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Animatronic T-Rex at Colorado theme park goes ‘extinct’ in suspected electrical blaze

T-Rex goes extinct! The cause? Suspected electrical fire

The animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex at Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience in Denver burned Thursday. Park administrators believe the fire started due to an electrical short.
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The animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex at Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience in Denver burned Thursday. Park administrators believe the fire started due to an electrical short.

The 24-foot animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex at the Canon City, Colorado, Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience used to move its little arms and roar.

But until Thursday it never breathed fire.

That giant T-Rex, which was one of 16 life-size dinosaur exhibits at the museum and activity center used to bring the ancient beasts to life for guests, underwent a second extinction event Thursday when it burst into flames.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire, but it did make for some dramatic video.

The great beast smoldered for about 10 minutes before it caught fire Thursday morning. Visitors watched as the inferno spread from the dinosaur’s belly to its head, making it briefly resemble the fictional super villain Godzilla more than something out of Jurassic Park.

The fire left behind nothing but the steel frame and part of the T-Rex’s tail.

“Holy Smokes! We knew T-Rex had a temper, but today he blew his top,” park director Zach Reynolds said in a statement. “There was an unfortunate (and rare) electrical issue in our mighty T-Rex and he is no longer. You might even say ... extinct.”

He told McClatchy park personnel suspect an electrical wire shorted within the mechanism that made the T-Rex able to move, causing the blaze. They are waiting for a forensic fire inspector’s official assessment, though.

Most of the park remains open for business.

The park hopes to have a replacement T-Rex in place before summer, along with a 17th animatronic offering: a Stegosaurus. The park opened in 2016, according to its website.

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