KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Zoo Knoxville is going pre-historic for a new exhibit starting in the spring.
Beginning in March, 20 dinosaurs will be scattered across the zoo. Zoo officials say this is a great way to learn about animals and their extinction. They also plan to use the displays to teach people about the ties many animals within the zoo have to dinosaurs.
“You know we’ve got some living dinosaurs in the form of Cuban crocodiles, and birds are very closely related to dinosaurs. Birds and dinosaurs in many ways evolved into birds, and you know, we’re talking about the time period 250 million years ago. It’s going to be really exciting,” said Phil Colclough, director of animal care at Zoo Knoxville.
Colclough explained that the zoo found children and focus groups were very excited about the new exhibit across the board. The dinosaurs will be colorful, and very noisy, and will be placed all throughout the zoo. It’s not just about the entertaining aspect, it is also made to be educational.
“We’re going to give people the opportunity to get as deep in that knowledge about dinosaurs as they as they would like to. If they just want to go ‘on and ah’ and see a cool dinosaur. More power to them, let them come do that. But if they want to get in different depth levels of knowledge, then we’re going to provide that as well too,” said Colclough.
The zoo also plans to tie the education about dinosaurs’ extinction into letting people know more about their conservation efforts. Overall, Colclough said they are just excited to try something new and exciting.
“It’s just a great opportunity to do something new here at the zoo and exciting and they’re going to be beautiful colors. They’re going to be lots of sounds with them, they’ll be placed in these bushes and rock work and all over the zoo to where you can. It’s just going to enhance the whole zoo experience as you’re here,” said Colclough.
The dinosaurs will be at the zoo until Labor Day.