Asheboro, NC - One of the North Carolina Zoo's animals is on the loose--but the public need not worry. This 11-foot-long critter is safely contained in the bed of a Chevrolet pickup.

"Deinonychus" is a moving, snarling, animatronic dinosaur that will travel the Piedmont in the coming months to promote the N.C. Zoo's highly popular "Dinosaurs" exhibit. Its first appearance will be 7 to 9 a.m., Thursday, May 2, at the Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Dixie Drive in Asheboro. To celebrate the re-capture, zoo staff will be on hand to give away t-shirts and dinosaur exhibit passes to the first 25 people who come by.

Appearance number two for this roving replica of a lost era will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, May 10, at Wayne Thomas Chevrolet, also on Dixie Drive in Asheboro. T-shirts and exhibit passes will again be available to the first 25 visitors on May 10. Wayne Thomas Chevrolet is providing the transportation for Deinonychus as it makes its rounds. Future bookings for the traveling dinosaur are still available by contacting Don Queen with the zoo at 336-879-7301 or

Nearly 240,000 people, representing more than 35 percent of zoo visitors, toured the zoo's first "Dinosaurs" exhibit in 2012. Now a whole new cast of 15 creatures has been chosen for the 2013 Dinosaurs experience that are bigger, bolder and better. Among the featured species this year is "Giganotosaurus," which is even larger than the Tyrannosaurus Rex that was the hit of the 2012 exhibit.
The zoo is located on Zoo Parkway (N.C. 159) six miles southeast of Asheboro off U.S. 220 and U.S. 64. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children 2-12 and $10 for senior citizens 62-plus. For more information, visit the zoo's website at or call 1-800-488-0444.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.