Bears, red wolves, bald eagles and alligators just got a bigger place to roam in eastern North Carolina.
The state purchased 2,224 acres known as the Woodley Tract in Tyrrell County, enlarging the Emily and Richardson Preyer Buckridge Coastal Reserve to nearly 30,000 acres of peat soils, wetlands and forests, according to a release from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.
The cost to the state was $520,965. The landowner donated $117,200 of the value, said state spokeswoman Patricia Smith.
The Buckridge Coastal Reserve is part of nearly 350,000 acres set aside for wildlife habitat in the region that includes three national wildlife refuges in Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties.