Dinosaurs Arrive at Rosamond Gifford Zoo for Summer Long Exhibit

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

T. rex was one of the first dinosaurs to arrive at the zoo Monday. The Dinosaur Invasion! exhibit officially opens May 25.( photos by Maria Simmons)

Five tractor-trailers full of animatronic dinosaurs arrived Monday from Texas-based Billings Productions to be installed at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo for a summer-long exhibit beginning May 25.

A total of 13 dinosaurs are being stationed around the zoo with help from exhibit sponsor C&S Companies Monday and Tuesday. Some outdoor areas of the zoo may be off limits during the install, but the public will be able to see some dinosaurs being moved and readied for exhibit over the next 10 days.

The first dinosaurs off-loaded Monday included Tyrannosaurus rex, the armored dinosaur Edmontonia and an interactive T. rex robot that guests will be able to operate via a control panel.

The huge, lifelike dinosaurs are equipped with sounds and movement, but will remain stationary until Friday, May 25, when the Friends of Zoo officially opens Dinosaur Invasion! 101 Days of Dinosaurs through Labor Day Sept. 3.

Dinosaur Edmontonia was among the first dinosaurs unloaded at the zoo Monday.

"We have been excitedly working for several months to bring dinosaurs to the zoo," said Friends of the Zoo President Janet Agostini. "Now that they're here, we are even more eager to see the impact they will have on our guests and to reinforce our conservation message about saving animals from extinction."

Friends of the Zoo will open the exhibit on May 25, when the dinosaurs will "come alive and be fully operational," Agostini said. 

She said several other zoos have exhibited Billings' dinosaurs to great success. Dinosaur Invasion! offers many opportunities to talk about zoo animals that share characteristics with dinosaurs, the link between dinosaurs and birds, and the zoo's active role in saving today's endangered species from extinction, she said.

Several events are in the works to make the most of the prehistoric presence at the zoo. They include this year's Brew at the Zoo, the Friends' biggest annual fundraiser, on Friday, August 3, dubbed 'Brew at the Zoo & Dinos Too' for 2018.

The zoo will offer other special events such as Donuts with Dinos for an added fee, but the summer-long display itself is free for zoo members or with zoo admission during zoo hours. A special pass also will be available for sale for guests who would like to participate in dino activities at a Paleo Tent in the zoo courtyard.

Source: www.syracuse.com