Last week was a big one for Zoe Nelson - and for Glen Rose.
The five-year-old Alaskan native, who is in love with dinosaurs, paid a visit to the Dinosaur Capital of Texas.
Zoe, who suffers from a life-threatening medical condition, was granted a wish by Make-A-Wish Foundation and several Glen Rose owned businesses. According to her mother, Laurel, Zoe’s love of dinosaurs was sparked by her grandmother.
“My mom used to teach kindergarten,” Laurel said. “She sent some things from the (old) classroom. All of a sudden we had a full-blown dinosaur obsession.”
Full-blown received a whole new meaning for Zoe last week as she visited Dinosaur World and saw life-sized dinosaurs.
“But they didn’t move,” she said.
And according to Zoe, that was only because people were present.
“When all of the people are gone they come alive,” she said with a sparkle in her eye.
Zoe’s favorite extinct cold-blooded creature comes as no surprise.
“(It’s) T-Rex because he is the fiercest meat eater,” Zoe said.
Laurel said her daughter’s favorite adventure of the week was a toss-up between Dinosaur World and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.
“I think it’s a pretty close race for first place,” she said.
Fossil Rim was excited to have Zoe and her parents visit for a day, as they always do with Make-A-Wish families.
“Fossil Rim has had a long association with the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” executive director Dr. Patrick Condy said. “We will always be willing to share all the special creatures we have here to make the dream of a special child come true. It is a very profound experience for us as well, and we treasure that Fossil Rim can do humanitarian work for our society of this kind. A few years ago we even started our own local ‘dream day’ occasion, usually in December, for local children and their families with the help of the LDL Foundation, the Glen Rose Medical Center, and other local businesses.”
While the dinosaurs may not have moved for Zoe, the animals at Fossil Rim sure did. With a backstage tour, she was able to interact and play with several of the center’s beloved animals.
“I got to pick mud off Marvin the rhino. I petted him and he was soft,” she said.
While Zoe knows Marvin was larger than she is, she couldn’t be sure by how much.
“I can’t measure,” she said.
Other favorites of the day included the cheetahs, Moose and Bruce, and the goats, which she was allowed to feed.
Her experience in Glen Rose was summed up short and sweet.
“It was a blast of fun,” Zoe said.