James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 7.01'
Flow: 12400 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 9:00am
Low Tide: 3:48am

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Black bear cubs could find new home in Blue Ridge Mtns

August 27, 2012 9:31am

Ed Clark, president of the Wildlife Center of Va., prepares to release a bald eagle.

On Sunday, I wote in the T-D about a co-operative arrangement between the Wildlife Center of Virginia and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to help care for orphaned black bear cubs. The goal is to allow cubs orphaned in the spring to live with a surrogate mother (and possibly her other cubs) until the cubs are old enough to fend for themselves. The arrangement calls for a wooded facility of concentric enclosures to be built adjacent to the Wildlife Center’s property near Waynesboro. If funding can be found, DGIF and WCV officials told me, the hope is to have the facility up and running by this coming spring.

But writing the column also reminded me what a cool place the Wildlife Center is, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the George Washington National Forest. The WCV is not open to the public every day, but it does offer pre-arranged group tours (including school groups) for a small fee ($4-6, depending on which tour you choose.) The WCV also offers free open houses in the fall and the spring. The open houses are so popular that the fall dates are already sold out, but if you bookmark their website or sign up you’ll know when they announce the spring dates. Trust me when I tell you, a trip to the WCV to watch some of the best wildlife rehabilitators in America work their magic is not to be missed.

Alex, a screech owl, was treated by the WCV in 2007.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?