A well-known New Mexico dinosaur fossil may soon have a life-like companion.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation has launched a new campaign to help bring an animatronic version of the “Bisti Beast” dinosaur to Albuquerque for permanent display at the museum.
Before it happens, the foundation is looking raise money to pay for the cost of acquiring and shipping the dinosaur.
“This is our dinosaur, let’s bring him home,” said Sherri Wells, executive director of the museum foundation.
Discovered near Farmington in 1997, the Bisti Beast is considered one of the centerpieces of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. The fossil is a rare skull and jaw of a “Bistahieversor sealeyi” dinosaur, a relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
In 2016, “the beast” was shipped to Japan where crews studied and modeled a replica of the skull. That replica eventually lead to the creation of a full-size animatronic of the Bisti Beast, which was taken around Japan as part of a dinosaur expo.
“He’s got blinking eyes and a neck that breathes, and tail and head that move around,” said Wells.
The company that owns the replica animatronic has now offered it to New Mexico for a fraction of the price. In response, the museum foundation is working to acquire the robotic dinosaur.
“I think that there are a lot of people that are going to think that it’s really real,” said Wells. “I think it will just become something that people will want to come back and experience.”
The museum foundation is hoping to raise $120,000 to purchase the dinosaur by Spring 2019. For more information, visit the foundation’s “GoFundMe” website.