the exact replacement.
Personally, I always preferred canines, but I freaked out when I saw my first bobcat in the wild. Whenever I am next to Puget Sound, I scan the horizon for whales. In ten years, I have seen the spouts once. Seeing a bear on our way out of whistler resulted in us extending our stay an extra day. I was the only one in my family to see it too.
My sister LOVED bison as a child. After visiting Yellowstone one time as children, she sang, “Buffalo, Buffalo, I… I… Love you. Because you are so sweet.” She sang her song for years, and we teased her, but we all secretly loved her song.
Everyone has a favorite animal. It is one of the first questions you have an answer to in life.
Many people are struggling right now, and that struggle for some folks’ trickles down to animals.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek are offering two new services for people that are currently being kept away. As a canine guy, I adore PDZA for their work with the Red Wolves and tireless work in saving the Red Wolf. That work is dependent on visitors to the zoo, something many people are simply unable to do right now.
In lieu of visiting, you can help through these two programs.
Unique Animal Shoutouts
Want to send a fun, social distancing birthday message? PDZA and Northwest trek will create a personalized video message for a variety of occasions to send to your friends and loved ones.
The videos feature a zookeeper and animals listed on their respective sites. Click here for PDZA and Here for Northwest Trek.
Some of their suggestions for events for this service are birthdays, graduations, engagements, back to school. Honestly, those well-wishes can all be made significantly better with the help of a Barn Owl or a Two-Toed Sloth.
Personally, I think this is an excellent opportunity for some fun.
- It would make a hilarious to have an otter remind a coworker who forgets to attend those zoom meetings. You otter attend that next meeting because I sea you missed the last one…
- Are you harboring some guilt over an argument with your significant other? I think a Harbor Seal would be a much better way to apologize than a bouquet of flowers!
- You have a friend losing his hair, offer your condolences for his failing follicles with a Bald Eagle! They are powerful and majestic birds, and they do not have hair either.
- You got a kid that will not clean their room, Northwest trek has a Banana Slug that would love to help remind them.
Northwest Trek’s Online Wildlife Academy
My son was in Kindergarten last year, so I barely had time to get into the swing of things before the pandemic hit. Now I’m regularly looking for activities to engage my kids in something more productive than terrorizing each other.
NW Trek offers courses for individuals, groups, home learning pods, scout troops for prices ranging from $10 to $99 in On-Demand, or in a Live format, depending on your selection. It is an excellent idea for a parent like me trying to figure out how to keep your kids actively learning in a world where it’s difficult to leave the house.
Some of their classes include:
- The Wonders of Wolverines: Discover the tools and abilities of this “superhero” of the forest (10a.m. Aug. 11)
- Northwest Wildlife Investigators: Learn how to observe wildlife and what animals need to
survive (10 a.m. Aug. 18)
- Are You Bear Aware? Find out the difference between North America’s three types of bears, and
meet the Northwest Trek bears (10 a.m. Aug. 25)
- Animal Enrichment 101: Explore why animals need enrichment, and how to create it (10 a.m.
- Northwest Trek Raptors: Examine anatomy, behavior, and adaptations of owls, eagles and other
- Peek in the Pond: Dive into freshwater insect life in the Pacific Northwest (upcoming)
- Ask a ‘Trexpert’! Students get to bring their own questions, and educators can structure lessons.
around current units of study (group bookings only)
Teachers can also try this out during august before their classes begin in the fall.
How do you feel about the pandemic? Does it worry you?
I am generally a pretty stoic guy, but COVID scares me. It scares me in part because I have a travel blog site; I have dedicated countless hours to it. What do I do if this pandemic extends on for years? Will anyone be able to travel?
What really scares me is what happens when it is my turn to catch COVID? Will I be one of those asymptomatic people, or will I be another tragedy along with so many other people. What do I do? What do we do in a situation like this where we have no guarantees?
I think perhaps we live the best lives we possibly can. Be a good example for your children. Help others where you can. So that if we leave this world whether it is next week or fifty years from now, we can rest assured we tried to improve the world we lived in like the folks at PDZA and Northwest Trek who have helped ensure species like the Red Wolf stick around for future generations to have as their favorite animal.
Seriously, be kind to people, or I might be forced to poke you with a reminder via a zookeeper and a porcupine.