one health
one mission

A Campaign for World-Class Animal Health Care

Help Fossil Rim to Raise $2.5 Million to Build a Center for Animal Health

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a national leader in animal care, research, conservation, and saving species. As stewards of threatened and endangered species, we are dedicated to ensuring the health and well-being of the creatures under our care – matching passion with expertise and setting the standard for accredited wildlife conservation centers in the 21st century.

We have now embarked on one of the most critically important projects undertaken at the Center in more than a decade.

cheetah surgery

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is preparing to launch construction on a state-of-the-art animal health and conservation center that will replace a decades-old, 1,175 square-foot clinic with a 4,700 square-foot center offering cutting-edge health care to the wide variety of wild animal species under our care as well as increased conservation and research opportunities.

The new Animal Health and Conservation Center will encompass a teaching hospital for future veterinarians as well as a forum for medical and conservation research. It will also provide public education opportunities for learners of all ages from our region and beyond – actively connecting people to our animals, our caregivers and the natural world.

We invite you to become a part of this transformational project and help us bring to fruition Central Texas’s premier wild-animal health center.


To raise $2.5 million To build and equip the new state-of-the-art Animal Health and Conservation Center with the latest medical technologies for supporting collaborative innovation and individualized care for the animals at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.

In 2016, the first group of scimitar horned oryx were introduced back into Chad, Africa, where they were once declared extinct in the wild.

Our Animal
Health Care


When Fossil Rim Wildlife Center’s current animal clinic was built in the late 1980s, it was designed to offer care for a young facility with animals that could mostly be cared for in their pastures or enclosures. Throughout our history, our animal health staff have provided excellent care, finding creative solutions to utilize our building as well as provide care in the field.

Since then, so much has changed! The number of endangered species in our care has grown. Medical technologies and our understanding of the needs of many wild species have greatly advanced. Our participation in research on behalf of animal health and wildlife conservation has intensified. And we have become a teaching facility where veterinarians, fellows, interns, and students from across the world practice and grow as the next generation of conservationists.

Furthermore, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center plans to build a breeding program for Texas horned lizards, a native threatened species with an annual reintroduction program in place through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Animal Health and Conservation Center project would provide additional space for a Texas horned lizard breeding facility.

annual animal
health care


113 rhino blood draws for AIRS study

10,793 physiologic parameters recorded

2,665 prescriptions written

2000+ clinical notes written

415 vaccines given

63 neonatal, antelope exams

254 anesthetic events

15-20 veterinary students receive hands-on experience

100+ visitors will have the opportunity to see an animal procedure at the new Animal Health and Conservation Center

1,000+ youth will be able to dream of being an animal care, professional when they grow up

attwater's prairie chicken is possibly the most endangered bird in north america

As a result of our growth over the years, our modest clinic can no longer adequately serve the important missions at hand.

We have outgrown our space and need additional room for exams and surgeries. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has noted the need for a larger animal health building with separate treatment and surgical rooms.

Our Center and our community are devoted to providing the very best health care available to every animal in our care – from our small Attwater’s prairie chickens and black-footed cats to our 4,500-pound white rhinos and 14-foot tall giraffes – and to continue growing our reputation as a leader in animal care and conservation. The new Animal Health and Conservation Center will ensure we meet those standards for many years to come.

a campaign for
animal health care

case for support

The One Health philosophy expresses the concept that humans, animals and the world we live in are inextricably linked. We are committed to the approach of global collaboration between organizations and multiple disciplines to achieve optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

The Animal Health and Conservation Center will serve as a platform to conduct conservation research to aid the animals in our care and in the wild, and the collective, connected health of people, animals and our planet.

Among Fossil Rim Wildlife Center’s contributions to wild animal health care are:

  • Top production and survivability of Attwater’s prairie chickens (APCs), an endangered Texas native. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center annually produces hundreds of APC chicks for reintroduction.
  • Tested dama gazelle immobilization for helicopter/plane transport and implemented it in the transportation of captive and wild dama gazelle in Africa. Staff were tasked with finding a sedation level for dama gazelle that keeps them calm yet awake while being transported without a crate in a small plane or helicopter.
  • Successful assisted rearing and reintegration of a blue wildebeest calf into a managed herd prior to weaning. Wildebeest bond quickly with their mothers and are usually at their side within minutes of birth. This herd-oriented species is challenging to hand raise, and after six weeks of hand rearing, the orphaned calf was integrated into the herd while still approaching staff for bottle-feeding until she was three-months-old.

