West Virginia has always been a place of nature. As a little girl, I remember my grandfather putting apple peels out for the bears in the woods across the road from my grandparents’ house. We’d sit on the porch swing and wait for the little bear family to come have a snack. I also vividly remember my mom’s pet possum, Bob. He’d come up to the porch just about every evening to munch down on some cat food. There was also that time that a snake slithered right through the front door of our house only to have its tail caught as Momma slammed the door on it. My son has his heart set on seeing a skunk while we are visiting this summer, and he just might get what he is wishing for given that West Virginia seems to be at its most exotic as of late.

The Charlotte Observer’s Mark Price reported on May 31st that a woman was mauled by a bear on her porch. Thankfully, the 66-year-old woman is reported to make a full recovery. It is believed that the bear was in the woman’s yard to raid her bird feeders.

On the same day last week, Price reported that a 15-foot python is on the loose in Morgantown, W.V. Residents have been warned to keep an eye on small children and pets as the creature lurks about the city. According to the article, the snake was last seen dangling from a tree near the university. It would seem the snake is still on the loose based on my social media hunt for updated info.

Prior to all this, on May 25th, Jarrod Clay from Fox 11 reported that a marmoset monkey was pulled from a tree in Kanawha City. There have also been reports about a deer wandering around a Walmart in the Beckley, West Virginia area.

Social media is having a field day with all these crazy animal happenings. One post suggests something really crazy must be happening: “Bear attack in Upshur County, deer running though Wal-Mart in Beckley, Python loose in Morgantown, and a monkey found in Kanawha County… Who’s playing Jumanji?”

To be honest, I am not entirely shocked. If Jumanji were to happen in real life, it would totally make sense it would happen in the land of bobcats, black bears, and Copper Heads.

The other night my son was expressing his concerns about his fishing trip with Pap. In a concerned tone, he said to his dad, “What happens if I catch a shark, Daddy?”

“Bud, there aren’t any sharks in the lakes in West Virginia,” my husband responded with a laugh.

Given the current happenings with the wildlife in West Virginia, I’m wondering if my husband spoke too soon. Is that going to be the next headline?

“Nebraska boy visiting West Virginia catches hammerhead shark in Summersville Lake while fishing with his grandfather”

Needless to say, I am questioning all my packing choices for my upcoming trip to West Virginia. Do I need flip flops for my poolside days or hiking boots for the jungle? Do I need bug spray or cheetah deterrent? Maybe I’ll pack like I’m headed for a safari just to be safe.

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