ASHEBORO, NC —After two very successful years one of the most popular temporary exhibits ever offered by the North Carolina Zoo soon be loaded up and trucked back to Texas. “Dinosaurs,” featuring 15 prehistoric creatures created by Texas-based Billings Entertainment will close after this weekend.

Since their initial appearance from April through October of last year, “Dinosaurs” has helped the zoo set several attendance records. This year the exhibit also featured a traveling “Dino on the Loose.” Deinonychus is an 11-foot-long predator said to have served as the model for the pack-hunting “velociraptors” made famous in the movie “Jurassic Park.” The N.C. Zoo’s version appeared at schools, nursing homes, festivals, businesses and a string of “Biscuitville” restaurants across the Piedmont carried on board a Wayne Thomas Chevrolet pickup.

At these appearances, youngsters 12-and-under had the opportunity to get an official N.C. Zoo “Dinosaurs” T-shirt along with free admission tickets to the exhibit. During the Dinosaurs’ final week, the zoo is inviting kids who have collected one of the special T-shirts free admission to the park (an $8 value) if they are accompanied by an adult paying regular admission ($12).

At the zoo, 15 dinosaurs inhabit a forest exhibit created just for this special attraction. A winding pathway lined with ancient plants near the zoo’s African Pavilion transports visitors back in time to come face-to-face with a variety of life-sized creatures. The animatronic group is led by “Giganotosauras,” a giant flesh-eater even larger than Tyrannosaurus Rex

The Billings creations use computerized, hydraulic motion systems to make them more life-like. Each dinosaur is built on a steel frame and meticulously covered with textured, intricately painted rubber skin. Bold colors and theatrical touches, along with state-of-the-art electronics, make them seem real, with sounds and movements that include grasping hands, menacing claws and gnashing teeth.

But after Sunday, “Dinosaurs” will be closed and preparations will begin for a new attraction for 2014—“Bugs: An Epic Adventure”—featuring giant animatronic insects.

For more information, call 1-800-488-044 or visit the zoo’s website at The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.