Over the years our dedicated staff have practiced preventative medicine as well as diagnosed, treated and performed life-saving procedures and managed long- term illnesses – many times using their ingenuity and creative solutions to ensure successful outcomes. The new Animal Health and Conservation Center will provide the necessary tools to facilitate their work and match their expertise.

American red wolf exam and teeth cleaning

Our Animal
Health Care

animal health



Fossil Rim Wildlife Center has a long history of research that contributes to the health and conservation of species in our care. In addition to our own research projects, we partner with other zoological facilities and universities to conduct research on-site or contribute samples and historical data. These studies include:

  • Participation in the American Institute of Rhinoceros Science (AIRS) study to produce science-based, feasible management recommendations for monitoring and controlling physical condition, iron overload, and reproductive dysfunction, while improving rhino wellbeing. This program will set a precedent for saving species with science in zoos.
  • Inclusion of our black-footed cats (BFCs) in ongoing research to refine artificial insemination techniques for the species. When our facility first added this species to our animal collection in 2014, one of our goals was to support the advancement of artificial insemination. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is home to approximately 30% of the black-footed cats in AZA’s population. (As of 9/27/22, we had 9 of 31 BFCs.)
  • Numerous studies on parasite control, ranging from internal parasites such as strongyles to external parasites such as spinose ear ticks.
  • Gut microbiome studies for antelope, black rhinos, maned wolves, red wolves, cheetahs, and Attwater’s prairie chickens.
  • Genetic studies for sable antelope, eastern bongo, Arabian oryx, dama gazelle, addax, and Attwater’s prairie chickens.
  • Behavioral studies related to use of GPS collars in scimitar-horned oryx, social cohesion in an Arabian oryx herd, ethological coding techniques for addax and sable antelope, habitat use by addax and sable antelope, individual variation in behavioral profiles of addax breeding males, behavioral estrus chart for sable antelope, and a bull suitability survey.
  • Development of a body condition scoring system for antelope that has been shared with other facilities.

American red wolf endoscopy exam

Our Animal
Health Care


Build the Animal Health and Conservation Center

Focus on the following:

  • Animal Health Care
  • Scientific Research
  • Professional Training
  • Public Education

animal health and conservation center

key features

Larger exam and treatment room will accommodate more and larger animals and reduce the need to perform procedures in the field.

A sterile surgical suite will have separate from the treatment room. This will reduce the need to transport animals off-site for treatment.

A dedicated research/conference area for staff to have access to several workstations and a meeting space. This will be a significant improvement and further our work in education and research.

A larger laboratory will allow more space to expand our testing capabilities, train interns, and accommodate visiting student groups.

Additional padded recovery rooms for hoofstock and enclosures for carnivores/birds.Padded rooms are needed to safely hold hoofstock animals during recovery so they don’t injure themselves.

Additional storage within the building will also be included so Animal Health staff can keep more items on-site rather than stored in various remote buildings.

Internal windows and/or video screens to allow interns, students, and certain visitors to observe veterinary procedures taking place in the sterile surgery room.

To build a $2.5 million Animal Health and Conservation Center with new state-of-the-art equipment with the latest medical technologies for supporting collaborative innovation and individualized care for the animals at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center 

Health care


Build a $2.5 million dollar complex exceeding 4,700 square feet – 4 times the size of the clinic Fossil Rim Wildlife Center has relied on for more than 30 years.

Be a state-of-the-art health center that will exceed AZA standards for years to come, cementing our reputation as a world-class animal care institution.

Expand upon public education and professional training by allowing more space to host visiting students, such as those at nearby Tarleton State University, for veterinary procedures and lab practicums.

Add far-reaching capabilities to expand our on-site research through larger lab spaces and multiple workstations. We will continue to participate in studies that benefit our collection, populations under human care, and their wild counterparts.

Launch our Texas horned lizard breeding initiative, contributing to the study and reintroduction of this threatened native species.

"Everything is connected, therefore everything is affected."

- Mark Phillips

the animal health and conservation center

One Health | One Mission
A Campaign for World-Class Animal Health Care

Our Mission
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is dedicated to the conservation of species in peril, conducting scientific research, training of professionals, responsible management of natural resources and public education. Through these activities, we provide a diversity of compelling learning experiences that inspire positive change in the way people think, feel and act with Nature.

2155 County Road 2008, Glen Rose, TX 76043