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Makeover for National Zoo's Uncle Beazley




The Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park’s “Uncle Beazley,” like so many stars, is getting a facelift. The life-size fiberglass triceratops was moved to the Smithsonian’s Office of Exhibits Central in Landover, Md. to have his holes and cracks patched. He’ll also get a new coat of UV and weather resistant paint.
Photo Credit: Mehgan Murphy/Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park
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The genesis of the triceratops statue at the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. is the 1956 children's book, The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth. In the story, a boy finds an enormous egg that hatches a triceratops. When the triceratops, named Uncle Beazley, gets too big, the boy brings him to the “National Museum” in Washington, D.C. The triceratops is later transferred to the National Zoo’s Elephant House, because of a law against stabling large animals in the district.

Louis Paul Jonas created the National Zoo's Uncle Beazley statue in 1967 for “The Enormous Egg TV” special that aired in 1968. The statue was then donated to the Smithsonian by the Sinclair Co.

The Uncle Beazley statue, something of a foster dinosaur, has had many homes. He was initially displayed at the National Zoo, then at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, and later at the Museum of Natural History. In 1994, he was returned to the zoo and displayed in the former rhinoceros yard until 2003.

In 2007, the zoo and Smithsonian exhibits staff began work to restore the dinosaur and also created a “dinosaur garden” of ferns, papyrus, and giant taro, plants whose ancestors existed during the age of the dinosaurs

The restoration and maintenance of “Uncle Beazley” and his garden is made possible by a donation from Mara Strock in memory of her parents, Herman and Evelyn Strock.


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July 29, 2014, 12:47 pm EST

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