By Jeff Schrock, Randolph, Tucker and Upshur County Reporter
FRENCH CREEK – The West Virginia Wildlife Center gives visitors a realistic understanding of the state’s wildlife.
The West Virginia Wildlife Center located in French Creek in Upshur County is home to French Creek Freddie, mountain lions, and black bears, and they also have some new visitors, wolf pups.
“Everybody wants to come and see the new animals that we have, particularly young animals like these three new wolf pups that we have,” said Gene Thorn, wildlife biologist.
Thorn said anytime the wildlife center gets new animals it’s always a challenge. These 13 week old male wolf pups came from an anonymous donor. Thorn said in the wild, wolves run in packs. The pups were placed with a five-year-old male wolf they found, and have been together for at least a month. Thorn said the wildlife center wants visitors to see that behavior.
“Our bigger animals like buffalo, and elk, and mountain lions and wolves are became extinct in the state. This is the opportunity for people to come out and see those animals that were here once on the landscape,” said Thorn.
The pups were very easy to approach, and pet and getting this chance early was a unique experience, because as they get older Thorn said they’re behavior will change.
Another addition is a golden eagle the wildlife center obtained from the West Virginia Raptor Rehab Center in Morgantown. The wildlife center is open 365 days a year. Individuals and school tours can walk the 1.2 mile loop to see all the animals.
The wildlife center is open for free from Nov. 1 through March 31. They’ll officially start its season on April 1.