The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center covers more than 17,000-acres of land and is an endangered species research and conservation center. The facility opened its 9.5 mile drive to the public on June 21st, 1984 and since that time; Fossil Rim has remained a very popular attraction in the state of Texas. Located in Glen Rose, the facility has more than 1,000 animals that represent more than 50 different species.
Fossil Rim is the first facility of its kind to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The facility participates in a worldwide network of animal conservation organizations devoted to the restoration of balance between people, animals and the environment. The facility contains some of the rarest animals to be found in the United States, with some species being endangered or threatened.
Some of the animals that make their home at the center include Addax antelopes, and Fossil Ridge is the home of the largest breeding herd of addax in the world, composed of 34 males and 50 females. The addaxes are located in the main pasture, located at the beginning of the scenic driving route.
The Blackbuck antelope is a transplant and there are more in the state of Texas, than in the animals' native India. There are more than 100 blackbuck antelope at the facility; and the breeding herd is kept in a private enclosure. Because of Fossil Ridge, the blackbuck antelope have been saved from near extinction and the animals are regularly the subject of research for students from local colleges.
Other antelope species found at Fossil Ridge are Blesbok, Gemsbok, Greater Kudu, and Sable antelopes. Guests will find these antelope grazing lazily in the front and central pastures of Fossil Ridge. Each antelope species tends to stick together in the pastures and can be identified easily by their coats and horns or lack of horns.
Other animals found at Fossil Ridge include waterbuck, aoudad, bison, cheetah, coati, cranes, deer, gazelles, giraffes, guanacos, ocelots, oryx, ostriches, prairie chickens, rhinos, wildebeasts, wolves and zebras. The 9.5 mile drive-through facility features breathtakingly scenic wildlife and magnificent views of the Texas Hill Country.
Guests can stop at the half-way point of the tour and purchase lunch at the Overlook Cafy, which boasts views of the Chalk Mountain Country. Also at the half-way point are a gift shop ,children's zoo, walking trail and Nature Store, both of which have a large variety of fresh fruits, souvenirs, T-shirts and knick knacks.
Fossil Ridge is opened October 1st-31st from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, and November 1st -February 28th from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm, and March 1st- September 30th from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm. To drive and tour the facility it is advisable to leave 2-3 hours and guided tours are offered if arranged in advance.
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