Two otters cuddle and bask in the sun at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek this summer. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Catch Civil War-era re-enactors and wildlife native to the Mountain State Aug. 5-6 at the West Virginia Wildlife Center

BUCKHANNON – The West Virginia State Wildlife Center invites the community to see two major attractions — a group of Civil War re-enactors and West Virginia’s native wildlife — in one ‘fowl’ swoop next weekend at the French Creek area zoological facility.

The wildlife center, located about 12 miles south of Buckhannon, is welcoming back a living history re-enactment Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5-6. The event will last all day on both days and will be included in the regular cost of admission, which is $4 for adults, $2 for people six to 15 and free for children five and under.

West Virginia State Wildlife Center biologist Trevor Moore said there will be over 20 Civil War-era re-enactors covering from pre-colonial up to Civil War time periods. The re-enactors can be found just right of the entrance, on a large quad, underneath a cluster of trees.

“We think it’s a really good way to help fulfill our mission; we talked about teaching the public about the wildlife, but also conserving wildlife and even all the uses they’ve had in the past,” Moore said. “This is a great way for us to get back to the roots [of the wildlife center], to show how people interacted with wildlife, especially in the past, so I think is really unique and something that maybe a lot of other places don’t do, and I think it really helps drive home that message that we are responsible for wildlife and how we interact with them.”

The re-enactors will be demonstrating a variety of skills from the past.

“It’s mostly just teaching them about some of the old ways they’ve done stuff, so I’m not sure if we’re having anybody tanning, but there has been one that makes leather and has sone tanning,” Moore said. “There’s usually some type of knife-making or knife work and there’s lots of historical stuff about old firearms.”

“There’ll be maybe some blacksmithing and then even some basic cooking, because they didn’t have microwaves or fridges or anything like that, so how do they keep and prepare food?” Moore added.

The rest of the wildlife center will also be accessible for visitors during the event, including all the animal exhibits. During the summer months the otters, pictured above) and other summer loving animals will be particularly active.

The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and directions can be found here.

More fun in the sun with friends. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

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