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Museum marks fourth year of service

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  • Museum marks fourth year of service
    A youngster pets Olivia, a walking dinosaur character that has entertained thousands of youngsters at the Bandera Natural History Museum during its first four years of operation. More growth is in the plans for the museum at 267 Old San Antonio Highway in

The Bandera Natural History Museum is celebrating its fourth year of operation during June and looking forward to more growth after a successful start, museum officials said.

Since its opening in June 2016, the museum had had more than 45,000 visitors from all over Texas, all the other states in the U.S. and 68 countries.

Officials said educational field trips have brought scores of students to the museum from Bandera and surrounding counties.

Its Membership Program has grown to include 70 active members who receive free admission and access to activities at the museum for a year.

The museum has brought special programs to the facility, including Dinosaur George, Happy Tails animal shows, the Birds of Prey Conservancy, Bill Rivers Movieland Animals, and the museum’s own walking and roaring dinosaur, Olivia.

Programming has been put on hold in compliance with regulations designed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, but officials said those activities will be continued when the rules allow.

Museum grounds have been improved over the years with more sidewalks, benches, gardens established by master gardeners and a rain catchment system.

Inside the museum, recently added features include a life-size Quetzalcoatlus that hangs from the ceiling of the Juan Infante International Hall and a partial fossilized mammoth femur bone that is on display.

Also, in the Mountains of the World Diorama that is part of the museum , a Siberian Ibex and a Marco Polo Sheep, both from Tajikistan, have been added.

Under construction next to the museum is an art wing the museum will open featuring New Spain Art for the period from 1521 to the early 1800s when Spain colonized the Americas.

The collection, donated by Mary and Juan Infante, consists of over 90 pieces that includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, Talavera, ivories from the Philippines and India, and silver and bronze pieces.

The opening date for the art wing is still being evaluated.

The museum is located at 267 Old San Antonio Highway in Bandera and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.