A New Beginning

The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center Nature Store (gift shop) hosted its Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting last Saturday after a year of rebuilding as a result of the fire that burned the old Nature Store in February 2014. The event was well-attended despite the rain.


Front row (from left): Deborah Connor, Kit Tennison Moncrief, Jil Tennison Barnes, Francie Moody Dahlberg, Mary McDermott Cook, Cynthia Sadler, Michael Meadows, Pat Condy, Kevin Dahlberg. Back row (from left): Susan Foster, Bob O’Kennon, George Jones, Tom Mantzel. Not Pictured: Krystyna Jurzykowski



Cynthia Sadler



Jeannie Saver, Bee Williams


The event started at 10am with a coffee and Danish breakfast at the Eco Center before the group made their way to the Nature Store.



From left: Jil Tennison Barnes, Tom Mantzel, Kit Tennison Moncrief


Francie Moody Dahlberg, Dr. Pat Condy


Cynthia Sadler, Bob O’Kennon


From left: Dennis Moore, Craig Canon, Judy Canon, Barbara Washburn, Roy Washburn, Suzy Ruff




From left: Sandy Skrei, Kelley Snodgrass, Tom Mantzel, Dianne Uhl



From left: Michael Meadows, Mary McDermott Cook, Dr. Pat Condy


George Jones



Dr. Pat Condy, Fossil Rim’s Executive Director, and Donna Steakley, Director of Tourism, gave words of thanks to those involved with the building of the new store.


Dr. Pat Condy


From left: Lynn Rogers, Dr. Pat Condy, Donna Steakley


Donna Steakley, Dr. Pat Condy

Special thanks and appreciation went to Mary McDermott Cook with the McDermott Foundation as well as Francie Moody Dahlberg with the Moody Foundation for their significant donations to the building of the store.


Mary McDermott Cook, Dr. Pat Condy


From left: Allan Matthews, Francie Moody Dahlberg, Dr. Pat Condy

Certificates of Appreciation were also distributed to Staples Custom Homes, Gosdin’s Dozer Service Inc., Safari Ltd., Arnold and Co and Aurora World Inc. for their contributions.


From left: Jimmy Gosdin, Dr. Pat Condy, Steve Staples


Roy Arnold, Donna Steakley

With the help of the Glen Rose Chamber of Commerce, the ribbon was cut by Steakley and Condy. Attendees then took time to eat cake and shop at the store where many took advantage of the Grand Opening specially priced items.


From left: Judy Steadham, Dr. Pat Condy, Donna Steakley, Rhonda Cagle


From left: Judy Steadham, Dr. Pat Condy, Donna Steakley, Rhonda Cagle


Sara Paulsen, Tom Mantzel, Dianne Uhl, Trich Zaitoon


Following the public event, a luncheon catered by Hammonds BBQ was held at the Eco Center. Tom Mantzel, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center’s founder and original owner, spoke to the group reminiscing about Fossil Rim’s beginnings in the 1980’s. Kelley Snodgrass, COO, followed Mantzel and gave his words of thanks and appreciation to all of those involved.


Final words were given by Susan Foster, Director of Development, including the announcement of the new Fossil Rim port, Royal Cheetah, available for purchase at D’Vine Wine in Granbury, TX (107 E Bridge Street, Granbury, TX 76048, (817) 573-7200).


On behalf of everyone at Fossil Rim, we are very grateful to all of our supporters who helped rebuild a bigger and better store. Proceeds from the Nature Store represent nearly a quarter of the revenue used to operate Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, including the feed and care for over 50 species of animals. We are excited about the new store and the opportunities that it will bring for the conservation of endangered species and the care for ‘insurance’ populations. Be sure to plan a trip to visit the new Nature Store at 1789 County Road 2009, Glen Rose, Texas 76043.



  1. Hi, I am Rhodesian, now residing in UK Suffolk. I so loved watching the documentary on Rupert the Rhino this evening on Animal Planet channel. Thanks! I am curious as to why Rhinos aren’t ‘farmed’ and have often mused about doing such a thing here in the UK in Suffolk. There are captive rhinos, I think White ones in Africa Aliv park at Kessingland up the road from me. Their horns have grown so excessively large at times, they are square and cumbersome, four times the weight of a natural horn that is worn down with use in the wild. I notice they have introduced some rubbing logs and the horns aren’t as large now. If rhinos can enjoy human contact and create bonds, surely so can rhinos, in a cattle type feeding station were the horns can be ‘harvested’ while they eat, much like a cow is milked and stays in place feeding while the machines are attached. I am an artist, so have a good imagination!! the end result in the vision is a flood of rhino horn to the buyers of dumb medicine, in so much abundance that the price of poached rhino horn is not worth the effort, thus saving lives. Could be a workable solution? I am willing to test this theory in Suffolk away from risk of poaching etc if you think we can try. Isn’t it worth a go? I will certainly be addig some wildlife paintings to my repertoire should be interested in fundraising that way in any case. I look forward to hearing from you. Dawn http://www.dawnpretty.com

    1. Dawn the problem is rhino horn is banned from trade (illegal). Until that changes harvesting rhino horn can’t be done. Perhaps, if it were legal we could harvest the rhino horn and save the rhino. Thank you for your note.

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