Spend Groundhog Day with French Creek Freddie
Since 1978, French Creek Freddie, the state’s official weather prognosticating groundhog, has been the star of the show at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center at French Creek in Upshur County.
On Monday, Feb. 2, Freddie is poised to continue his annual ritual at 10 a.m. Each Groundhog Day, Wildlife Center staff awakens the grumpy rodent and bring him out of his winter hibernation hole to allow him to look for his shadow and predict the severity of the remaining six weeks of winter. He’s usually right, but after making his forecast before an audience of hundreds of groundhog fans, including news media from around the state, he is more than happy to return to the warmth of his bed.
The West Virginia Wildlife Center is a modern zoological facility displaying native and introduced state wildlife. Operated by the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the Wildlife Center is dedicated to presenting visitors a realistic and factual understanding of our state's wildlife. Woodland wildlife can be viewed along a wheelchair-accessible, 1.25-mile-long interpretive trail through a mature hardwood forest.
pecies at the facility include whitetail deer, black bear, wild turkey, and formerly native species that no longer live in the state, including elk, bison and mountain lions. The spacious enclosures allow the animals to interact with their environment and exhibit more natural behavior patterns. Interpretive signs help visitors learn more about each animal's life history, biology and its relationship with humans.
For more information, call 304-924-6211 Monday through Friday or go online at www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/wildlifecenter.shtm .