State wildlife center at reduced operations - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

State wildlife center at reduced operations

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The West Virginia Wildlife Center in French Creek has partially reopened following storm damage recovery, but is operating at reduced capacity, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Gene Thorn, WVDNR wildlife biologist in charge of the Wildlife Center, said "The snowstorm of Oct. 30-31 that swept through the Appalachians in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy dumped more than two feet of heavy, wet snow in French Creek, bringing down numerous trees and branches. Unfortunately, our facility suffered extensive damage. We are working diligently to clean up the area and make repairs, but the process will be lengthy."

Wildlife Center staff has removed the downed trees and limbs from the road and loop trail. People will be allowed to walk the loop trail for now, but during the reconstruction phase there will be no public access to the loop. There will be no tours until reconstruction is completed. The parking lot and road to the picnic area will remain open for walkers.

"Donations to the Wildlife Center are always appreciated and will help with repairs," Thorn said in a news release.

No tax dollars are used to provide the public with this state-of-the-art zoological park and wildlife educational facility which displays native animals and birds of West Virginia. The mailing address for donations is WV State Wildlife Center, PO Box 38, French Creek, WV 26218.

Check the WVDNR website for updated information regarding the reopening of the Wildlife Center at http://www.wvdnr.gov/Wildlife/WildlifeCenter.shtm.