CANON CITY, Colo. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The president and co-owner of a dinosaur-themed park in southern Colorado thinks that an electrical malfunction caused a life-size animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex to burst into flames.
Zach Reynolds said that the T-Rex at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience smoldered for about 10 minutes before it caught fire Thursday morning. Visitors watched as the inferno spread through the dinosaur, which appeared at times to be breathing flames.
The T-Rex was affectionately known to staff members as Chicken.
Reynolds joked, “We knew he had a temper, but today he blew his top.”
“Much like its real-life ancestors,” the park said, the T-Rex “left behind only a skeleton after an ‘extinction’ event.”
The 24-foot-tall animatronic creature, which moved and made sounds, was one of 16 dinosaurs that line the park’s Wild Walk exhibit. Reynolds said that it was a total loss, but at least “it made for some spectacular imagery along the way.”
Reynolds credited his team for handling the fire safely and preventing it from spreading. Nobody was injured.
He hopes to have a replacement T-Rex installed by the summer.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)