BROOKINGS – Following nearly seven years of standing guard at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, the life-size Tyrannosaurus rex known as “Mama” will get a makeover of sorts in the coming days.
The current animatronic dinosaur will be replaced with an exact duplicate beginning April 24.
“We’re working hard to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible,” Associate Director Mike Mogard said. “After it’s complete, guests will barely notice the change, and Mama T.Rex will continue to be an impressive figure on our Prairie space.”
To mark the occasion, the museum recently held an online contest requesting a short story as to where Mama T.Rex would go during this “spring break.” The imaginative entries found her traveling to Florida, Mt. Rushmore, Kenya, Italy, Wyoming and more.
The authors created worlds where Mama T.Rex rode trains, hopped on busses, went to the spa, relaxed at the beach, and had other adventures before returning to Brookings.
“We wanted to let our guests come up with their own ideas as to where Mama T.Rex would go,” Director of Marketing Randy Grimsley said. “She’s only in transition for a couple of days and then will be back greeting guests on the Prairie. But this is a fun way to allow the public to imagine what adventures she could have during this time.”
The museum, which opened in 2011, has received multiple awards and recognitions. Mama T.Rex is the nation’s only life-size, permanently affixed, animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex. The museum will remain open regular business hours during the transition.