FRENCH CREEK, W.VA. — Families planning a trip to the West Virginia State Wildlife Center will be greeted by a few new faces this summer. Biologists at the Upshur County facility, which is managed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, welcomed three new grey wolf pups in June.
“Our wolf pups have a lot of energy and are so excited to be out in their enclosure here at the Wildlife Center,” said Trevor Moore, the facility’s new wildlife biologist. “They grow up fast, so folks who want to see them while they’re still pups should make plans to visit the Wildlife Center this summer.”
Grey wolves have been extirpated in West Virginia since 1900. Wolves are the largest members of the Canidae family and are closely related to coyotes, foxes and jackals. Moore said the wolf pups were born in April and will grow to be about five feet long, from tail to muzzle, and about three feet tall at the shoulder.
In addition to the grey wolf pups, the Wildlife Center is home to nearly 30 species of native and once-native species. The 327-acre park features a 1.25-mile wheelchair accessible interpretive trail that leads visitors through a mature hardwood forest past spacious enclosures where each animal can interact naturally with its environment.
The Wildlife Center is open year-round, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. Between April and October, hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is $4 for adults, $2 for kids 6-15 and free for kids 5 and younger. From Nov. 1 to March 31, the facility is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free for everyone.
“The animals are out every day, so there’s never a bad time to come visit,” Moore said.
The Wildlife Center also sells season passes, which are good for the entire season. Individual passes are $10 and family passes are $20-40. To buy season tickets or schedule a group visit, call 304-924-6211 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To learn more about the Wildlife Center, visit WVdnr.gov/wildlife/wildlifecenter.shtm.