Members of the B-U Zoo Crew show off some of their collection of animals Saturday, April 1 at the West Virginia Wildlife Center to help kick off the center's 2023 spring/summer seasons. / Photos by Monica Zalaznik

B-U Zoo visits West Virginia Wildlife Center for a special kickoff to the summer season

FRENCH CREEK – The West Virginia Wildlife Center welcomed a new group of animals Saturday to help kick off the spring and summer seasons.

The B-U Zoo visited the Center April 1 to give guests a chance to observe animals native to West Virginia and some exotic fauna as well. The trip to the center was the second time the B-U Zoo has gone mobile after visiting Washington District Elementary School, and Bridgette Tenney, zoology and biology teacher at Buckhannon-Upshur High School, said she hopes her students learn something new from each trip.

“I think the trips have been great; it gives the kids the opportunity to learn, and when things go not-so-perfectly, they come back, revamp and have the learning experience of trying to figure out how to make it better,” Tenney told My Buckhannon at Saturday’s event. “We really didn’t have a lot of things in need of correcting, but the students got new ideas and things they wanted to add, so that’s been a good thing.”

West Virginia Wildlife Center biologist Trevor Moore reached out to Tenney to ask if she could set up the B-U Zoo in the Wildlife Center’s Nature Activity Center, giving guests a chance to see the zoo’s rex rabbits, crested geckos, a sulcata tortoise, a chinchilla, poison dart frogs and axolotls.

“Trevor and I are excited about getting kids involved in careers with animals, and we are learning to work together and using the Wildlife Center as a benefit,” Tenney said. “It’s right in our neighborhood, and we should use it for education.”

Tenney plans to bring the zoo to more Upshur County Schools in the near future.

“We’re trying to get into more elementary schools in Upshur County, before the end of the school year,” Tenney said.

Moore said he was inspired to invite the B-U Zoo to the center after reading about them on Facebook.

“I think it’s a great stepping-stone for kids who want to get into animal husbandry, conservation, science, education or any of those areas,” Moore said. “This program does all that, so I think we’re a perfect place to host these kinds of events.”

The West Virginia State Wildlife Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children and free for those ages three and under. For more information or directions to the zoological center, please visit their website here.

Below are a few more photos of the B-U Zoo as well as some animals that live at the wildlife center.

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