Reptile rescue in Huntington goals to construct a zoo for the realm

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — For those who’re a fan of animals, particularly ones that slither and have scales, a brand new growth could also be coming to Huntington that’s proper up your alley, which is increasing on a rescue effort already underway.

Andy McKee is a former center college science instructor whose penchant for rescuing reptiles and amphibians and in depth information of herpetology led to a reptile rescue within the Jewel Metropolis. He’s the founder and CEO of Mountain State Reptile Rescue.

“I began Mountain State Reptile Rescue with the intention of nonetheless educating and doing this on the facet as form of a weekend venture or one thing to assist, and it simply grew and grew and grew till lastly, I needed to have a storefront, and that is my first 12 months out of the classroom,” McKee says.

Mountain State Reptile Rescue presently boasts round 46 rescues, however McKee has larger plans for the Tri-State.

“It’s probably not a brand new enterprise, it’s simply an growth of what we’re already doing, and it’s finally to save lots of extra animals,” McKee says. “It’ll really be referred to as the Huntington Reptile Home and Aquarium. It’s gonna be a full-scale reptile home that can home a whole lot of reptiles and amphibians from all around the world.”

This venture to construct a zoo can even function an aquarium with marine life from all around the world.

McKee says this reptile home and aquarium venture may present guests and even longtime residents what this space actually has to supply.

“It’s really going to be an academic, scientific facility. And the property we’re attempting to get proper now has greater than 55 acres,” McKee says.

That property can be in Wayne County—however nonetheless in metropolis limits—and is the primary part of McKee’s four-to-five-year plan to get the zoo up and operating.

Nonetheless, he’s asking for the group’s assist to go the primary hurdle: elevating $850,000 {dollars} within the subsequent 60 days.

“We wish our group, my group, to really feel like…they’ve possession of this,” McKee says.

Individuals in the neighborhood inform 13 Information they suppose people within the space can be onboard.

“I believe lots of people have a false impression about reptiles, and I believe that one thing like that being round right here can be nice,” says Huntington resident Charles Shepard.

The funds raised would go in direction of buying the property.

Whereas the zoo could properly take 4 to 5 years to completely come to fruition, McKee has some short-term objectives coming down the pike as properly: “Whereas we’re doing that, we’ve outgrown our location right here. We’re gonna transfer, we’re trying to transfer to a better visitors location that has higher parking, extra sq. footage, and we’re basically gonna construct a scaled-down model of what we’re constructing there because the reptile home.”

The entire zoo is estimated to value someplace within the neighborhood of $20,000,000.

For extra details about Mountain State Reptile Rescue, go to their Fb Web page right here, or go to their web site right here.

For extra details about Huntington Reptile Home and Aquarium, go to their Fb Web page right here.

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