GLEN ROSE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Less than an hour from the DFW Metroplex is a unique destination that makes many guests feel like they are no longer in Texas. With over 1,400 acres of hills, pastures and forests, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is home to 1,100 animals of all shapes and sizes.
Molly Shea and Rebecca McLachlan are two of the animal care specialists who feed and manage the animals each day.
“I’ve had guests stop me and say I feel like I am in Africa,” McLachlan said. “Many times one of the giraffes, will just be walking across the pasture, across the landscape.”
Fossil Rim is now offering unique behind-the-scenes tours where guests can get up close and personal with almost all the animals on the grounds.
“It’s a really unique opportunity, to step into a world that otherwise you wouldn’t be a part of,” McLachlan said.
The “Feed Run Tour” allows visitors to ride along with animal care staff like Molly and Rebecca while they feed the animals each morning. The cost is $100 per tour for up to two people.
“On the typical tour when you are in your own vehicle you may not get to see these animals,” Shea said.
However, when you are in a truck that the animals are used to the people that feed them each morning, the animals come within feet of you.
“We can tell individual (animals) apart and give you background information on who is who and what is going on with the individual animals,” McLachlan said. “Like 695 is this addox that keeps following us and sometimes she runs to every feed station with me just for fun.”
The giraffes have become one of the most popular stops on the feed run, where the staff gets you so close to the majestic animals that they will bend down and eat the food straight from your hands.
“You can have a one-on-one, very intimate connection with something so big and so grand,” Shea said. “Plus, you can connect with Fossil Rim and understand why we are so passionate about conservation when you get to speak to the people who do it every day.”
Another opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in all that Fossil Rim offers is staying on-site in one of their cabins, where guests can wake up just feet away from some of the animals.