A bobcat at the West Virginia Wildlife Center warily surveys its surroundings. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

W.Va. Wildlife Center reopens, and now, families can visit for free!

ROCK CAVE – The West Virginia State Wildlife Center has reopened – and now with free admission.

The center is open to guests from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, including weekends and holidays. The picnic area is closed, but the gift shop and snack bar will be open, and the phone number for the gift shop is 304-924-6003.

The center is home to animals native and introduced to West Virginia, including the state animal the black bear, mountain lions, raccoons, otters, coyotes, wolves, bobcats and much more.

You ‘otter’ hurry out to the West Virginia Wildlife Center while admission is free! / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website, wildlife can be seen along a wheelchair accessible 1.25-mile path through a hardwood forest.

“The spacious enclosures allow the animals to interact with their environment and they therefore exhibit more natural behavior patterns,” the website says. “Interpretive signs help the visitor to learn more about each animal’s life history, biology and its relationship with humans.”

Social distancing guidelines and signs are posted in the area.

Governor Jim Justice earlier this month announced zoos, museums and visitor centers and indoor and outdoor bars at 50 percent capacity would be able to reopen today, Tuesday, May 26.

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